EB5 Visa for Large Investors
EB5 Visa – $500,000 Investment
The EB5 Visa is an investor visa issued by the United States. The EB5 Visa requires a minimum investment of $500,000 USD and the creation of 10 new jobs in the United States. In exchange for making the EB5 investment and creating the required jobs, investors obtain a Green Card, which means Legal Permanent Residency status. A Green Card will give the investor and immediate family permission to live, work and go to school in the US on a permanent basis. The EB-5 is one of the most efficient ways for investors to get a Green Card.
If you wish to speak directly to one of our immigration lawyers about the EB5 investor visa, call our office to schedule a consultation.
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San Antonio EB5 Visa Attorney
The main benefits of the EB-5 are:
1. Green Card via EB5 Investment
Investors who meet the EB-5 requirements obtain a Green Card for themselves and for their immediate family. Your immediate family includes your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21.
2. Live in the USA
Once approved, you and your immediate family will be able to legally live in the USA.
3. Work in the USA
The EB-5 Visa allows you and your immediate family to work legally in the USA.
4. Public Education
Your children will have access to schools in the USA from Pre-K to high school.
For children that have graduated high school, the EB-5 Visa will allow them to attend universities in the US without a Student Visa.
6. Social Security Number
The EB-5 allows you and your immediate family to get Social Security Numbers.
7. Driver’s License
You and your immediate family will be eligible to get Drivers Licenses.
8. Eligibility to Apply for Citizenship
After 5 years of having your Green Card, you and your spouse may apply for US Citizenship. Children may apply for US Citizenship after 5 years of having a Green Card and reaching the age of 18.
There are 3 general requirements that must be met to qualify for the EB5 Visa.
1. EB5 Investment
The EB5 requires that you invest a minimum of $500,000 USD in the USA. There are two ways to make this investment: in your own business and in an investment fund known as an EB5 Regional Center. In your own business, you invest and you manage the business day to day. On the other hand, in an EB5 Regional Center you invest and the Regional Center manages your investment day to day. About 90% of all EB5 Visa applicants make their investment in an EB5 Regional Center. (For more information on EB5 Regional Centers, see question #3 below in Frequently Asked Questions.)
2. Create 10 Jobs
Your investment must create a minimum of 10 new full-time jobs for US workers.
3. Legal Source of Funds
The money invested for the EB5 must come from a legal source that can be documented.
The EB5 Visa process is a three-step application process.
Step 1 – i-526, a Pre-Approval
The first step is to get the investor pre-approved for the EB5 Green Card. This pre-approval is known as the i-526 application. So, the first thing our immigration attorney does is to prepare your i-536 application.
The purpose of Step 1 (i-526) is to explain to the US Government the following:
• Who you are (the investor);
• What you will be investing in; and
• That the money you will invest comes from a lawful source.
Once the US Government approves Step 1, then the immigration attorney begins Step 2.
Step 2 – Apply for Green Card with 2-year Duration
Step 2 is where the immigration lawyer submits the application for the Green Card that lasts 2-years. Upon approval of Step 2, the investor and immediate family will obtain a Green Card with a 2-year duration. During these 2 years, the Green Card allows the investor and immediate family to live, work and go to school in the US. Also during the 2-years, the investor has the time needed to create the required 10 jobs. A few months before this 2-year Green Card expires, our immigration attorney begins working on Step 3.
Step 3 – Apply for Green Card with Permanent Duration
Step 3 is an application for a Green Card with a permanent duration (for life). To get this permanent Green Card, the EB5 investor must show that you:
• Invested the required amount of money, and
• Created the required 10 jobs.
Step 3 comes to an end when USCIS (the US Government) determines that the investment was made and the jobs were successfully created. When this happens, the investor and immediate family are issued Green Cards with a permanent duration. This permanent duration means that the Green Card holder may live in the US for the rest of his/her life.
The EB5 gets you two Green Cards, first a 2-year Green Card and later a permanent one. After the approval of Step 2, you get the 2-year Green Card, which has a 2-year duration. Then, after the approval of Step 3, you get a Green Card with a permanent duration, which lasts for the rest of your life.
The 2-year Green Card needs to be renewed a few months before it expires. The Green Card status with a permanent duration does not expire because it is for life.
1. What is the EB5 Visa?
The EB5 Visa is an investor visa for people who invest at least $500,000 USD and create 10 new jobs in the United States. Simply stated, people who invest $500K and create the 10 jobs get a Green Card. A Green Card will give the investor and immediate family permission to live, work and go to school in the US on a permanent basis.
2. What is an EB5 Green Card?
Investors who meet the EB5 requirements get a Green Card. This Green Card is often referred to as the ‘EB5 Visa’ and as the ‘EB5 Green Card’. This EB5 Green Card is a standard, regular Green Card, which happened to be obtained via an EB5 investment. But ‘EB5 Green Card’ means the same thing as ‘Green Card’.
3. What is an EB5 Regional Center?
An EB5 Regional Center is a company that manages investments for foreign nationals applying for the EB5. Regional Centers offer investment opportunities that the Regional Center expects will create 10 jobs. The investor then gets credit for the jobs created by the Regional Center with the investor’s money. In other words, an EB5 Regional Center is an investment fund that manages investments for foreign investors seeking a Green Card via the EB5 investor visa program.
The major advantage of investing in a Regional Center instead of investing in your own business is related to how job creation is calculated. The EB5 rules make it clear that if you invest in your own business, you only get credit for jobs you create directly on your business’ payroll. Meanwhile Regional Centers get credit for jobs created directly on the payroll, as well as jobs created outside the payroll, including outsourcing and independent contractors. Therefore, because of the way job creation is counted, it is cheaper for a Regional Center to create the required 10 jobs, than it is in your own business. More than 90% of all EB5 applicants invest in a Regional Center.
4. How many EB5 Regional Centers exist?
As of mid 2017, there are almost 1,300 Regional Centers in the US. Thus, investors have over 1,300 choices to pick from when making an EB5 investment.
5. How do I pick an EB5 Regional Center to invest in?
When you work with our immigration lawyers, we will provide you with a list of every EB5 Regional Center so that you may become familiar with all the Regional Center investment opportunities available. Furthermore, we can help you get connected with people whose job it is to advice EB5 investors on choosing a Regional Center.
6. Can I be in the US on another visa while I wait for my EB5 application to be processed?
Yes, many of our clients stay in the US on a student, work or investor visa, while their EB5 application is pending. If you would like to be in the US while your EB5 investor visa application is being processed, our immigration lawyer recommends that you begin the EB5 application and the application for the other visa at the same time.
7. Do I lose my permanent Green Card if I stop investing?
Once you have obtained the Green Card with permanent duration (Step 3 is approved), you are able to withdraw your EB-5 investment without fear of losing your Green Card.
8. What is an EB5 Targeted Employment Area?
The US Government issues the EB5 visa with the goal of having foreign investors help create jobs for American workers. Some geographic parts of the US need more help creating jobs than others. Therefore, the US Government is willing to discount the required investment in half, from $1,000,000 USD to $500,000 USD if you invest in a rural area or in a geographic area where job creation is most needed. These geographic areas are called Targeted Employment Areas (TEA). A TEA is defined as a geographic area experiencing an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national unemployment rate.
The vast majority of Regional Centers invest in areas designated as TEAs so that investors may qualify for the EB5 with a $500,000 USD investment, instead of a $1 Million-dollar investment.
For more Information Contact our San Antonio EB-5 Immigration Lawyer
If you would like to set up a consultation with an immigration lawyer to discuss the time, costs and other requirements associated with the EB-5 Visa application, please call (210) 858-9681.