Choosing a Regional Center and an investment project (or registering your own company), depositing $900,000, preparing and filing an I-526 petition.
Approval of a petition for conditional registration of a residence permit for a period of 2 years. Upon approval of the petition, the investor and his family receive a conditional Green Card and the opportunity to legally reside in the United States.
Upon successful verification of documents, the immigration lawyer files the I-829 petition.
After the petition is approved, the investor and his family members receive a Green Card on an ongoing basis. Return of invested funds 900 thousand dollars.
Obtaining US citizenship (if desired by the client).
Required documents and process
EB-5 is a visa issued by the US to foreign investors in 2022. To obtain it, investment activity must meet a number of requirements:
1. A visa can be issued to a businessman who is setting up a new business, buying an existing business, or investing in a Regional Center. At the same time, the minimum amount of invested funds cannot be less than 900 thousand dollars.
2. Development of an existing business, the growth of which must be at least 140%. In this case, a proportional increase in the number of new jobs is assumed.
3. The investor provides funds as an investment in an operating business that has lost a fifth of its equity capital over the past few years.
1. The first step in completing this document is to file Form I-526 with the USCIS. It will take about 2-3 months to collect all the necessary documents for filing a petition and select a project for investment.
2. If Form I-526 has been approved, the investor must proceed to the next step, which includes filing:
- Form I-485 to the United States Immigration Service (represents an application for permanent residence or change of status), which allows you to become a Conditional Permanent Resident of the United States;
- Forms DS-230 (DS-260) to the US Department of State. It is necessary for the implementation of registration actions in relation to an immigrant and the issuance of an EB-5 visa, which gives the right to enter the United States.
The Immigration Service considers these petitions and appeals from 8 months to one and a half years. It is difficult to determine a more precise date. The speed of processing applications at the Immigration Service depends on the specific priorities that the government of the country sets. Once the Form I-485 has been green-lit or has entered the United States on an EB-5 visa, the investor, their spouse, and children under the age of 21 and unmarried children will be issued a Green – a card valid for two years.
In order to remove the conditionality adjustment for permanent resident status, the investor must file an I-829 petition, which is a petition to remove the conditionality from the permanent resident status. This application must be submitted three months prior to the expiration of the two-year period of conditional permanent resident status. Form I-829 must contain information about the successful completion of an investment project or the achievement of impressive progress, which has made it possible to provide new jobs to US residents.
If the arguments reflected in the documents meet the requirements, then the Immigration Service makes a positive decision on the submitted petition. In this case, the investor and his family are entitled to permanently reside, receive education and work in the United States.
Popular questions and answers
1. Implementation of the EB-5 program with the participation of the Regional Center
It is possible to place funds through the Regional Center, which is regulated by the United States Immigration Service. The concept of “Regional Center” includes joint-stock economic institutions or corporations that have a beneficial effect on the country’s economy, create additional jobs in it, improve productivity levels and increase the volume of attracted capital.
The main advantage of investments through the Regional Center is the fact that new jobs created directly or indirectly are taken into account. Directly generated jobs refer to open vacancies in a specific commercial organization in which the investor has invested. Vacancies created indirectly or indirectly in the process of financial contribution, or resulting from the placement of capital in enterprises operating in conjunction with the Regional Center, are considered to be indirect. They will only be taken into account if the investment process went through the Regional Center. The indisputable advantage of this type of investment is that the investor does not have to take over the management of the business on an ongoing basis.
Given the fact that Regional Centers often operate in areas where unemployment is very high, investors can count on a minimum investment threshold of $900,000. Having chosen this investment strategy, it is necessary to familiarize yourself in detail with the list of Regional Centers licensed in the United States.
To obtain a Green Card in 2022, an immigrant will need to incur additional costs, in addition to those funds that will be directed directly to investment. It is difficult to give an exact amount. For each, this figure will be individual. The amount of additional costs depends on a combination of various factors.
List of main items of expenditure for obtaining a Green Card on Form EB-5:
1. The minimum amount of investment capital. As noted earlier, if the Regional Center (RC) is located in an administrative unit with a high unemployment rate, then you can count on the fact that the investment amount will be equal to – 900 thousand dollars. In some cases, these funds may be frozen in an American Bank escrow account and transferred to the Regional Center upon approval of the Form I-526 application.
