Area of Law: USA Travel and Immigration
Answer # 1077
Large investment EB-5 Green CardRegion: Ontario Answer # 1077
What is the EB-5 Green Card?
The EB-5 Visa Program is an opportunity for qualified foreign investors to receive green cards (permanent residence status) in return for investment in commercial enterprises in the United States.
Basic qualifications to be a foreign investor
Foreign nationals must meet at least one of the following two requirements
- Have an annual income of $200,000 for the past two years
- Have net worth exceeding $1 million, not including their primary residence
EB-5 Green Card investment requirements
In addition to qualifying under one of the two basic requirements, investors applying for the EB-5 Visa Program must:
- As of November 21, 2019, invest $1.8 million USD (increased from $1 million) to a USA commercial enterprise, unless the investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which only requires an investment of $900,000 USD (increased from $500,000). TEAs are rural or high unemployment areas. The investment can be in cash, inventory and other tangible property.
- The investment must directly or indirectly create 10 new full-time employment positions. The commercial enterprises in which the investment is made must have been established after November 29, 1990.
Investors may either invest directly into a new commercial enterprise or through the EB-5 Regional centers, which is the more popular route. Investing directly is a hands-on approach and requires more managerial responsibilities for the investor. In contrast, EB-5 Regional centers are designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to follow the EB-5 program regulations. Approximately 90% of foreign investors use the EB-5 Regional center method, as there is less of a need for direct management of their investment and thus more of a focus on the immigration process.
Investors must submit the I-526 Petition to the USCIS to show proof of their lawful investment. The filing fee is $1,500. The processing time is usually 5 to 10 months. Once this form has been approved, investors can then file their I-829 petition, which is the final step for immigrant investors to become lawful permanent residents of the USA.
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