Is the EB-5 Visa Right for You and Your Family

Is the EB-5 Visa Right for You and Your Family

Jun 19

The United States, like many other countries, offers foreign nationals the opportunity to obtain a Green Card which will allow them to enjoy conditional permanent residency through its employment-based (EB) visa programs, with EB-5 being the easiest and with the least processing delay time visa category.

EB-5, also called the employment fifth preference visa, is a program that allows foreign nationals to invest between $500,000 and $1 million in the U.S. The main purpose of this investment program is to help boost the U.S. economy through the creation or preservation of jobs for qualified American workers.

The specific requirement set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which administers the EB-5 program, is the creation or preservation of 10 full-time jobs for qualified Americans. This may be done by investing $1 million in a new commercial enterprise or by investing $500,000 in a Regional Center, an organization designated by the USCIS for the purpose of helping foreigners who would like to invest in the U.S. satisfy the requirement which will lead to the approval of their EB-5 visa application.

The benefits that investors can enjoy through their EB-5 visa include:

• Lesser requirements; the following are actually not required: English proficiency; age limit; work/professional experience; educational degree; and job offer;
• Fast processing method which will enable an investor, his or her spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old gain conditional permanent residency and permanent residency in the U.S.;
• Privilege of working or studying in the U.S. (this benefit can also be enjoyed by the investor’s family);
• Freedom to live and work anywhere in the U.S.;
• Paying the same cost of tuition fee (as any other American citizen) in public colleges and universities;
• No travel restrictions in and out of the investor’s home country;
• Obtaining a U.S. Citizen status after 5 years of established permanent residency in the U.S.

With regard to this visa category, there are three things that matter most:

• that the investor is able to prove to the USCIS that the invested capital has been obtained through legal means; and,
• for the investor and his or her family to have the conditions in their visas removed (this visa will give them conditional permanent residency status for two years), the investor will have to satisfy the “create 10 jobs” requirement withing two years. Right after the second year, successful EB-5 visa holders can start petitioning for the removal of the conditions in their visas; and,
• that the investor fully understand that if ever he or she fails to meet the program’s requirement (which is the preservation or creation of 10 full-time jobs), there will be no way of getting his or her investment back. This is why having the amount required in the investment does not automatically qualify anyone to be a foreign investor.

It is said that it is the duty of foreign nationals to know first if the EB-5 visa is really the best means for them and their families to obtain residency in the U.S. Any decision they will arrive at concerning this matter will definitely affect their future, especially if they decide to pursue the program and fail.