2. Administrative fee – these are the funds that must be paid for participation in the RC project.
3. The cost of legal services. The process of obtaining a Green Card under this program is quite long and complicated, which forces investors to resort to the services of lawyers. Their cost usually ranges from 10 to 20 thousand dollars.
4. State duty. For each Form I-526, you must pay a fixed fee to the Immigration Service. In addition, you will also need to pay a fee for Form I-485 for each family member.
5. Payment for the transfer. The Service accepts documents translated into English for consideration. Without fail, they must be certified by a translator. The work of a translator on average costs from 20 to 50 dollars per page of a document.
6. Small running costs.
Fixing the fact of investment
Obtaining an EB-5 visa is mandatory accompanied by the provision of evidence confirming the fact of investment:
1. To confirm the creation of a new commercial project, copies of the founding documentation and declaration for tax services are provided.
2. Confirmation of the fact of investing the established amount of funds.
3. Evidence of investment participation in relation to a new commercial enterprise or DC, which lasted for two years of stay in the country as a conditional resident. To comply with this paragraph, it is required to provide: invoices, payment documents, contracts, licenses giving the right to carry out commercial activities, documents reflecting the results of an audit, tax returns.
4. Fixing the number of staff positions at the time of the creation of the business and at the current time. This information is displayed in:
- tax documents.
2. Investor’s Family Members Eligible to Residency in the United States
The spouse of the investor and his children who have not reached the age of 21 and are not married apply for obtaining the status of a conditional resident and permission to enter the country. After receiving a positive decision on the I-829 petition to remove conditional status, it is removed from all family members. After a businessman has received the status of a conditional permanent resident of the United States, his wife (husband) and children receive permission to work and study in the United States.
3. Can I do without a lawyer to get a visa?
No. You can’t do without legal support from a lawyer specializing in immigration matters in the process of participating in the EB-5 program. Preparation and collection of documents is a painstaking and scrupulous process, the slightest flaw or mistake will lead to a refusal. You and your family members will not get permission to reside in the United States, and in addition, waste time and money. The Regional Center will be forced to start looking for a new investor. Therefore, representatives of these organizations recommend that experienced lawyers who have previously worked with the EB-5 program be involved in the preparation of documents. Sometimes Regional Centers insist on additional verification of all documentation by their lawyers.
4. Probability of approval of the application for a residence permit
Statistics tell us that the USCIS gives a positive response to the I-526 request in 90% of cases, this figure is slightly lower for applications for the removal of conditional status, here this figure is 85%.
5. List of laws governing the implementation of the program
You can get acquainted with the legislative framework that governs the operation of this program on the website of the US Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). More information can be found at www.uscis.gov.
6. How long do I need to stay in the United States with a visa?
After the issuance of this visa, the investor must cross the US border within six months. In the US, he must open a bank account, get a driver’s license, an insurance number and find housing. A businessman reserves the right to stay and work outside the United States. However, it is worth remembering that every 180 days he must return to America. Otherwise, the received residence permit will be cancelled.
7. Residents of which countries can obtain an investor visa?
8. The concept of “conditional residence permit” and its change to a permanent basis
Between filing a petition on Form I-526 and passing an interview within the walls of the US Embassy, it usually takes at least a year and a half. Most of this time is devoted to the actual consideration of the petition.
A conditional residence permit (in English it sounds like a Conditional Green Card) is a permit that gives the right to live in the United States. The term of this permit is strictly regulated and is two years.
If the investment activity is carried out taking into account all the requirements, and the work of a new commercial enterprise or DC will bring a positive result (at least 10 jobs will be created for each investor), the conditional residence permit will be replaced with a permanent one. A permanent residence permit is valid for 10 years. The application for removal of conditional status must be submitted 90 days before the expiration of the conditional residence permit.
In the event that the conditional status is not removed after a two-year period, then the conditional residence permit will be considered terminated. Therefore, the choice of an investment project should be made carefully. To increase the chances of a successful outcome, it is worth using the services of a competent immigration lawyer. A thorough study of all steps and risks will allow you to get the desired result.