EB-5 is an immigrant visa. EB-5 allows a foreign national, his/her spouse and children under 21 obtain permanent residency status, Green Card. This category is reserved for the foreign nationals who invest (one million dollars or $500,000) into a new American commercial enterprise that creates ten jobs for American citizens or authorized immigrant workers. There are two ways to invest, direct investment and investment through Regional Center. Direct investment means that investor creates new business, invests the required amount into it, creates ten jobs and manages it. Regional Center is a U.S. government approved organization established to conduct a project. Investment through Regional Center means that investor does not have to actually run the business. When approving Regional Center, USCIS has accepted that each investor’s contribution to the project through Regional Center will indirectly create ten jobs.
E-2 is a non-immigrant visa. This type of visa permits foreign nationals to live and to establish business in the United States. Investor can buy an existing business, franchise or can create its own business. There is no requirement of investment dollar amount like for EB-5 program, but the investment must be “substantial.” There is no limit on the number of times the E-2 visa can be renewed. Basically, E-2 visa can always be renewed as long as the business in the U.S. meets E-2 requirements. E-2 visa does not allow the investor to apply for Green Card, however, transition from E-2 to EB-5 is possible for certain projects.
Q: Who can get green card through EB-5?
A: Anyone who invests directly or indirectly into a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. demonstrate that funds were earned legally, and satisfy other general eligibility requirements. Investor’s spouse and children under 21 will also qualify.
Q: What is Regional Center and where do I find it?
A: Regional Center is a U.S. government approved organization established to conduct a project. Regional Centers are established to promote economic growth, create new jobs and increase domestic investment. Regional Centers must be approved and designated by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Cervices)
Q: How do know if the Regional Center is real?
A: Regional Centers must be approved and designated by the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Cervices). You can find a list of approved by USCIS Regional Centers at www.uscis.gov.
Q: What is better to invest through Regional Center or invest into my own business?
A: It depends on what you want. Investing in a Regional Center makes it easier for an investor to participate in the EB-5 program. Investor does not need to be directly involved in the business, and investor can live and work anywhere in the U.S. as opposed to the location of the project. Investing in your own business is also a good option but you must create direct ten full-time jobs and manage the business on the day-by-day basis.
Q: How long does it take to get Green Card through EB-5?
A: In most cases the process takes from 10-15 months. In certain cases it may take longer. The investor and/or spouse and children under 21 receive a conditional Green Card for 2 years. Before the expiration of the 2 years the investor can apply to have the condition removed and receive a permanent Green Card.