B-5 Immigrant Investor Process (EB-5 Visa)
The EB-5 visa is a swift way to obtain a green card for you and your immediate family members. It doesn’t require certain education, experience, or anything else other than obtaining the legal age to enter into a legal transaction, proof of source of income, and lack of any inadmissibility issues such as certain diseases, previous illegal stay in the U.S., crimes, etc.
Once an alien entrepreneur is approved upon applying for Form I-526 petition, they can adjust their legal status with USCIS, which grants them permanent residence for a 2-year period. After that, the investor should file Form I-829 three months prior to the 2-year approval expiration date to grant them permanent status for themselves and their families. The investor must provide documents that prove they invested in a new commercial business and invested an amount of $500,000 or one million dollars based on the geographical area and that the new commercial business will create at least 10 full-time direct jobs for the $1 million or 10 indirect jobs for the $500,000 investment.
Proving Source of Income for EB-5 Visa Applicants
The investor must prove their source of income. This can be a challenging task for many investors, especially since immigration denials often result from the investor’s inability to prove their source of income.
The source of income can be proved in different ways. For example, a professional such as a doctor can show their previous deposits during a long period of time, which accumulated to the requested amount of investment. An inheritance can be another way of showing the source of income. A gift from siblings or parents can also be proven by showing the source of income from the grantor or the person giving the gift. The same applies to business owners who can prove their source of income by linking both the personal and business account together. In other words, the business owner must show or prove that the money in their personal bank account was a direct result of their business operations.
Children Less Than 21 Years of Age
Usually, the beneficiary of the EB-5 petition (the investor) can sponsor or apply for their immediate family members, such as a spouse and children. The children must be less than 21 years of age at the time the I-526 (the initial temporary green card application) was filed. The children may be protected in some cases even if the child reaches 21 while the petition is still pending with the USCIS.
EB-5 Regional Center
A new program for investors, called the Investor Pilot Program, utilizes a regional center, which is an economic unit enhancing growth and job creation. The organizers must prove their impact on the local or national economy. Two forms, I-924 and I-924A, are used for an investor to apply, which could take up to 10 months for approval.
The regional center can be terminated by the USCIS if it is not found feasible or fraud has been detected, and there is no guarantee by the government to change the investor’s legal status.
Immigrant Investor Regional Centers
A list of regional centers is available, listed by state alphabetically. The approval of an EB-5 regional center application by the USCIS doesn’t necessarily mean endorsement and doesn’t minimize risk to the investor.
Questions and Answers: EB-5 Economic Methodologies
USCIS provides clarification to two main questions:
- For projects that involve hotel development, the investor should provide proof that the development has resulted in an increase in visitor spending and thus resulted in raising employment in the area.
- A regional center may use funds provided by the EB-5 investor to purchase real estate, which could result in an increase in employment.