Immigrant Investor Visas Requirements and Approval
The United States is a land of opportunities for people around the globe where they want to immigrate due to a diverse and wide economy and a high growth potential. The EB-5 investor visa is one of the highest-ranked immigration programs open to everyone who can meet the minimum requirements for this golden visa.
The US government allocates a number of permanent residencies for individuals who are willing to apply for the EB-5 visa. US immigration encourages individuals to invest in commercial enterprises associated with government-approved regions to promote economic growth.
Anyone eligible to invest in a targeted area and create at least ten jobs for the locals can acquire a green card. Their family members can also obtain US residence. The requirements, paperwork, and documentation of the EB-5 visa can be extensive and draining. Consult our immigration lawyers for a smooth process with simplified steps to save your time and money.
EB-5 Visa Investment Options
There are two ways to be eligible for the EB-5 visa program:
- Invest at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), i.e., a government region approved for investment from immigrant applicants to boost employment in the specified area;
- Direct investment of at least $1 million outside TEA. The applicants can also invest outside the TEA in an existing enterprise of their choice. However, it should meet the requirements of USCIS;
- To qualify for a green card through an EB-5 visa, the investment should create at least ten jobs for US citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other immigrants allowed to work in the US.
Requirements for EB-5 Visa
You must meet these major requirements to apply for permanent residency through the EB-5 Visa.
- Minimum investment of either $500,000 in a TEA or $1,000,000 outside TEA;
- Creation of ten new full-time jobs for at least two years. However, if the jobs are not formed with immediate effect, you must prove that your investment will create at least ten new opportunities in a given time;
- The investment should not be borrowed, and the money must be legally acquired;
- If you choose to invest outside the TEA, it should be in a profit-oriented organization that was established after 1990;
- You shall accept that your investment is at risk, and there is no return guarantee;
- The USCIS must approve your investment.
The USCIS has several regions approved for investment by foreign nationals to create employment opportunities. You can choose the enterprise to invest in yourself or through the list of regional centers.
The amount of paperwork can be overwhelming. You can hire a lawyer from Terra Immigration to help you through the process. Terra Immigration has lawyers working globally and serve the need of foreign nationals with diverse languages, including Portuguese and Spanish.
Applying for EB-5
After you have met the requirements of the investor’s visa, you can apply for the EB-5 Visa with the USCIS. The steps to follow for the application are:
- You must file a petition form I-526 with the USCIS. This is the form when applying for an immigrant investor visa;
- The USCIS reviews the form and evidence provided before they can make a decision;
- If approved, USCIS sends your case to the National Visa Center. NVC will assign a case and invoice number;
- The NVC will ask you to pay the appropriate fee and submit the documents when the priority date is current;
- After your documents are processed, and your identity is verified through the security checks, you will be scheduled for an interview with the US Embassy. The NVC will inform you about the terms of the interview. You will be asked to bring more documents for a detailed assessment;
- If you are approved after the interview, you will receive an immigrant stamp on your passport;
- If you are already living in the US with a valid visa, you can file for adjustment of status through the I-485 form with USCIS.
Note: The application process can be different depending on your location. It is recommended that you check with the US embassy in your country first.
How Long Does It Take to Process?
There is no specified time for an employment-based immigrant visa because the process varies from case to case. These visas are also limited to a certain number for each year. Therefore, it depends on whether a visa is available for you at the time of application. Depending on your case and how efficiently you follow the instructions, the time may increase or decrease.
Required Documents for EB-5 Visa
The following documents are required to apply for an EB-5 visa:
- A documented proof that you have or are in the process of investing in the required capital in a profit-oriented enterprise established after 1990, or;
- Purchased a for profit enterprise established before 1990;
- Proof that you are directly involved in the enterprise that you invested in;
- Evidence of your investment creating at least ten new jobs, or a plan that must lead to creating at least ten jobs;
- Guaranteed evidence that the new jobs will be valid for at least two years;
- Proof that the money invested is not borrowed or obtained illegally;
- Evidence of any pending civil action against you by the court of your respective country (records of maximum 15 years);
- Passport-sized pictures;
- Completed medical exam.
Once you have obtained the initial green card, which is valid for two years, you can apply for the unconditional residency within the validity period. To get permanent residency status for US citizenship, you cannot leave the country for more than a year during the unconditional residency.
In addition to the $500,000 or $1,000,000, you have to pay $3,675, which is the government fee for an EB-5 visa. To understand the EB-5 immigrant investor visa process comprehensively and undergo the process smoothly, contact our immigration attorneys today.