EB5 Visa Permanent Resident Status Guide

How To Attain The Permanent Resident Status Through Investment Based Visas

Basics Of EB-5 Visa

An EB-5 visa is a golden chance for foreigners who are seeking a legal way to spend their lives in the US as an investor. Not only that but your spouse and unwed children below the age of 21 can also get settled with you legally with a green card, provided you can fulfill the conditions for this visa.

3 different categories of expenses to bear

The EB-5 visa is business-oriented and requires you to pay a sum of fees for the process to begin with. Before you initiate the process, here are some of these major costs that you will need to pay-

  • Cost of Direct investments
  • Fee required to pay for Of-the-shelf direct investments
  • Regional center fee

Adding to that, you will have to pay the immigration fee after filing the I-526 petition, relocation fee, medical examination fee, taxes, etc. The smallest of the mistake can compromise your green card allotment; therefore you are advised to hire an expert and make precise calculations about your investments to navigate your way to visa. An attorney is well versed with the process and knows the complexities of the procedure, thus, stopping you from making any mistakes that might compromise your investments.

How EB-5 Visa Elevate The American Economy Through Jobs?

EB-5 visa aims to create the job and uplift the economy. After investments in a project, it is essential to create at least ten or more full-time job opportunities for American citizens. Hereby adding some details about the type of jobs that should be created to fulfill the visa requirements-

1. Direct jobs- The direct job is an identifiable position for US employees offering full-time employment of over at least 35 hours every week. An alternative to this is job sharing, where qualified employees can share the job among themselves. Part-time job options, even if the working hours are put together, can not be considered full-time employment.

2. Indirect jobs- Indirect jobs are created in the business and enterprises associated with EB-5 regional centers. These are counted as employment only if the investments are made through EB-5 regional centers. The jobs here provide services through the EB-5 project in question.

3. Induced jobs- These jobs are created in the EB-5 community location. The increase in spending of workers is considered as an aspect of the creation of jobs. 

Criteria Of Jobs You Need To Create As An Investor

Here is the section that explains the type of jobs your project must create for your visa to be allotted. The section is as follows-

Full-Time Positions for Qualifying Employees

The investment into a new commercial enterprise must create full-time positions for not fewer than 10 qualifying employees. An employee is defined as a person who provides services or labor for the new commercial enterprise and receives wages or other remuneration directly from the new commercial enterprise. In the case of the Regional Center Program, an employee also means a person who provides services or labor in a job that has been created indirectly through investment in the new commercial enterprise. 

The crucial language is in the last paragraph, in this subsection: “Jobs that are intermittent, temporary, seasonal or transient do not qualify as permanent full-time jobs. However, jobs expected to last at least two years are generally not considered  intermittent, temporary, seasonal or transient.”

Type Of Investments Required In US projects

1) Criteria Of Investing In A New Project

  • The investments should be more than the US $1 million (or at least $500,000 if in a designated targeted employment area with having an unemployment rate of 150% of the national average*). 
  • It must benefit the economy and create 10 or more jobs directly or indirectly for US workers. 
  • The investment does not need to be in cash, and it may include equipment, stocks, cash equivalent, or assets secured by the investors. 
  • The investor should also be involved in a management capacity or as a limited partner in the firm. 

2) Criteria Of Investing In An Old Project

  • A firm with over 2 years of existence and having experienced at least 20 % enterprise value loss during the 12 to 24 month period of time before the due date on the EB-5 applicant’s I-526 petition. 
  • The investment must maintain as many jobs as were present earlier. 
  • An applicant will have to invest or be in the process of investing $1,000,000 or at least $500k if the investment is in a designated “Targeted Employment Area.”
  • The investor can be a limited partner or involved in day-to-day activities.

How Long Does It Take To Get Your Visa?

There are several categories in which you will have to wait from 10 to 25 years to get your visa. The time can not be predicted and varies depending upon the individual case. Other factors like any mistake in filing the petition, medical examination, employer audits, etc., might also affect your waiting time. Sometimes additional check and processing time is required by the authorities before the visa is granted to you.

The Benefit Of An EB-5 Visa As An Investor

You can either invest through the regional center as a partner or buy a new property to start your business, or invest in an old project. 

As a regional center partner, you will be considered a partner in the project, and the profit will be shared with you. Here regional center employees do all the hard work and research necessary for the project. Some typical projects of regional centers included senior living facilities, shopping centers, restaurants, etc.

Similarly, when you invest in US property on your own, you can reap the profits and direct them. However, you and your partners will do the research about the project on your own. In the end, you will need to show the documents to the authorities displaying how your business is fulfilling the criteria for visa eligibility.

How to get your Green Card? 

A green card is a legal document that can get you permanent residency in the US, where you also get employment benefits. You can get it through various categories, but it is a lengthy and expensive process for which you will need to file the petition through different forms.

There are different categories of the Green card as follows-

  • Family-based green card
  • Employment-based green card
  • Long time resident green card
  • Diversity lottery green card
  • Humanitarian green card
  • Other green cards

Depending upon the category, the application fee differs. However, it is always going to be expensive. Therefore you must get your application form right the first time 

What Is The Difference Between A Permanent Resident And A Citizen?

Citizenship

There are 3 ways to gain US citizenship, including-

  • through birth to US parents 
  • by naturalization process
  • through  US citizen parent as per the abiding law at that time

A US citizen will receive his US passport and avail several benefits that are solely applicable for US citizens only. They can even file a petition for their loved ones to arrive there. Their citizenship can not be revoked. 

Permanent resident

A lawful citizen can live in the US for an indefinite time, from which he is allotted a green card to prove his status. These Citizens can also file the petition to get their spouse and priority family members to live with them. As a permanent citizen, you must carry your country’s green card and passport to travel outside the US, while a Green card will allow you to re-enter America. In addition to this, some limitations are imposed on this conditionally granted citizenship. Also, lawful permanent residents can be deported to their country when found violating the laws. 

How To Convert Your E2 Visa To A Green Card?

An E2 visa is an excellent option for investors and entrepreneurs to live and work in the US. However, it is a non-immigrant visa, and therefore, it is valid for a certain period only. 

It means it does not directly lead to your green card. Therefore, the first step will be to convert your non-immigrant visa to the immigrant visa category. Here are 5 ways to do so

  1. EB-5 visa- Invest a minimum amount in the US economy directly or through regional centers. It is the most straightforward approach as both the visas are investment-oriented. It is one of the most straightforward approaches for getting an immigrant visa.
  2. Company-sponsored green card- Have your company sponsor your green card. Also, your spouse will get the work authorization as a result of this. For this to work, an employer must get an approved Labor Certification through the Department of Labor. It would help if you get approved for either EB-2 or EB-3 visa, and you can either adjust your status or get a visa abroad.
  3. EB1A visa if you have an extraordinary ability-  People with extraordinary ability in science, arts, and athletics, etc., are eligible for this visa. You need to prove that the US will benefit from your entry, you have the extraordinary ability, and you will work in the US in your field of extraordinary ability. You can apply for this visa on your own without any job offer or company sponsorships.
  4. National interest waiver- This category is applicable for those having an advanced degree and persons with extraordinary abilities. It is a waiver of the requirement you need to help you get an approved labor certification from a US employer. You can apply for this visa through company sponsorship or even without a job offer.
  5. Marriage-based green card- A bona-fide legitimate marriage to an American citizen is another way by which you can collect your green card.

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