This article provides basic information related to an EB-5 Investor visa and its benefits. For those investors with $500,000.00 US to $1,000,000.00 US, they may be able to obtain Permanent Residency in the US in less than three years.
There are two monetary investment options for the investor. For those individuals willing to invest in an area defined by the USCIS as a “targeted employment area”, the required investment is $500,000.00 US. A “targeted employment area” is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. This can also include a rural area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census. Individuals can also seek a “TEA” designation if not already defined by the USCIS. For all others investing outside a “TEA” defined zone, the required investment will be a minimum of $1,000,000.00 US.
In addition to the monetary investment, there must also be the creation of a minimum of ten full time employees for the business. They can be either US citizens or US permanent residents, but not family members. The USCIS will verify these ten employees are being maintained by the company before final approval of the complete green card.
The next consideration of the investor is whether they will desire to be directly or indirectly involved in their investment. If they are going to open a business on their own, they will require hiring a professional business planner to develop and assist with document submissions to the USCIS. Expect to pay $7000.00 for these support services. In addition, this individual will be working full time to oversee the business and its employees.
For those individuals who do not want to be directly involved in their investment, they can invest their monies in USCIS EB-5 approved Regional Investment Centers. These center offer various projects the monies can be invested in, including “TEA” projects and assist with providing documentation to the USCIS. An attorney cannot select or recommend a particular project to invest in, as it is the investors duty to conduct their own fiduciary research. The investor needs to be diligent to select a sound project as the total investment monies could be lost, or the project fails to attain required employment goals or profitability, thereby resulting in the failure to obtain permanent residency.
When an individual has selected an appropriate investment, the attorney assists with the preparation of the USCIS petitions. The investor ,within six months , receives a conditional green card valid for two years. Prior to the expiration of the two years, documentation evidencing the continued employment of the ten employees and financial viability of the investment are examined. If all conditions have been met, the investor is then given complete US residency.