Each year, up to 10,000 visas be authorized to aliens (and their spouses and children) for eligible entrepreneurs. If you have the right combination of skills, education, and/or work experience and are otherwise eligible, you may be able to live permanently in the United States. There are five (5) employment-based immigrant visa preferences/categories, some of which require a prior labor certification, but the fifth preference, EB-5 visa, is the topic of this article.
The fifth preference was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the United States economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors and is reserved for business investors who invest $ 1 million or $500,000 (if the investment is made in a “targeted employment area”) in a “new commercial enterprise” that employs at least (ten) 10 full-time U.S. workers. The fifth preference does not require a labor certification.
The EB-5 visa is a 3-step process consisting of [Form I-526], Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, [Form I-485], Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and [Form I-829], Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Form I-526 is the first form that should be filed. After approval, one still must adjust status through Form I-485 if in the U.S., or through consular processing if outside the U.S. All forms should be accompanied by the required documentation and evidence to prove the above criteria.
Upon approval of the Form I-485 or admission based on an EB-5 visa, the investor and his or her derivative (children who must be unmarried and under the age of 21) family members are granted a two-year conditional permanent resident status and must petition to remove the conditions ninety (90) days prior to the two-year period by filing Form I-829. Once the conditions have been removed, a green card is granted for indefinite permanent resident status in the U.S. After 5 years of permanent residency (including the 2 conditional years), an EB-5 investor may apply for U.S. citizenship.
If you have additional questions or would like to begin this process, please contact our office for a consultation with our highly-experienced immigration attorney.
For more information, please visit the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fifth-preference-eb-5/eb-5-immigrant-investor.