What is EB-5 for Real Estate Investors?
The EB-5 program allows real estate investors to invest in commercial real estate development projects in the United States and get a green card. It is a government initiative that focuses on attracting foreign investment towards large-scale real estate projects in order to create employment and boost economic activity.
Although EB-5 program was introduced in 1990, it received more attention during the post-recession years. It allows foreign real estate investors to get an immigrant visa upon establishing job-creating businesses. Many real estate investors prefer the EB-5 program since it allows them to get permanent residency through real estate projects. Real estate in the United States is also a very desirable type of investment for many foreigners. It targets locations where unemployment stands at a minimum of 150% of the national average.
EB-5 financing for real estate development is directed towards multifamily and commercial properties throughout the country. The idea is to create at least 10 jobs through the investment. There are two main types of EB-5 projects you need to know about:
- Direct EB-5 Visa Program: This is aimed at direct investment by any for-profit business in order to generate at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers. Real estate investors can purchase a commercial property for development or an existing business and its property that meets the EB-5 direct requirements. They will have direct involvement and control over the investment project;
- The Regional Center EB-5 Visa Program: This visa program comes with the condition of investing in the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)-approved regional centers. The goal is for each investor to create a minimum of 10 direct, indirect, or induced jobs. Real estate investors are passive owners and do not have direct involvement in the investment project.
For an EB-5 direct, you need to make an investment of at least $1.8 million USD to build a brand-new business in the US or purchase an existing business. For a Regional Center EB-5, investors invest $900,000 USD with a Regional Center. There are also other administrative fees the investor must pay directly to the Regional Center. In return, the investor will be rewarded with a green card and a path to US citizenship for yourself and your immediate family.
Benefits of the EB-5 Visa
EB-5 is an efficient and precise way of getting a Green Card that allows you to live legally in the United States. After you have made the investment and received approval from the USCIS, a conditional permanent residence status of 2 years will be granted to you, your spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21. Before the 2-year conditional status expires, you must apply to remove the conditions of your green card and get a permanent green card that lasts 10 years. Here are the top benefits of opting for the EB-5 visa:
Lawful Status in the US
Lawful status in the United States is the main goal of all real estate investors applying for an EB-5 visa. It allows you, your spouse, and all qualifying children the opportunity to live, study and work in the US. Lawful permanent residents can apply for citizenship after 5-years. Once you become a US citizen, you can even sponsor your parents, children over 21, and siblings for a Green Card.
Smooth Path to Permanent Residence and Citizenship
Investors and their families are on the priority list for permanent residence and citizenship. If your investment ends up meeting all the program requirements by the end of 2 years, the conditions will be removed from you and your family’s residency status. 5 years after receiving a conditional permanent residence, you can become a naturalized US citizen.
Rights Similar to Citizens
You can enjoy many of the same benefits as US citizens once you get your Green Card. If you have children, you would be exempted from paying hefty non-resident college tuition fees. Your children can receive a Green Card and pay in-state college tuition just like other US citizens.
Freedom to Travel
An EB-5 frees you from the hassle of applying for admission whenever you enter the United States of America. You can freely travel worldwide and return to the US without having to worry about a visa. Just like a regular US citizen, you can go anywhere and come back as long as you do not spend more than 6 months outside the United States.
Although the EB-5 requires a considerable investment, it is a smooth and effective path to citizenship for real estate investors and their immediate family members. Some examples of EB-5 visas through real estate investment include purchasing land and developing it, buying a commercial property and managing the property through employees, or purchasing a commercial property, renovating it, and managing it through a property management company.
If you are interested in learning about other forms of visa, click here. We highly recommend seeking the help of an immigration lawyer to analyze your specific situation. At Terra Immigration, we have helped individuals from all over the world receive their visas and green cards.
It is important that you work with a professional that can give you an honest assessment and help you achieve your objectives. If you have any questions, you can speak to Attorney Ileana Rivera or Ingrid Perez. Send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 407-818-1244.