Investor Visa

How To Begin Your EB-5 Program Right

Understanding all the benefits of your EB-5 visa or investor visa program is just one step toward becoming a permanent resident of the United States. The goal is for the EB-5 investor, along with their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, to become permanent U.S. residents.

Investor Visa

First, the EB-5 visa or investor visa applicant needs to meet the investment requirements. This should happen before you determine the type of business to invest in.

Your business must create a minimum of 10 new jobs. Investors starting with $500,000 in capital must invest in designated low employment communities. Those investing the full $1,000,000 can select any U.S. location they desire.

Often the investment funds are placed into an escrow account to allow an immigration attorney to file an I-526 Petition. This is a proof of investment form filed with the USCIS. An important part of the initial process, this can take from 12 to 18 months.

Upon I-526 approval to the EB-5 Investor Visa Program

The applicant will become two-year “conditional” U.S. resident after approval of the I-526 petition. This is for the purpose of implementing the funded project. The EB-5 visa or investor visa applicant at this stage in the process becomes US citizen by filing another form.

Whether or not the EB-5 investor has a lawful status within the U.S. determines which form is needed. If you have lawful status in the United States after approval, Form I-485 is necessary to adopt the status to what is referred to as a “conditional permanent citizen.”

An image of the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport from outside looking down the steel and glass canopy

However, an investor not having lawful status in the U.S. needs to submit for DS-230 for an immigrant visa. This can be achieved

through either the U.S. consulate or the home nation embassy.

Either way, an immigrant visa is generally issued within a six to twelve month period. During the two-year conditional residency, the applicant shouldn’t stay outside of the United States for more than one year.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for your two-year or “conditional residency” period in order to continue your EB-5 or investor visa program at its final level.

An I-829 petition can be presented to USCIS as shortly as 90 days before what would be the two-year anniversary date of this residency. The petition is to provide evidence that all conditions of the EB-5 visa program have been met by the investor.

USCIS can issue a permanent green card within six to eight months after the accomodation of I-829. Enabling investors, spouses and unmarried children under 21 to relocate into the country after three more years.