Immigrant investors around the world have used the EB-5 Program managed by the U.S. government office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, since 1990. This program enables qualified people to applyl for a green card based on an investment in a U.S. business. With an investment of either $500,000 or $1 million into a U.S. business, if the investment will lead to an employment impact for 10 U.S. laborers. At least 10,000 EB-5 green cards are made available every fiscal year (from October to the following September).
How to Qualify to be an Investor
Can my spouse and children also receive “green cards” under the EB-5 visa program?
Yes. Your spouse and children (under 21 years old) are eligible for the conditional immigrant visas. No separate investment is required apart from your initial investment of $500,000 or $1 million. Additionally, under the U.S. law called the Child Status Protection Act or CSPA, your children who are close in age to 21 years old can have their age frozen by the government when their petitions are filed and pending. It is important to review these issues with our law firm if your children are approaching 21 years of age.
Personal Documents, in general, Needed for an EB-5 Petition
In addition to financial documents, the foreign investor must provide the following documentation:
- Legible copies of passports (including blank pages). Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the date the visa is expected to be issued. This requirement applies to the foreign investor’s spouse and children (under the age of 21 at the time of application) filing for a green card through this program.
- Investor’s Resume (Curriculum Vitae) which should include personal and contact information, educational background, professional experience, and employment history (please include name of supervisor and company’s address and phone number).
- Investor’s personal narrative in their own words describing how they obtained the funds.
- Copies of academic diplomas.
- Articles of organization (if owner of a company).
For Green Card or Immigrant Visa Processing (Not needed for initial phase):
- Certified copies of birth certificates, copies of marriage certificates, and/or divorce decrees and death certificates, if applicable.
- Certified copy of any military record should be submitted.
- Certified copy of police record from the city where the applicant has resided for at least 6 months since turning 16. These records may include but not limited to information on former arrests, crimes, court, regardless of amnesty, pardon, or other clemency.
NOTE:There may be additional documentation requested prior to filing depending on an individual case-by-case basis, and as required by any change to USCIS or U.S. Department of State policies and regulations.
How to Select an EB-5 Investment
Selecting the right one is very important and requires an understanding of how each EB-5 Regional Center functions. In addition to consulting our firm for a qualified immigration attorney, investors should consider:
- Seeking independent qualified financial advice;
- The reputation of the regional center and project developer;
- The past business success of the developer;
- The ability of the regional center and/or developer to create the requisite amount of jobs required by the EB-5 program;
- Other due diligence factors; and
- The immigration history of the EB-5 Regional Center, in terms of its ability to secure the approval of investor petitions (called the I-526) and the removal of the conditions on an investor’s permanent residence (called an I-829).