USA EB5 Visa
EB-5 USA Green Card Visa is an excellent American Permanent
Residency (PR) opportunity for individuals with a qualifying net worth,
and also their dependent families. It permits the applicant to immigrate
to the nation through US Green Card with dependent spouse and children
below 21 years.
The overall application processing time for the EB-5 Visa to the US is
around one year. The visa is called EB-5 Visa as it is an employment based
preference immigration category that requires the applicant to be involved
with a new commercial enterprise in the US which benefits the American
economy, by creating or supporting at least 10 full time - direct or indirect
While the applicant may not be involved in day-to-day operations of the
invested commercial enterprise, he must have at least a policy level role.
If the person is investing in an existing commercial enterprise that business
must have been established after November 29, 1990.
Normally, an annual quota of 10,000 visas is identified under the EB-5
Visa category every year. Under a pilot program, at least 3000 of this
quota have been set aside for designated regional centers for the EB-5
Post approval of the EB-5 application, a conditional Green Card is issued
to the applicant (and spouse and dependent children) for a period of two
years. After 21 months of holding the conditional EB-5 Green Card, the
applicant applies for removal of condition by providing evidence that
the investment lead to creation of 10 US jobs during the conditional status.
Once proven, the condition is removed and the applicant (and spouse and
dependent children) get Permanent Green Card. He can apply for US citizenship
after 5 years.
Qualifying Immigrants under USA EB-5 Immigration
The applicant must invest at least USD 10, 00,000 or
at least USD 500,000 in a new commercial enterprise, if investing in a
"Target employment area".
The new commercial enterprise may have multiple owners, including those
not applying for the EB-5 Visa, if:
(a) The source(s) of all capital is identified and,
(b) All invested capital source of funds, if derived through lawful means.
This requirement being the key to acceptance of the EB-5 investor visa
application, check whether you meet the definitions related to source
of funds and lawful means for your EB-5 Visa application by writing to
EB-5 USA Green Card Visa - Stage-wise Application
- You sign the subscription agreement
as an investor and pay the administrative fee into the Escrow account.
The administrative fee differs from project to project basis but normally
ranges between USD 40,000 to USD 75,000. Please note that application
of investment funds (USD 500,000 or 10, 00,000) is done in the development
of the regional center, while the administrative fee is charged by the
EB-5 Regional Center. The administrative fee is charged to meet expenses
related to marketing and promotion of the project. This fee is refunded
if the I-526 application is refused.
- In addition to the investment
funds and administrative fee, the EB-5 investor must also budget for
attorney fee of USD 15000 to USD 20,000 for managing both I-526 and
I-829 stages of EB-5 visa. The investor applicant must also budget for
USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service) application
fee for I-526 petition and I-829 petition. The attorney and application
fee is non-refundable.
- Thus, in addition to investment
funds, the EB-5 investor applicant must keep an expense of around USD
65,000-80,000 towards administrative fee, attorney fee and application
fee at various stages. Accept for USCIS application fee(s), the other
two costs are variable and may differ amongst different designated regional
- You deposit the USD 500,000/10,00,000
into the Bank Escrow account. An escrow account is an agreement made
under contractual terms and conditions between the transacting parties,
under which an independent reliable third party gets and gives out money
and/or documents for the involved parties, even as the timing of such
payouts by the third party is based on the execution of contractually-agreed
terms and conditions by the involved parties. A regional center cannot
transfer the investor funds into the Limited Partnership's account until
the I-526 petition is approved. This is because the EB-5 prohibits the
use of money for regional center project because under the EB-5 law,
the investor's money cannot be used unless it has been proved that it
is from lawful source. Approval of I-526 accepts the assertion of the
investor that he has invested from lawful source/. It also protects
the investor interests since approval of I-526 will lead to issuance
of his conditional green card under EB-5 visa.
- USCIS takes 3-6 months to take
decision on the I-526 petition. Please note that the application processing
time frames are always subject to change without notice.
- If I-526 is approved, then the
deposit of 500,000/10, 00,000 is released to regional center partnership
account. If it is refused / disapproved, the deposit of 500,000/10,
00,000 is returned to your (investors) account.
- You, the investor, file an application
for Immigrant Visa or adjustment of Status. Normally, if outside India,
this application will be filed at the nearest US Embassy. Post filing
of the application at US Embassy, additional processing time 2-6 months
- You will be interviewed at US
Embassy and post approval, issued EB-5 conditional Green Card.
