Individuals who invest at least $1 million dollars in a new commercial enterprise as defined under immigration law can apply for the EB-5 immigrant investor visa. You can also get the EB-5 visa if you invest at least $500,000 in a designated regional center or targeted employment area (TEA). If you complete the following, you may be eligible to apply for a green card as an immigrant investor.
- You must invest capital with the U.S. fair market of $1,000,000 or $500,000 (regional service center or TEA). The capital does not have to be cash but can be assets and even a promissory note (with certain conditions);
- The investment must be in a new commercial enterprise, which is defined broadly; and
- At least 10 new jobs must be created directly or indirectly through this new commercial enterprise.
To apply you must meet certain criteria and provide credible evidentiary documentation that you meet the criteria. One important and complex aspect of this process is showing the legal source of the capital, which must be properly valuated in accordance with the U.S. fair market value. The capital investment must then be shown to be a bona fide investment. Then you need to show how this capital investment has created at least 10 new U.S. jobs. You must meet all of these requirements to be granted the green card through the EB-5. If you meet all filing and eligibility criteria, your employer must file the Form I-526 Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur with the USCIS. The rest of the process depends on where you are.
Adjustment of Status Process
If you are located in the United States, you may be able to submit a Form I-485 adjustment of status application. Generally, this involves submitting the petition or approved petition notice and the adjustment of status application, attending a biometrics appointment and then the final interview. During the process you should be on the look out for any requests for more evidence as well, called RFEs. Failure to respond to these may cause a delay or denial of your application.
Before applying for the green card through the adjustment of status process you should make sure that this is the right process for you. You should make sure that a visa is immediately available to you and that you have legal status. In addition, you should make sure there are no bars to an adjustment of status and no admissibility issues. You should consider applying for employment authorization (if necessary) and advanced parole. Advanced parole will allow you to travel outside of the United States during the application process. Each of the pieces of this process can get complicated. If you miss something or make mistakes, it could mean a delayed process or even a denial. It is important to tread carefully and be meticulous through this process.
If you are outside of the United States, and the USCIS approves the petition, you will go through consular processing and a final interview at the embassy in your home country. Generally, the employer will submit the petition at the USCIS. If approved, the USCIS sends the approved petition to the National Visa Center. The National Visa Center then corresponds with you to provide documentation, fee payments and to complete the DS-260 immigrant visa application. Then the embassy in your home country schedules the final interview and provides you instructions to do the medical examination and obtain a police certificate (depends on the country) in your country. The officer will review all documentation and your application at the final interview and inform you of the decision at the interview.
Conditional Permanent Residence
If at the time of the initial application interview, you have not completed the investment, then you will be granted conditional permanent residence for 2 years. You would then need to remove the conditions by showing you’ve met all the investment requirements. This requires an additional application to remove conditions before the end of the two years.
When considering whether to go through with this type of green card application, it is important to take other circumstances and factors into consideration. Failing to do this may cause complications during the application process. For instance, any facts that involve previous denials, past immigration and criminal violations, previous marriages that involved filings, entry with other types of visas, tax issues, visa overstays, and previous employment in the United States can be just as important as the basic eligibility criteria. A single criminal violation, whether a misdemeanor or more serious, can lead you to be inadmissible to the United States, which may require additional steps to get a green card, such as a waiver.
It is important to consult an experienced immigration attorney to assist you with your case. An attorney will assist with preparing the petition, assist with gathering evidence, and advocate vigorously for you during the process. Here at ST Law Office, I have dedicated my practice solely to immigration matters. I vigorously advocate no matter how simple or complicated the matter. Don’t hesitate to call us at 561-405-4889 or to schedule your initial phone, online or in-person consultation now.