EB-5 Visa Process
Applying for an EB5 US visa involves several stages, each of which investors need to complete before proceeding to the next.
By the end of the final step of the EB5 immigration process, applicants become permanent residents of the USA.
Here Astons explains each of the steps, in turn, to explain how to get EB5 Green Card status from start to finish.
Selecting an EB Five Investment Project
The first step to applying for an EB5 is to select a project and verify with an experienced immigration adviser, such as the Astons' team, that it matches the eligibility requirements.
One aspect is to ensure you comply with the conditions of the EB 5 immigrant investor process - and the other is that your investment produces sufficient returns.
EB 5 Visa Process - Investment Minimums
Investments must be of at least $1 million to qualify, although if the contribution is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), that threshold drops to $500,000.
TEAs can include projects in rural areas or sectors with high unemployment.
EB5 Green Card Process - Job Creation
Next, you'll need to ensure your investment creates ten full-time jobs - this is a crucial part of qualifying for an EB 5 Visa.
Many investors opt to contribute through the Regional Centre programme since the job creation conditions are more flexible. In this way, you can include indirect and induced jobs to count towards your application.
Choosing an EB Five Investment With Viable Returns
With multiple investment options, it's also vital to ensure that your contribution is in a project where you have a reasonable chance of recouping your funds or receiving an acceptable level of returns.
In the past, many EB5 investments produced modest returns, but there are several opportunities to invest in exciting projects that could be financially beneficial and qualify for permanent residency.
EB5 Immigration Process: Making an Investment and Filing a Petition
When you have decided on your investment, the next step is to file an EB5 petition through an I-526 form. The paperwork should be submitted to USCIS, proving that you are investing at least the threshold and meet all requirements.
How to Get EB5 Green Card - Filing Requirements
Visa petitions must include several pieces of evidence, such as:
- Confirmation of how the investment funds originated and their lawful ownership.
- A credible business plan that passes a USCIS inspection.
- Verification that invested funds have been contributed to a qualifying enterprise.
- Proof that your plans include creating ten full-time US jobs.
- Evidence that your capital is at risk until the end of your conditional residency.
- Documents to show that the invested funds meet the minimum threshold.
EB5 Immigrant Investor Process - Conditional Permanent Residency
When your I-526 petition is approved, the third step in the process is to acquire conditional permanent residency.
There are two options:
- File form I-485 if you live in the US, which requests a status adjustment.
- Submit form DS-260 if you live overseas, with the appropriate US Consulate or Embassy.
Approval of either document will result in a two-year conditional residency being granted.
Filing an I-485 Form as Part of the EB 5 Visa Process
These two forms are essential because they change your status from non-immigrant to permanent, albeit with conditions attached.
You can file the petition as soon as your I-526 is approved, filling in the six-page document and paying the filing fee ($1,140 plus an $85 biometric charge).
We recommend contacting Astons if you are completing an I-485 form to ensure this is legally valid and correct.
The Final EB5 Green Card Process - Removing Conditions
After two years, you can submit your I-829 application to remove all your permanent US residency conditions.
Again, professional support is recommended since you must provide supporting documents to prove you meet all EB5 requirements.
As the final step in your permanent residency journey, your I-829 application must include:
- Evidence of your business creation through federal tax returns.
- Documentations showing that the new company received your investment.
- Paperwork proving that you maintained the asset for the last two years.
- Proof of ten full-time jobs having been created, with payroll and tax records.
- Biometric information and legal documents, as well as your conditional permanent residency card.
Note that any incorrect submissions or errors in your paperwork can result in severe consequences, with your petition rejected and endangering your right to live in the US.
Please get in touch with Astons at any stage - whether deciding on an investment project or coming up to filing your final I-829 form.
Our trusted advisers have decades supporting visa applicants and will ensure everything runs smoothly.