The EB-5 visa was created for qualified foreign investors interested in obtaining a U.S. green card. The investor must invest a minimum of $1,050,000 — or $800,000 if investing in a targeted employment area — into a business or project that benefits the U.S. economy and creates 10 full-time jobs. The EB-5 visa is one of the fastest U.S. immigration paths to residency, with investors generally receiving a conditional green card within 12-26 months. If you are a foreign investor who wants to invest in an EB-5 project and receive an EB-5 visa, here is what you need to know about the process:
How Do I Qualify for the EB-5 Visa?
Before applying for an EB-5 Visa, make sure that you meet all of these qualifications:
To qualify for the EB-5 Visa, you must be willing and able to meet the minimum investment requirement. The investment amount is $1,050,000 but can be reduced to $800,000 if you invest in a targeted employment area (TEA). A TEA can be either a rural area or an area facing high unemployment. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will approve areas that qualify as a high-unemployment TEA. Please keep in mind that there can be no guarantees regarding the repayment of investment funds. The EB-5 program requires an “at-risk” investment. Your capital must be at risk for gain or loss; however, this doesn’t mean you’re selecting a risky project. Rather, there simply cannot be any guarantees.
You must also have evidence that the money you are using to invest in an EB-5 project was acquired legally. Whether received by working, through other investments, a loan, or as a gift, the funds must have documentation to ensure it’s clean of any illegitimate funds to qualify. You should retain an immigration attorney that specializes in building source and path of funds documentation. If you do not have an attorney retained, we would be happy to introduce you to one.
Your investment must also create 10 jobs to meet the EB-5 visa requirements. Our responsibility as your regional center is to make sure this qualification is achieved.
You will have to meet all these qualifications to receive an EB-5 Visa. Remember that some countries have very high demand such as China, India, Vietnam, and South Korea. Submit a petition as soon as possible to avoid retrogression or extensive waits for the green cards even after being approved. Also, be sure to select a project with a strong job-creation cushion/buffer to ensure the highest chance of success.
What Is the Process?
If you choose Houston EB5 to be your regional center, here is the process that you can expect:
Fill Out Our Investor Questionnaire
The first step of the process is filling out our investor questionnaire. After receiving your questionnaire, we can schedule a meeting with you to discuss our current EB-5 projects and answer questions.
Complete USCIS Form I-526 with an Immigration Attorney
After completing the questionnaire, choosing a project, signing all the necessary documents, and placing your funds in escrow, you are ready to submit the I-526E application. Your immigration attorney will submit this form to the USCIS, along with other documents proving that you meet the requirements.
Change Your Status or Schedule a Consular Appointment
If you already reside in the United States when you submit your EB-5 petition, you can adjust your status (using form I-485) to a permanent resident. If you live in a different country, you need to apply for your visa at the local U.S. consulate. You will also be interviewed at your consular appointment. You may be asked about your investment or any other information regarding your I-526E petition during your interview. Your and your family’s medical, police, and immigration history may also be reviewed during your interview before your conditional green card is issued.
Receive a Conditional Visa
After changing your status or attending your consular appointment, your conditional visa will be issued. You will be a conditional resident for two years. You can live in any state. During these two years, you will have the same benefits as other American citizens. You can come and go freely and get discounts on college tuition.
Submit an I-829
Three months before the end of your conditional residency, your attorney will submit an I-829, which is a petition to remove your conditions. If approved, your conditional green card will be converted into a permanent one. Your regional center will provide documentation that your investment created 10 full-time jobs and met the requirements.
Apply for Citizenship
After being a green card holder for five years, you are eligible for citizenship. You can receive your investment back if the project is successful. The EB-5 Visa is for you and your immediate family (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21), so you can all benefit from choosing the EB-5 process.
Invest in EB-5 Projects and Get Your Green Card Using the EB-5 Visa Program
Houston EB5 can help you apply for an EB-5 visa and start investing in an EB-5 project that can help you get a green card. If approved, you will obtain permanent residency that may eventually lead to citizenship. Begin the process as soon as possible, as there are limited set-aside visas. Applying soon can come with advantages like priority processing and shorter wait times. If you are ready to start the process, complete our questionnaire or call us to learn more.
Our goal is not to profit off EB-5 fundraising as a regional center, but rather aim to profit as a developer of real estate. However, in order for us to do that, we must fully pay dividends owed to EB-5 investors before we can receive a dime of profits. Further, we can only exit the project after the EB-5 investments have safely returned to our investors. This is why we’ve had a 100% success rate in repayment of EB-5 funds, an accomplishment that only the gold-standard of regional centers can say.