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 immigrant investors to gain lawful permanent residence for themselves and their immediate family—the Basic Program and the Regional Center Pilot Program. The capital investment is $1,050,000 for standard investments or $800,000 for investment in a commercial enterprise principally doing business in a targeted employment area or in a regional center-associated infrastructure project. For petitions filed before March 15, 2022, the two amounts were $1,000,000 for standard investments or $500,000 for investments in a targeted employment area.
Our attorneys handle thousands of employment immigration cases every year, including the EB-5 category cases. Schedule a consultation and learn how seamless and fast employment immigration can be with VisaNation.
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How EB-5 Investor Visa Lawyer Can Help You
Having a qualified attorney alongside you offers numerous benefits in obtaining an EB-5 investor visa. An experienced attorney will guide you through the complex and ever-changing requirements of the EB-5 program, ensuring that all necessary documents are properly filed and deadlines are met. They will also help investors identify suitable EB-5 investment opportunities that align with their personal and financial goals. Moreover, an attorney can provide valuable advice on how to navigate the U.S. immigration system and address any legal challenges that may arise during the application process. With the help of a qualified attorney, you can increase your chances of successfully obtaining an EB-5 investor visa and achieving your overall investment objectives.
What is EB-5 Investor Visa
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 $1,050,000 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 $800,000 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 VisaNation Law Group 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 $800,000 or $1,050,000. 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.
How to Choose the Best EB-5 Visa Lawyer in 2023
- Years of Experience: Look for an attorney who has experience in handling immigration cases. The more experience they have, the better they will be able to understand your situation and guide you through the process.
- Effective Communication Skills: Your attorney should be able to explain legal concepts to you in plain language and keep you informed of any updates or changes to your case. And, if English is not your preferred language, choose an attorney who speaks your native tongue.
- Keen Eye on Details: Immigration cases involve a lot of paperwork and deadlines. Your attorney should be detail-oriented and able to ensure that all forms and documents are completed accurately and on time.
- Responsiveness: Your attorney should be responsive to your questions and concerns, and be available to meet with you when necessary.
- Up-to-date on the Latest Laws: Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing. Your attorney should stay up-to-date with the latest developments in immigration law to ensure that they are providing you with the most accurate and current advice.
- Reputation: Check the attorney’s reviews online and success stories to ensure they have a strong ethical compass and aptitude in the field.
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.). If you are not in the U.S., you will need to go through consular processing.
Consular processing involves having you travel to a designated U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. There, you will need to have completed a DS-260 online immigrant visa application. You will also need to participate in a one-on-one interview with a consular officer.
At this interview, you will be asked questions about your background, your investment, and your plans in the U.S. Ultimately, this interview will be to make sure that your case is legitimate.
You can only file the I-485 form concurrently with the I-526 if your priority date is current. Your priority date is the day that the USCIS receives your petition. The Department of State releases a monthly visa bulletin detailing the most recent final action dates in each green card category. If your priority date matches or passes the final action date in your category, your date will be considered current.
Fortunately, most of the dates for the EB-5 green card are usually already current, allowing you to file and adjust your status at the same time. However, this is not always the case. Be sure to check the visa bulletin before filing to avoid confusion and to see what your EB-5 processing time will be. Once your green card has been granted, it will be valid for an initial 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.
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Can I Use Premium Processing?
No. Premium processing, or the service offered by the USCIS to shorten your petition’s processing time to 15 calendar days, is unfortunately not available for the EB-5 green card.
Our Experience with EB-5 Investor Visa
Our lawyers have extensive experience with obtaining EB-5 visas for investors. We are thrilled to provide next-level customer service and a throrough dedication to our clients. This is what our leading business immigration lawyer Shilpa Malik said about our EB-5 services:
As an attorney specializing in immigration law, I have witnessed the tremendous impact of the EB-5 investor visa on both individuals and the American economy. This visa program not only offers a unique opportunity for foreign investors to realize their American dream but also fuels economic growth and job creation in the United States. The EB-5 investor visa serves as a catalyst, attracting innovative entrepreneurs and capital infusion into various industries, ultimately fostering prosperity and development. It is a privilege to assist investors in navigating the complexities of the EB-5 program, empowering them to contribute to the fabric of our nation and build a brighter future for themselves and their families.
How Much Will An EB-5 Cost?
The EB-5 cost will depend on whether you go through consular processing or adjust your status. Here are the mandatory fees for each situation:
Adjustment of Status
- I-526 filing fee: $3,675
- I-485 fee: $750-$1,140. This fee will depend on your age. Take a look at the USCIS chart to see where you stand.
- Biometrics fee: $85 (if applicable)
- I-526 filing fee: $3,675
- DS-260 fee: $325
- Biometrics fee: $85 (if applicable)
- Affidavit of support fee: $120 (if applicable)
- Attorney fee: These fees vary widely. You can see our flat fee on our fees page.
- Traveling costs if you need to visit a U.S. consulate or embassy
There are a host of pitfalls that you could encounter when dealing with fee payment. From knowing which fees to pay to knowing where the fees need to be sent, it can be very easy to cause your petition to be rejected on account of a mistake in the fees. That’s why it is never recommended to go through the EB-5 process without an experienced immigration attorney’s help.
Of course, there is always the possibility of receiving an unfavorable decision for your EB-5 petition, especially if you plan on petitioning on your own. Getting an EB-5 rejection or denial is never good, but you are not without options.
Legal Motions – You might be able to file a motion to reopen your case if you have come across new evidence or documents that may change the decision if your case were to be opened again. Conversely, you can file a motion to reconsider if you think that the evaluating officer was incorrect in his or her decision. However, you will need to prove it from a legal standpoint, something that should only be attempted with the help of an attorney.
Appeals – You may also be able to appeal to a third party, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), for a second review of your case. However, keep in mind that the AAO is part of the USCIS, and they do not often overturn their officers’ decisions.
Why Do I Need an EB-5 Lawyer?
When something as significant as a million-dollar investment is on the line, you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Hiring an EB-5 lawyer can be the difference between success and failure. Your attorney will help you gather your documents, file your petition correctly, make all the right payments, and also address any unexpected issues such as an RFE.
VisaNation Law Group 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.
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Alternatives to EB-5 Green Card
- EB-1 Green Card: This is an employment-based immigration option for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
- EB-2 Green Card: This is an immigration option for people with exceptional ability or advanced degrees.
- EB-3 Green Card: This is an employment-based immigration option for skilled workers, professionals, and other workers who have at least two years of work experience or training.
- EB-4 Visa: This is an employment-based immigration option for special immigrants such as religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service posts, and other specified categories.
- EB-5: This is an investment-based immigration option for foreign nationals who invest a significant amount of capital in a U.S. business and create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
- H-1B Visa: This is a nonimmigrant employment-based visa for foreign workers in specialty occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
- L1: This is an employment-based visa for intracompany transferees who are executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge.
- TN Visa: This is a nonimmigrant employment-based visa for Canadian or Mexican citizens to work in the U.S. in certain professional occupations.
- O-1 Visa Lawyer: This is a nonimmigrant employment-based visa for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
- R-1 Religious Workers Visa: This is a nonimmigrant employment-based visa for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily to work in a religious capacity.
- E-3 Visa: This is a nonimmigrant employment-based visa for Australian citizens to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation.