If you are a foreign entrepreneur who is willing and able to invest a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business, applying for your EB-5 visa may be the best way to expedite the process of becoming a citizen. The Immigration Act of 1990 created the EB-5 in order to attract foreign capital to the United States. In order to be eligible for this visa, you must invest $1 million, or $500,000 if investing in one of the government’s targeted employment areas (these are regions where the unemployment rate is at least 1.5 times higher than the national average; the USCIS provides a list of these regional center projects). In other words, your investment needs to create at least 10 jobs. How long does it take to process the EB-5 application and receive a green card? The short answer is that it takes about 10-18 months, depending on where your application is processed. Compared to the wait time for other preference category visas, the EB-5 is generally a much shorter process. An EB-5 investor can obtain his or her green card as fast as someone who marries a U.S. citizen.
There are three basic requirements for your EB-5:
1) establish a U.S. business or invest in an existing business that was created after Nov. 29, 1990
2) you must have invested $1 million or $500,000 when investing in a targeted area
3) the business must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.
Your investment may consist of various forms of capital, including cash, equipment, property, or other tangible equivalents. The capital you are investing must have been obtained through lawful means. The funds may come from any legal source, including gifts and divorce settlements. As with other visa applications, you must provide substantial evidence to confirm the source of your funds and supply as much documentation as possible pertaining to your career and achievements. This includes personal financial information, business plans, brochures about the business, five years of tax returns, five years of bank records, financial statements for each business you own, business licenses, proof of ownership in any business, and any other supporting evidence. The more information you are able to provide, the faster your application will be processed. Remember that all documents must be translated into English.
Once you confirm the source and availability of your funds and conduct due diligence, you will file form I-526, which is the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. Note that investor petitions are very technical and involve substantial sums of money. The I-526 alone has a filing fee of $1,500, while the I-829 costs $3,835.Once this is approved, you may file for adjustment of status. You will be granted conditional resident status for two years while the USCIS verifies that the full investment has been made and 10 jobs have been created. Though the entire investment does not have to be made at the outset, you must demonstrate your ability to do so by the end of the two year conditional period. You will then file your I-829 (Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions), and once this is approved and your conditional resident status is removed, a full green card will be issued for indefinite permanent resident status and work permission in the United States. This entire process takes some time, but it is definitely worth it if you have the capitol to invest.
Eugene Jones is a principal in www.ImmiGreatNow.com.com which provides web solutions for family Immigration. Eugene is also a principal in www.connect4business.com a lotus domino manufacturing solution and www.nauvou.com.com web based solutions for customer support.