There are many types of wealthy individuals who seek to immigrate to the U.S. based on investments. Are you already a business owner? Or perhaps a self-sufficient retiree? An investor looking to start a new company? A grad student without a job offer or maybe you didn’t get picked in the H1-B lottery? Or the alternative, on H1-B status but facing the 6-year limit? Or maybe an entrepreneur? Do you need to leave a problematic home country situation? Or perhaps you’re already in the U.S. but your employer won’t sponsor you for a green card?
Many different types of people decide to use investment as their vehicle for seeking permanent residence in the U.S.
Direct Investment in New Company
The EB-5 green card refers to the employment-based, fifth preference category of immigrant visas. The requirements for the direct-investment, traditional method are:
- You must invest, or be in the process of investing, at least $1.8 million in a company created after 1990.
- Your investment must benefit the U.S. economy.
- Your investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
- You must have at least a policy-making role in the business.
An EB-5 green card would be a good option for you if you own foreign businesses, you’ve run businesses before, and/or you’re interested in managing a business. If you want to maximize control of your new company and try to maximize profits, starting your own direct investment company could be the right EB-5 option for you.
Regional Centers Program
If you would like to invest less money or not be as involved in the day-to-day running of a business, you can invest a minimum of $900,000 if it goes to a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) under the authority of the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program. That’s also known as the EB-5 Regional Center program.
Moreover, the 10 jobs for U.S. workers can be created directly or indirectly, so it is a little more flexible because you do not directly need to employ 10 people. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designates different private and government agencies as a regional center, which can be an intermediary in the investment process.
The regional center investment option would be the better if you have less money available, you’re unfamiliar with running a business, or you’re not interested in directly managing your investment. If you want to maintain geographic mobility or your business idea would not create 10 jobs, those are other reasons to go with a regional center for your EB-5 green card.
What Representation Means in the EB-5 Process
We can represent you regarding direct investment in a new company or with EB-5 regional center investment. After you have chosen your investment project, we will perform immigration due diligence.
• Advise you about your qualifications for the EB-5 petition and immigrant visa and answer your questions about the process.
• Collect and analyze information to verify and prove the lawful source of funds, and if there’s a regional center, to trace the path of the funds to the regional center project.
• Obtain documents about any regional center project and help you evaluate them.
• Assist you with the parts of the process involving the USCIS: the I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur; consular processing or the I-485 Adjustment of Status; and I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions.
Form I-526: $1,500
Form I-485: $1,140
Form I-485 Biometrics Fee: $85
Form DS-230: $345
Form I-829: $3,750
Form I-829 Biometrics Fee: $85 per person
- Form I-526: Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
- Form G-1145: E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance
- Form I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
- Form DS-230: Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
- Form DS-260: Immigrant Visa Electronic Application
- Form I-829: Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions
- Plan your investment: Direct Investment or Regional Center
- I-526 Petition
- Conditional Immigrant Visa through Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing to become a Conditional Permanent Resident
- Remove Conditions
- Permanent Residence
Since this is an immigrant visa to become a permanent resident, it is ok to have “immigrant intent” and the desire to live in the U.S. permanently.
Form I-526: 13 or 14 months on average
Form I-829: 13 or 14 months on average