EB-5 Immigrant Investor

The EB-5 Visa creates a pathway to citizenship for foreign persons who invest at least $500,000 in the United States. The steps in obtaining an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa include filing an immigrant alien-entrepreneur petition (Form I-526, Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) to seek approval from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Depending on the circumstances, the applicant will file an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status or DS-230/DS-260 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration. After the approval of the I-485, conditional entry to the United States is granted.

At least, 90 days prior to the two-year anniversary of green card status, Form I-829 Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions must be filed. The removal of the conditions in a timely manner is necessary or the EB-5 investor is likely to lose the immigration benefit of the EB-5 visa.

When granted, the EB-5 petition gives the investor the right to permanently live and work in the United States and to bring his or her qualifying family members into the country.

Attorney for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor in The Woodlands, TX

An experienced immigration attorney can help you file an alien-entrepreneur petition.

Luis F. Hess, PLLC is located in Shenandoah, Texas, just north of The Woodlands. Immigration attorney Luis F. Hess represents a wide range of clients in business-related immigration issues including aiding local business owners in sponsoring foreign workers and helping alien workers adjust their immigration status.

The immigration process can be an exceedingly long endeavor. It is imperative that, if you want to have valid LPR status, you contact an experienced immigration attorney. Contact us to find out more about the requirements of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa and other alternatives such as the EB-1C inter-corporate green card option.

Call Luis F. Hess, PLLC at (281) 205-8540 today.

History of the "EB-5 Program"

In 1990, Congress amended the Immigration Naturalization Act (INA) to provide a priority visa classification for "employment creation" immigrants who invest a substantial amount of capital in the United States and create full-time employment for U.S. workers.

EB-5 is the Employment-Based Fifth Preference Category that was created to attract foreign capital to the United States. The EB-5 Investor Visa program also has a job preservation or creation requirement that creates more job opportunities and benefit for the U.S. economy.

Requirements of the EB-5 Program

The program, known as the "EB-5" program (sometimes called the "golden visa" program) has two requirements. First, an applicant must:

  • invest $500,00.00 in a U.S. government designated Regional Center located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) deemed to meet the job creation requirement; or
  • invest $1 million in either a new or existing U.S. business or commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs.

Other requirements of the EB-5 Visa program include:

  • showing that the investment will benefit the U.S. economy; and
  • proving that the source of the investment funds are not from an illegal source.

The USCIS administers the EB-5 program and establishes the procedures governing EB-5 classification. The process for obtaining an EB-5 visa can be complicated. First, the USCIS must approve an immigrant petition by an alien entrepreneur.

The approval indicates that the petitioner has provided prima facie evidence of qualification for the visa. Second, the Department of State then reviews any approved petition and, if appropriate, issues an immigrant investor visa.

How long does it take the investor to get an EB-5 Visa?

The length of time it takes to get an EB-5 Visa depends on several factors. The entire process typically takes 12 to 18 months, but it sometimes takes longer. During this time period, your attorney will prepare the application. After the paperwork is filed, it will take about 5 months for the USCIS to process the paperwork, although many of the Regional Centers are reporting slightly longer wait periods.
After the I-526 is approved, the funds are released from the Regional Center’s escrow account. By using premium processing this time period can be reduced by 2 weeks. The consulate interview or adjustment of status form I-485 filing can take four to ten months depending on the backlogged being experienced by the USCIS at that time.
When the conditional greencard is issued, you can enter the United States. The conditional greencard if valid for two years. During the 21st to 24th month after receiving the conditional greencard, your immigration attorney will file the Form I-829 to remove the conditions. It takes approximately six (6) months for this form to be processed. Five years after receiving your conditional greencard you can apply for U.S. citizenship.

Additional Resources

"Immigrant Visa Petitions Returned by the State Department Consular Offices" - Visit the USCIS website to learn more about what happens when the State Department approves an immigrant petition by an alien entrepreneur in error and refers the application back to USCIS for further consideration.

This article was last updated on Friday, January 26, 2018.