EB-5 Investor Visa Application Process Overview

The EB-5 investor visa application process comprises three primary steps that an applicant must follow in order to achieve U.S. permanent residency. These steps are summarized as follows:

There are two investment options available to EB-5 visa applicants. Firstly, they may choose to invest directly in an individual business that is capable of creating at least 10 full-time positions for U.S. workers per investor. Secondly, they may elect to invest through a USCIS-designated regional center. In this case, the investor may count direct, indirect, and/or induced jobs toward the job creation requirement.

Conditional Permanent Residency Application:

Following the approval of an I-526 petition and provided that there is no visa backlog applicable in the investor’s country of origin, the applicant may submit their conditional permanent residency application through either an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status or a DS-260 Application for Immigrant Visa. This petition serves to grant a green card to the investor and their eligible dependents.

Removal of Residency Conditions:

Finally, the investors must prove that all EB-5 requirements have been met by filing an I-829 petition to remove the conditions of residency within 90 days prior to the expiration of their two-year period. After this is approved, the investor and their applicable dependents will receive an unconditional green card that will remain valid for 10 years.

EB-5 Visa Processing Timeline

The EB-5 visa processing timeline is a multi-step process that is affected by a variety of factors, including the country of birth of the applicant, the availability of visas, and the USCIS processing times for each stage. Here is a detailed breakdown of the steps involved in the EB-5 visa processing timeline:

Step 1: Filing the I-526 Petition

The first step in the EB-5 visa processing timeline is to file the I-526 petition, which can take between 35 to 52.5 months to process. The timeline for processing can vary depending on the applicant’s country of birth, with those born outside of mainland China typically experiencing a faster processing time due to visa availability.

Step 2: Visa Availability and Approval

Upon approval of the I-526 Petition, a foreign national can only move forward if a visa is immediately available to them based on their country of birth. The processing timeline for this step is affected by per-country limitations on the number of visas that can be granted each fiscal year.

If a visa number is available, the foreign national can move forward with the next step, which involves filing either a DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application or a Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, depending on whether they are inside or outside the U.S. The processing time for this step can range from 6 to 12 months, depending on various factors such as visa appointment availability at the local Consulate or Embassy.

Step 3: Conditional Green Card and Filing the I-829 Petition

Upon entry to the U.S. on an EB-5 visa or approval of the Form I-485, the foreign national will receive their conditional green card, which is valid for two years. After 21 months, they become eligible to file a Form I-829 petition to remove the conditions on their permanent resident status. The processing time for this step can take between 33 to 54 months, although foreign nationals who file mandamus lawsuits typically experience faster processing times.

Expedited I-526 Processing (EB-5 Visa Fast)

USCIS has the authority to grant expedited processing for certain immigration applications or petitions based on specific criteria such as severe financial loss, urgent humanitarian reasons, compelling U.S. government interests, or clear USCIS error. However, the bar to receive this discretionary grant is very high, and the financial loss that was foreseeable or as a result of the immigrant’s actions typically is not looked upon favorably. Additionally, compelling government interest is a high bar, typically requiring a U.S. government agency to support such a request. If USCIS grants expedited processing based on any of the foregoing criteria, the application or petition will be processed faster than normal processing times.

EB-5 Regulations and EB-5 Legislation

The EB-5 program has undergone changes through new regulations and legislation. On November 21, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published new regulations which increased the minimum investment amount for Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) to $900,000 and non-TEA to $1,800,000. The new regulations also allow an investor with a previously approved I-526 petition to retain the priority date associated with that petition, provided it was not approved through fraud or willful misrepresentation. The priority date cannot be transferred to another applicant, and applicants who have received an immigrant visa or I-485 application approval are not eligible. Derivative beneficiaries are allowed to file an I-829 petition where the investor fails or refuses to file on their behalf. DHS has also clarified that investors with normal rights under a limited partnership agreement or limited liability company agreement will meet the requirement of active involvement in the new commercial enterprise.

However, these regulations are subject to two lawsuits in Federal Court, and their outcome may lead to a change in the regulations. If the lawsuits are successful, the investment amounts would revert to the previous amounts of $500,000 for TEA and $1 million for non-TEA.

Apart from these lawsuits, Congress has proposed legislation to reform and revise the EB-5 program. The program’s regional center component must be reauthorized by Congress and is not a permanent part of the EB-5 visa category. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 reauthorized the EB-5 Regional Center Program through September 30, 2027, after a nine-month program lapse. Investors are now required to invest at least $1,050,000 or $800,000 in high unemployment areas.

In summary, the EB-5 program has undergone changes through new regulations and legislation. The DHS published new regulations on November 21, 2019, and two lawsuits in Federal Court challenge them. Congress has also proposed legislation to reform and revise the EB-5 program, with the regional center component requiring reauthorization by Congress. The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 reauthorized the EB-5 Regional Center Program through September 30, 2027, with an increased minimum investment amount for investors.

