I. What is the EB-5 Visa?
The EB-5 visa (Employment-Based fifth preference category) provides a way for eligible foreign investors to become lawful permanent residents by means of investing in a U.S. business and eventually, acquire U.S. citizenship.
Investors can invest in a targeted employment area (TEA) which is a rural area or an area that has high unemployment, doing so will reduce the investment threshold to $500,000.
The applicants can choose to invest individually or they can work with a bigger pool of investors from a Regional Center, which are approved as third-party intermediaries that bring together the foreign investors with the developers, and take a commission.
Investors can also bring their spouse and unmarried children under 21 to the U.S.
Foreigners must invest anywhere between $500,000 to $1,000,000 USD in a U.S. business that creates at least 10 jobs.
II. Advantages of the EB-5 Visa
The EB-5 Visa program is not limited to applicants from specific treaty nations so it opens the opportunity to most people around the world. It does not require an employer to sponsor the applicant, nor does it demand the applicant to have any forms of specialized knowledge, skills, or experience.
Upon approval, the investor can bring his spouse and unmarried children younger than 21 to the U.S. and the family will then be granted a conditional green card. If all goes well, after two years the investor and his family will have the conditional part of the green card removed and after about 5 years of being granted conditional permanent residency, the investor and his family can become naturalized U.S. citizens.
The investor can live anywhere in the U.S. unlike some visas which require the investor to stay near the investment business;
Unlike the E-2 investor visa that requires personal management of the business they invested in, it is not a requirement with the EB-5 investor visa. It is not required for an EB-5 investor visa holder to manage the operation of the business he invested in;
In addition to the income earned from his own business, the EB-5 investor may still work for any employer and position in the U.S.;
Other than the EB-5 visa holder, even his children may work and attend school in the U.S. They may also qualify for scholarships and in-state tuition; and
Unlike E-2 investors, EB-5 visa holders do not need to depart from the U.S. and return for purposes of renewal because a temporary resident visa would have been issued unto him.
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