EB-5 Immigrant Investor program is a federal program that permits foreigners to immigrate to the U.S. by investing in commercial enterprises in the country. Demand for these visas is growing every year. Foreign investors can obtain permanent resident status (green card status) through this visa program. The minimum investment a foreign investor must make under this program is $500,000.
Foreign investors who look to immigrate to the U.S. through this program need to meet certain requirements. They need to meet the capital investment amount and the job creation requirements.
Foreign investors need to invest between $500,000 and $1 million in U.S. business ventures. The EB-5 project in which they invest must be in rural areas or in areas that have high unemployment rates. The investment that the foreign nationals make must create at least ten full time jobs in the country for U.S. citizens, within two years. These investors must actively engage with the companies they invest in, for at least three years.
Entrepreneurs who wish to immigrate to the U.S. must file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. After the USCIS approves their petitions, they need to wait until immigrant visa numbers become available. Once they get their immigrant visas, they can immigrate to the U.S. as permanent residents. However, they need to be admissible into the U.S.
Spouses and children of the EB-5 visa applicants also will become eligible for green cards, if they are eligible for legal status in the U.S. Foreign investors will initially be granted conditional resident status. After two years, they can file applications for removal of conditions on their conditional status and get green cards valid for ten years. However, they will be stripped off their legal status if they misuse their green cards. If they do not intend to live permanently in the U.S. and if they travel abroad for too long, they may lose their legal status. They must not commit crimes and violate the immigration laws.