A Green Card or Permanent Residency gives the holder the right to live and work anywhere in the US. There are many visa categories. Some allow you to apply for a green card after you have been in the USA for a specific period but most do not. The EB5 visa is unusual in that it provides you with a green card at the outset. When you emigrate, you do so knowing that you and your immediate family have Permanent Residency. You may apply for citizenship after five years.
Work or retire, the choice is yours.
The current legislation enables EB5 Regional Center investors to retire to the USA and provides families (parents and children under 21) with immigration security, eliminating the need and worry of reapplying periodically, as with most other visa categories. Permanent Residence ensures that your children may go to school and apply to universities with the same rights and at the same cost as US citizens.
It provides the flexibility to live anywhere, take any job, own and operate any business and to change employment without restrictions.
The EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program, which was re-introduced in 2003 for a period of five years, has had numerous extensions. The current extension will terminate at the end of September 2015. Over the last few years the program has gained popularity and, with enthusiastic bipartisan support in Congress, we are confident of the program’s continuation. If there is any change of status of the Program, we will keep you informed via our EB-5 News page.
EB-5 Visa – ‘The Investment Green Card’
The USCIS (the US Citizenship and Immigration Service) refers to this category as an Investment Green Card since it is based on making a substantial financial commitment to create additional employment in the US.
The EB5 Visa, based on a qualifying US investment, apporoves you for a green card before you emigrate. It does not require you to manage the day-to-day affairs of a business; you may invest in an existing or a new business; more than one person may invest and you may be a minority owner.
With a Green Card, you may live anywhere in the US, no matter where the investment is made, and are free to do whatever you wish, be it work, run a business or retire.
You may qualify for an EB-5 visa in three different ways:
- Invest $1,000,000 into a trading company and hire ten US employees anywhere in the USA, or
- Invest $500,000 and hire ten employees in an area where the unemployment rate exceeds the national average by 150% or the rural population is less than 20,000, or
- Invest in a Government designated EB5 Regional Center and avoid direct employment. The investment sum is usually $500,000, but in some cases it is $1 million. A Regional Center is allowed to rely on ‘indirect’ employment, rather than direct employment.
American Life uses an economist to quantify sufficient indirect employment before making its properties available to EB5 applicants. It also has its EB-5 Regional Centers certified as a high unemployment areas, which keeps the minimum required capital to $500,000.
Funds may come from any legal foreign or US source; including gifts, loans, executive pension funds, trusts and divorce settlements. Whoever receives the visa must make the investment. Borrowed investment funds qualify as long as they are not secured by the assets of the target US investment.
The visa requirements are summarized at the USCIS web site (www.uscis.gov) as the Fifth Preference under Permanent Workers. These pages will open in separate windows. Please see our FAQ page for further explanation of the EB5 process.