EB-5 Green Card
EB-5 Investor Green Card
The Employment Based Fifth Preference Category, or EB-5, was created to attract foreign capital to the United States in order to create more job opportunities and benefit the U.S. economy.
There are 10,000 EB-5 immigrant visas available annually. In 1992 and regularly reauthorized since then, 3,000 EB-5 visas are also set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
There are two distinct EB-5 pathways for an immigrant investor to gain lawful permanent residence for themselves and their immediate family—the Basic Program and the Regional Center Pilot Program.
Both programs require the immigrant to make a capital investment of either $500,000 or $1,000,000 (depending on whether the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area [TEA] or not) in a new commercial enterprise located within the United States. TEA is defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.”
The new commercial enterprise must create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident (CPR).
In order to qualify under the EB-5 category, foreign investors must:
- Invest $1 million in either a new or existing U.S. business or commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs, or
- Invest $500,000 in a new or existing U.S. business or commercial enterprise that is in either a rural area or an area with a high unemployment rate, or
- Invest in a U.S. government designated Regional Center, and
- Prove that the investment will somehow benefit the U.S. economy
Consult an EB-5 lawyer to learn how your situation may conform to these regulations.
Advantages of EB-5 Category
There are many distinct advantages to the EB5 category based on what our EB-5 lawyers have noticed. Below are the benefits of the EB-5 over other employment and achievement based green card options.
- Not required to submit PERM labor certification. In other words, you do not need to demonstrate that there is a shortage of domestic (U.S.) workers to perform that job.
- Not required to have a permanent job offer in the U.S.
- Not required to maintain an existing home-country business. You are permitted to close your business in your home country and still acquire your green card. Compared to the EB-1C category, which requires you to maintain business operations, the EB-5 is usually preferred.
- No need to demonstrate extraordinary ability.
Disadvantages of EB-5 Category
The EB-5 category has its fair share of disadvantages as we’ve outlined below.
- Large upfront investment. It’s clear that the EB-5 category requires a substantial upfront investment just to meet the eligibility criteria. Both programs require the immigrant to make a capital investment of either $500,000 or $1,000,000. This sum does not include the additional costs associated with filing (i.e., attorney fees, time investment, etc.)
- Financial risks. Substantial investments like the ones required on EB-5 come with lofty risks and challenges as well. As an investor, that’s an inherent disadvantage but it typically goes without saying.
- Conditional permanent resident status. When you elect for the EB-5 category you simultaneously receive conditional permanent resident status. When you receive this status, you also relinquish any prior nonimmigrant status.
EB-5 Green Card Processing
The EB-5 category is a multi-step process. After filing Form I-526, Immigrant Petition for Alien Investor you can also file Form I-485 at the same time (if within the U.S.). The green card is valid for a period of two years. The second part of the process (at the end of the two year period) is for you to file Form I-829 petition to remove conditions. This must be done within 90 days of the expiration. An EB-5 lawyer can explain the process in greater detail.
The second part of the process (at the end of the two year period) is for you to file Form I-829 petition to remove conditions. This must be done within 90 days of the expiration. An EB-5 lawyer can explain the process in greater detail.
Why do I need an EB-5 Lawyer
Our South Florida Immigration Attorneys will prepare and file the necessary applications and supporting documentation on your behalf. For additional information on how we can help you qualify for and obtain EB-5 Green Card, fill out this consultation form.