15 Jul How to Apply for an Investor Visa in the US.
One way to obtain permanent resident status (sometimes called a Green Card) for the United States is through an “Investor Visa” or an EB-5 Visa. If you’re interested in learning more about what is an EB-5 visa and the EB-5 process, then keep reading. We’ll cover the basics of EB-5 visa requirements and how you can apply for this visa to obtain your U.S. green card.
EB-5 Investor Visa Requirements
An EB-5 or Investor visa has three main criteria you need to meet before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) will issue you and your family a visa:
- You must meet a minimum capital or investment amount
- The source of your funds must be lawful
- A minimum of 10 jobs need to be created
The first EB-5 visa requirement is meeting a minimum investment amount. That amount is $1 million for a non-TEA (targeted employment area) investment and $500,000 for a targeted employment area. TEA is typically classified as either rural or high-unemployment areas. To qualify as a high-unemployment TEA, the area you are looking to invest in must have an unemployment average of at least 150% of the U.S. national unemployment rate. To qualify as a rural TEA, you must be investing in an area outside a metropolitan statistical area and can’t be within a city with a population of over 20,000.
The second EB-5 visa requirement is a lawful source of funds. USCIS will thoroughly examine where your money came from and any paths it traveled to come to you. Proving the lawful source of your capital investment is vital to obtaining your EB-5 visa.
The last EB-5 visa requirement is that you must create or preserves at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. These jobs must be created within 2 years after your investor visa has received its conditional permanent residency. Investors who invested through regional centers can cite ten full-time direct, induced or indirect jobs created from their investment. Indirect jobs are classified as jobs created in businesses that supply services or goods to an EB-5 investment. Induced jobs are created within the larger community due to the income brought from employees of the EB-5 project.
The first step in the EB-5 process is finding a project that will meet the EB-5 visa requirements – especially if you are looking to take advantage of expedited approval and rural premium processing. EB-5 investments deemed to be in the national interest receive expedited approval by USCIS. The fastest EB-5 visa processing time is between two to six months.
After you have selected your project, you will need to file Form I-526 with the USCIS. This proves that you have invested (or are in the process of investing) the required capital and that you meet all the other requirements of the EB-5 program.
Once your petition (or application) is approved, you will be granted conditional permanent residency by:
- If you are living in the U.S., file Form I-485 for an adjustment of status
- If you are living abroad, file Form DS-260 with a U.S. Embassy or Consulate
Once this has been approved, you will be issued a conditional green card valid for two years. You and your family will now be able to live and work in the U.S. The final step is to become an unconditional permanent resident. This is completed by filing Form I-829, which will remove the conditions on your first green card.
If you’re interested in gaining your green card through the EB-5 visa, we highly advise having an experienced immigration attorney guide you through the process. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC, we work with our clients to get them through the process and work hard to achieve the best result possible. Get in touch to discuss your unique situation!