EB-5 Immigrant Investor Process
The EB-5 visa is a fast way to obtain a green card for you and your immediate family members. It does not require specific education or experience, other than reaching the legal age to enter into a legal transaction, proof of source of income, and absence of inadmissibility issues such as certain diseases, previous illegal stay in the U.S., or criminal records.
- An alien entrepreneur, once approved after applying for Form I-526 petition, 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 proving that they invested in a new commercial business and invested an amount of $500,000 or $1 million based on the geographical area, and that the new commercial business will create at least 10 full-time direct jobs for the $1 million investment or 10 indirect jobs for the $500,000 investment.
Proving Source of Income
The investor must prove their source of income. This can be challenging for many investors. Sources of income can be proven in different ways, such as:
- Showing deposits from professional work over a long period.
- Gifts from siblings or parents, with proof of the grantor’s source of income.
- Business owners linking personal and business accounts, showing that the money in the personal account is a direct result of business operations.
Children under 21 years of age
The investor can sponsor or apply for their immediate family members, such as spouse and children. The children must be under 21 years of age when the I-526 (initial temporary green card application) was filed. The children may be protected in some cases even if they reach 21 while the petition is still pending with USCIS.
EB-5 Regional Center
The Investor Pilot Program uses a regional center, an economic unit enhancing growth and job creation, whose organizers must prove their impact on the local or national economy. Forms I-924 or I-924A are used for investors to apply, which could take up to 10 months for approval.
The regional center can be terminated by USCIS if not found feasible or if fraud is detected. 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. USCIS approval of an EB-5 regional center application does not necessarily mean endorsement and does not minimize risk to the investor.
Questions and Answers: EB-5 Economic Methodologies
USCIS provides clarification to 2 main questions:
- For hotel development projects, the investor should provide proof that the development has resulted in increased visitor spending and consequently increased employment in the area.
- A regional center may use funds provided by an EB-5 investor to purchase real estate, which could result in increased employment.