- You land in USA on EB-5 Conditional
- 21 months from date of admission
into USA on Conditional Green Card, investor submits the EB-5 I-829
petition to USCIS for change of status to Unconditional permanent Green
Card. Decision on removing conditions is normally taken within 6 months
of submission of I-829 petition and conditions removed. If application
for I-829 is accepted, then permanent Green Card is dispatched to the
address of the applicant.
- If I-829 petition is denied,
the applicant files an appeal.
EB-5 USA Green Card Visa -- Key Features, Qualifying
While following act as a guide towards qualifying criteria
for the EB-5 Visa application, the applicable features and criteria may
differ from case to case basis. Write to email@example.com
to check whether you qualify the selection criteria for making an EB-5
US Green Card Visa application.
- The applicant must meet definition
of an accredited investor. An Accredited Investor means the investor:
(i) has a net worth (or joint net worth with the Subscriber's spouse)
of at least $1 million; or (ii) had an annual gross income in each of
the last two years of at least $200,000, and has expected gross income
in the current year of at least $200,000; or (iii) otherwise meets the
requirements for an Accredited Investor as defined in the regulations.
- The enterprise/business in which
the applicant is investing must have been formed after November 29,
1990. The EB-5 investment in businesses established before this date
can also be considered, provided the investment by the applicant for
the EB-5 Green Card 'expands' or "restructures" the existing business.
- The degree of "restructuring"
or "reorganization" that will qualify under the EB-5 is not defined
and key determinant will be whether or not 10 new jobs have been created.
- As regards the "expansion" of
commercial enterprise, only an expansion resulting in an increase of
at least 40% in business net worth, or in the number of business employees
could be a considered a qualifying EB-5 definition. This may mean that
a qualifying EB-5 investor expanding the business may be required to
employ more than 10 employees, if pre-expansion number of employees
was more than 25.
- All above complications can
normally be avoided if the investor chooses a designated regional center
as a route to make the application under the EB-5 Visa category. It
centers responsibility to get the project pre-approved as regards definitions
of commercial enterprise and also ensure that the requirement of at
least 10 new jobs - against the applicants' visa is met. He can do so
by making an investment in a designated regional centre having an approved
project in a target employment area (TEA).
- The business/enterprise must
be for-profit and be at risk. It excludes non-commercial activity, like
owning and running a personal residence or non-for profit business.
The form of ownership may include sole proprietorships, partnerships
(Limited or General), holding companies, joint ventures, corporations,
business trusts, or any other form of permitted business entity that
is publically or privately owned.
- Eb-5 investors only need to
show that they have invested in a commercial enterprise and do not need
to prove that they have established it.
- The commercial enterprise can
identify overall number of direct and indirect jobs that will be created
and then divide them in the pool of EB-5 investor applicants. However,
each investor much identify, individually, the source of the invested
funds and also that they have been acquired legitimately.
- The applicant must be involved
in management of the commercial enterprise, through policy formulation.
- Usually, the capital should
be fully invested (contributed) and at risk in the commercial enterprise
at the time when I-526 petition is filed. The capital contribution is
defined as cash or cash equivalents, equipment, inventory or other tangible
property. A signed promissory note that is secured by applicant's personal
assets constitutes capital contribution. All capital is valued as per
fair market value of USD at the time of deposit.
- The commercial enterprise must
contribute to the American economy. Normally, this would mean that enterprise
must be in legitimate business and meet regulatory requirements related
to foreign investments.
- The commercial enterprise must
employ 10 full time employee minimum - not counting investor applicant,
spouse or their children and non-immigrants - and these employees must
be US citizens or permanent residents or others who are lawfully permitted
to work in the US. Full time requires a minimum of 35 hours per week.
Two or more employees can share one full time position. The business
plan should indicate the approximate dates around which - during the
conditional visa issuance period - the jobs will be created.
- The EB-5 project may include
investment in a troubled US business. Such a business would normally
be in existence for at least 2 years, would have incurred a net loss
during 12 or 24 month period before the I-526 petition is filed, even
as the loss should at least be 20% of the businesses net worth, before
the loss. The business should continue during the conditional status
period and maintain the number of jobs that the business employed during
the pre-investment period.
- The commercial enterprise may
be located in a targeted employment area (TEA)and thereby qualify to
accept investment of USD 500,000. The targeted employment area is notified
by states and is by definition a rural area or area that has experienced
high unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average. Usually,
the designated regional center will provide, to the investor, certification
from the state confirming the area to be the TEA.