EB-5 Visa Requirements-U.S. Citizenship by Investment

1.Qualifying Investment

The first requirement that must be met is the investment amount requirement, which states that applicants must invest at least $900,000 USD into a new commercial enterprise located within the United States or its territories.

The required minimum investment can be reducing to $500,000 if the investment is made into an area that has been designated as a “Targeted Employment Area” (TEA) or a “Regional Center” (RC).

A TEA is defined as an area with high unemployment rates or rural areas without adequate employment opportunities while RCs are entities that have been approved by USCIS and designated as such due to their ability to create jobs, attract investments from foreign countries, and stimulate economic growth within their region through job creation and capital investments.

Individuals looking for United States citizenship must submit Form I-485 and a fee of $1140, plus an additional cost for biometric services totaling $85. With these funds, applicants are one step closer to their goal of becoming United States citizens!

2. Job Creation Requirement

In addition to meeting the investment requirements outlined above, applicants must also demonstrate that their investments will fulfill atleast 10 full-time job creation requirements for U.S.-based employees within two years of receiving conditional green card status on their EB-5 application approval date.

These jobs must meet certain criteria such as being direct (jobs created directly by the applicant’s business venture), indirect (jobs created indirectly by increased demand due to the applicant’s business venture), and induced (jobs created indirectly due to increased spending resulting from direct and indirect employees).

Additionally, these jobs must remain in existence for at least two years after the initial two-year period has passed in order for applicants to maintain their conditional permanent resident status and eventually gain full permanent residence status in the United States upon fulfillment of all other applicable requirements under this program.

If you have any questions about whether you meet these qualifications then it is best practice always consult with financial advisors familiar with immigration law prior making any decisions regarding your eligibility for this type of visa application process.

EB-5 Green Card Process for Qualified Investors

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a US immigration program that allows foreign investors to become permanent US residents by investing in job-creating projects in the United States. For many, it’s a great way to gain access to the US and its benefits.

But how does the process work? Let’s explore the steps needed to invest in an EB-5 Green Card.

Step 1 – Qualifying for an EB-5 Visa

The first step is determining if you meet the requirements for an EB-5 visa. To qualify, you must have invested or be in the process of investing at least $1 million into a new commercial enterprise in the US (or $500,000 if investing in certain targeted employment areas). Additionally, you must demonstrate that your investment will create full-time jobs for at least 10 American workers.

Step 2 – Selecting an Investment Project

Once you’ve determined that you are eligible for an EB-5 visa, the next step is selecting an investment project. There are many options available, from real estate development projects to manufacturing plants or even service businesses such as restaurants and hotels. It’s important to choose a project that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

Step 3 – Making Your Investment 

Once you’ve selected your project, it’s time to make your investment. This can be done through either direct investment or regional center investment. With direct investment, you must manage all aspects of your business yourself; with regional center investment, you can invest in pre-approved projects managed by experienced professionals who will handle all of the details on your behalf.

 Step 4 – Filing Your Immigrant Petition 

The final step is filing Form I-526 with USCIS and submitting all necessary supporting documents (including evidence of job creation). Once filed, USCIS will review your application and determine whether or not you meet their requirements for approval. If approved, you will receive conditional permanent residency status based on your investments and job creation activities.

 Step 5 – Removing Conditions 

After two years of receiving conditional permanent residency status, investors must file Form I-829 with USCIS to remove their conditions and receive full permanent residency status in the United States—a critical step that should not be overlooked!

After these five steps are complete, eb-5 investors will have received their green card and can enjoy all of the benefits that come along with being a lawful resident of the United States!

Benefits of the EB5 Visa Program for the US and Its Citizens

The EB-5 Visa Program proved to be a great benefit for the US and its citizens. This program allows foreign investors to live and work in the country, investing in new businesses and creating jobs for the local communities.

In short;

  • Economic expansion.
  • Creation of jobs.
  • Developing in less-served regions.

By doing so, these entrepreneurs help stimulate local economies, boost revenues, and strengthen industries. As their investments expand, they bring experienced workers to their projects while helping existing American workers increase their wages and benefits.

Furthermore, the EB-5 visa holders have the freedom to engage in any investment activity of their choice as long as it adheres to the laws lay down by the US government.

In that way, EB-5 visas provide many of invaluable economic opportunities for both foreign investors and US citizens alike.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program- Free EB-5 Visa Consultation

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program provides a unique avenue for individuals and families to receive their permanent residency in the United States.

It allows qualified foreign investors to obtain a Green Card by investing $900,000 in an approved project that creates jobs in the U.S., such as regional centers.

As this program is highly specialized, it is important to consult with an EB-5 migration specialist who can help you navigate the process smoothly.

At EB 5 River Oak, we provide free EB-5 visa consultation, which makes it easier and more accessible for those interested in joining this program. Our experienced team of experts helps guide you through the documentation process quickly and efficiently so you can enter the country sooner.

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