For individuals and families looking to gain permanent residency in the United States of America, the EB5 visa – a fast-track residency by investment program – may be the best way to achieve this. Providing a speedy, secure route into the US, the visa allows people the opportunity to enjoy all the benefits of being a US permanent resident.

For general information, our helpful guide below will assist you in deciding to apply for US residency this way.

What Is The EB-5 Visa?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program, introduced by the US Congress in 1990,  provides a fast-track route for individuals and their families to become permanent residents of the USA (achieving a Green Card which gives the right to live, work and study permanently in the USA) by way of investment of at least $900,000. There are four tiers of EB-5 investments, some of which have a focus on developing opportunities for those in rural areas and areas of high unemployment.

Who Is Included in the EB-5 Visa?

Spouses and unmarried children up to the age of 21 can be included in the visa.

Does the EB-5 Visa Have The Same Pre-Entry Requirements as Other Immigration Visas to the USA?

Unlike requirements for other types of visa, the EB-5 has no specific requirements for the type of employment an individual has previously had, or for their standard of English or their previous education.  This considerably eases the process of gaining the Green Card.

Are There Any Medical Requirements?

The EB-5 Visa application requires the applicant to undergo a medical examination and possibly certain vaccinations in order to ensure that the applicant does not carry any communicable diseases into the USA.

How Quickly Is The Green Card Achieved?

The EB-5 Visa provides a faster route to residency than other US immigrant programs, with a conditional Green Card issued within 12 months of the application.

What Are The Benefits Of Having Permanent Residency In The USA?

Holders of the permanent residency Green Card have the right to live, work and study in the USA permanently, and can apply for citizenship after 5 years.  They can access public and private schools and colleges, including medical and law schools.  They are able to travel visa-free to over 170 countries including Canada and Mexico, providing the country being travelled to gives the same rights to Green Card holders as they do to those who hold full American citizenship.

Can I Gain Citizenship of the USA Through The EB-5 Program?

The EB-5 Visa enables investors and their families to gain permanent residency in the USA – the Green Card – allowing them to live, study and work there permanently. After 5 years, if they meet all the requirements, the person and the members of their family covered by the visa can then apply for citizenship in the USA.

What Types of Investments Are Available?

There are a variety of investments available and approved by the US Government under the EB-5 program.  Investments into US companies are available from $900,000 and investors have the right to release their investments in the future.  The investment term is a minimum of five years and there is a requirement to create ten full-time jobs within two years of the visa being granted.

The investment cannot be in a non-commercial organisation.  Commercial organisations permitted include:

•    Sole proprietorships
•    Limited and general partnerships
•    Holding companies
•    Joint ventures
•    Corporations
•    Business Trusts
•    Other public or privately owned entities.

The investment can be made using cash, equipment, inventory, or cash equivalents and tangible property.

The most common way of arranging the investment is through a Regional Centre approved by the Government and covering a particular jurisdiction. The centre has to comply with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) regulations.  Most of the Regional Centres are real estate developments with the capacity to create jobs through the EB-5 visa program.  The centre takes care of the running of the business on behalf of the investor, making it a popular and successful option.  Under the terms of the EB-5 visa the money invested remains “at risk” during the term of the investment, though does have the potential to realise a return.

How Can I Get Help To Apply For an EB-5 Visa?

Astons has many years of experience in guiding clients through the multi-step process of gaining residency and citizenship in the USA. We are on hand to help you through the entire process and ensure a successful outcome. For expert advice, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable team of experts here for an initial consultation.