The commonly called “Million-Dollar Visa”, the EB-5 investor visa is one of the more popular options for persons hoping to live and work in the United States. The cost is normally only $900,000 for investors who decide to enter through the Regional Center program option.
The EB-5 visa not only offers an option for the investor to gain permanent residency in the United States, but is also open to the investors family members to obtain green cards as well.
However, the minimum investment amount is currently being discussed with the possibility of an increase in in the near future. This means that now is a good time to seek to lock in the potential investors intentions by securing their slot now.
The following is a list of how the EB-5 process can be started:
1. Consultation with immigration lawyers
It is an important decision to decide to invest in an EB-5 visa. The process also has a number of complicated steps. There is also the opportunity for mistakes that could cost the investor much time and money. To save on potential delays in the process and unnecessary spending, an experienced immigration attorney should be consulted to help guide through the processes.
2. Choosing a Project
There are several advantages for an investor to go through a regional center when looking for a potential area to invest. One of the best options is to go through the targeted employment areas programs. There are many regional centers located throughout the US with projects in several industries. It is advisable to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney to choose the right program for your situation.
3. Documentation, Statements and Translations
Before completing the EB-5 visa applications such as the I-526, investors will need to gather the appropriate documents. For example, one of the more important documents that will be required will be the paperwork concerning the investment funds and the legal source from which it came.
4. Escrow accounts
To begin the project with a regional center, the project must be chosen and the funds, which have been proven to have come from a legal source, must be transferred into the escrow account. The minimum amount of the investment of $900,000 should be made to begin the process. However, it is important to remember that those projects that are not going into a TEA will require the amount of $1 million to qualify.
5. The I-526 Petition
When the investment has been made in the chosen project for the EB-5 program requirements, the investor’s lawyer must provide the necessary proof in the I-526 petition with the USCIS. When the petition has been approved, the USCIS will notify the petitioner. The process could take a number of months to complete. However, new conditions may play a part in changing the amount of time that has been traditional to the project.
Once the EB-5 investor visa has been received for the investor and their family members, there will be a waiting period for the conditional status to be removed and each person will become permanent residents. This process will require the help of an experienced immigration attorney to help guide through the process. Once the process is complete, each person who has the permanent residency status will be able to live, work and travel anywhere in the United States and abroad with no restrictions.
The process to remove the conditions normally take up to two years to complete along with the requirements of the visa. After five years from gaining conditional residency status, the investor and their family members will be able to apply for citizenship in the US.