The United States EB-5 visa is an Immigrant Investor Visa Program that allows eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents or to get the “green card” for the whole family. Thanks to EB-5 visa, husband/wife in law and all non-married children below 21 years old of the investors can get the “green card” and have a full right of a U.S permanent resident.
According to new EB-5 visa regualations, you must deposit at least $800,000 if investing in TEAs (Targeted Employment Area) and $1.05 million for other locations to get an EB-5 visa. The duration for approval lasts for 3-4 years
After that, all family members will enjoy a high standard of life including getting benefits from high-quality medical service, education, and other well-beings similar to a U.S citizen apart from election rights.The children can stay in school for free of tuition until age 18 and then can attend higher education at a lower tuition rates compared to foreign students. After 5 years, the investors and his/her family can apply for the U.S citizenship.
Inspired in part by its capitalist system, a central purpose of the U.S.’ immigration system is to grant admission to foreign nationals who are anticipated to have a positive impact on the U.S. economy, society, and the job market. For foreign investors, this can mean very good news!
Specifically, for business people looking to invest in, direct, and develop a bona fide enterprise in the United States, the E-2 visa classification can very well open the doors.
Many forms of evidence may be used to prove that all of I-526 petition requirements have been met by the applicant:
Requirement: an EB-5 eligible project has received/will receive the investment Evidence: articles of incorporation, merger or consolidation certificates, joint venture or limited partnership agreements, state business certificates
Requirement: the appropriate investment amount has been made in the project Evidence: bank statements, security agreements, promissory notes, loan or mortgage certificates, other evidence that sufficiently illustrates the investment amount
Requirement: the capital investment was obtained through lawful means (legal source of funds) Evidence: five years of tax returns, pay stubs of the funds coming from earnings from an employer, bank account statements, securities statements (if the funds came from trading/bonds/stocks)
Requirement: the investment will create 10 full-time U.S. jobs
Evidence: a business plan
Requirement: the investor will be involved with day-to-day management or will have a policy-making position within the EB-5 project
Evidence: corporate documents, statement and description of duties.
I-526 petitions are usually completed by immigration attorneys. They are submitted to the USCIS California Service Center. The filing fee for the I-526 petition is $3,675. USCIS will occasionally request more evidence as needed. It currently takes the USCIS 24 to 26 months to adjudicate an I-526 application. EB-5 visa applicants can apply for U.S. residential status once the I-526 petition is complete. They do so by filing the form I-485 adjustment of status if they are already in the United States as a nonimmigrant, or by filing the DS-260 application if they are abroad.
The I-829 petition is the final step of the EB-5 visa process for immigrant investors to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. The I-829 petition includes evidence that the immigrant investor successfully met all United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements of the EB-5 program. Once the I-829 is approved, the investor’s conditional residency restriction is removed so that the investor, their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can live in the United States permanently.
The EB-5 investor can file the I-829 petition with USCIS starting 90 days before the end of the two year conditional permanent status period. The applicant’s conditional residency will be extended while the I-829 is processed. The I-829 application must be filed within 21 to 24 months of the investor’s two year conditional residency period, otherwise the ability to obtain a permanent residency card can be jeopardized.
There are numerous pieces of evidence that EB-5 investors must supply within the I-829 petition to prove that they have fulfilled all EB-5 program requirements:
Requirement: conditional permanent resident card (green card)
Evidence: photocopy of permanent investor’s permanent resident card, photocopy of permanent resident cards of all EB-5 family members
Requirement: proof that a commercial enterprise was established
Evidence: federal tax returns
Requirement: proof that the capital investment was made
Evidence: audited financial statements, bank statements, other evidence to demonstrate that the new commercial evidence received the investor’s funds
Requirement: proof that the commercial enterprise was sustained throughout the two year conditional residency period
Evidence: invoices, receipts, bank statements, contracts, business licenses, federal tax returns, state tax returns, quarterly tax statements
Requirement: evidence that the required number of jobs were created by the project and that the business plan was followed
Evidence: payroll records, relevant tax documents
Requirement: biometrics services
Evidence: applicant must attend USCIS biometrics appointment where the applicant’s fingerprints, signature and photograph are taken
Requirement: legal documents must be provided if the applicant has a criminal history Evidence: law enforcement statements, arrest records, sentencing records, probation or parole records, other court records relating to the criminal history.
I-829 applications are typically prepared and filed by immigration attorneys who handle EB-5 matters. The I-829 application is submitted to a designated Service Center in Texas. The filing fee for the application is $3,750 and the biometric fee is an additional $85. I-829 petitions are typically prepared with the help of an EB-5 immigration attorney. The current processing time for the I-829 application is 22.5 to 45 months. An in-office interview with USCIS or other information requests may be made after the petition has been processed.
As described on the USCIS website, a treaty investor must “be a national of an E-2 visa treaty country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation”.
There are currently 30+ that have trade treaties with the United States. To qualify as a treaty investor, you must be a legal citizen of one of the countries listed above—legal permanent resident status is unfortunately, not enough. That being said, while citizenship is required, residence is not. What could this mean? You do not need to live/reside in the cited E2 visa treaty country to qualify. In other words, as long as you hold citizenship from a treaty county, you could reside anywhere and remain eligible. Are you an Iranian citizen living in Germany? A Belgian living in Switzerland? That’s okay!
There’s no minimum amount that treaty investors must invest. Instead, the general expectation is that capital invested be sufficient to ensure the enterprise’s successful operation. While there is no minimum investment for an E-2 visa to be approved, the field-wide consensus is that investment capital should total upwards of US$ 100,000 to be considered “substantial.”
USCIS defines a bona fide enterprise as “a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit”. Put simply, USCIS will not accept business plans/blueprints alone—the enterprise must be operational. The enterprise must also offer a tangible good or service.
This is established by showing ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device. The E-2 visa application must be coming to work in the U.S. for a company that he or she either owns. In the case of an Employee of a Treaty Investor, special rules apply.
The investor must have already been committed/spent on the enterprise and the capital must be subject to loss (partial or total) if the investment fails.
In order to determine if a business is marginal USCIS looks to:
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