Ever dream of being an American? You're not alone. America is one of the most desirable places for immigration. Although there are many ways to do it, we'll be focusing on one particular type of investment type, commonly referred to as the EB5.
The EB5 Immigrant Investment Program works like this: You invest $500,000-$1 million in an established US-based company creating at least ten full-time jobs (the threshold varies by region). In return, you receive an EB-5 visa that allows you to live and work in the United States indefinitely — and eventually apply for citizenship after five years if you wish.
The EB-5 investment process to getting your green card can be confusing, so in this guide we'll take a step-by-step guide below to ensure everything goes smoothly once your project gets off the ground:
It’s crucial that you get some professional advice before making any decisions about investing in an EB5 project. Many things can go wrong with an EB5 investment, so you need to understand the risks involved before participating in any such project.
This step allows you to learn about the ins and outs of the application process and which EB5 pathway is perfect for you. It also allows you to specifically ask questions about your situation and get answers tailored to your needs and goals.
Many different types of investments qualify under the EB5 program, especially with the current post-covid real estate opportunities.
However, the investment type must be approved by the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service). Therefore, once you have found your project, it must be approved by USCIS before you can start investing money into it.
This process can take anywhere from several months up to several years, depending on how long it takes for USCIS to review your application, so be sure to plan ahead. Click here to learn more about what projects qualify as EB-5 visa investments and how to leverage them on your pathway to naturalization.
Once you've invested in the EB-5 project, you'll need to file Form I-526 Petition for Alien Entrepreneur with USCIS with supporting documentation such as financial statements, proof of capitalization, and other related documents showing how your business will benefit from your investment.
Once USCIS approves your petition, they will send it back to you along with an I-526 approval notice. This approval will allow you to apply for your visa at the U.S consulate abroad where you reside.
With your I-526 petition approved, you'll be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa granting you conditional — but temporary — residence status in the United States.
An EB5 is not a green card, but it gives you the ability to live and work in the United States while waiting for your green card application to be approved.
Once granted an EB-5 business visa, you can apply for work authorization and travel freely within the country while your application is pending approval. In addition, with the EB-5 visa, you can then apply for citizenship after two years of living in the US. Furthermore, the EB-1 visa category provides an alternative path for individuals with extraordinary abilities or achievements to pursue U.S. permanent residency based on their outstanding skills or accomplishments in their respective fields.
Once you have been living in the US on an EB-5 visa for two years, you can apply for naturalization and become a citizen of the United States. You will need to submit Form N-400 Application for Naturalization and supporting documents like your passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), etc., and proof of residence and employment history during your stay in America.
Overall, the EB-5 visa program is an excellent way to gain a fast track to U.S. citizenship. As long as you're committed to taking advantage of the opportunities available to you, every step in the process should be relatively easy. With some planning and preparation, you'll have no trouble making the most of your investment and enjoying yourself along the way.