The EB-5 visa is no less than a golden opportunity for foreign investors interested in a Green card. As it is an investment-based visa, you will be required to fulfill the eligibility criteria and present the documents to show the legitimacy of your funds and project. By the end of the complete process, you will get your unconditional citizenship provided you are running the project successfully after 5 years.
Requirements of an EB-5 visa
- The applicant needs to invest a minimum of $1,800,000 (or $900,000 in TEA)
- The project should create at least 10 full-time jobs for US residents directly or indirectly
- The applicant can invest in a new enterprise or a failing business
- The applicant capital investment must fulfill the “at-risk” condition for his application to be considered for the green card
Procedure to apply for an EB-5 visa
There are several requirements that a foreign investor needs to fulfill before they get an EB-5 visa. You can consider investing in a commercial enterprise directly, or you can invest through the regional centers in TEA. The process is as follows-
- Find the project idea- You will need to select the project in which you want to invest and generate jobs. It is recommended to choose the project and area you are familiar with after a thorough investigation.
- File the I-526 petition- Once you have prepared yourself for the capital investments and had a session with your lawyer, he will file the I-526 application on your behalf. This is the most crucial step in marking the initiation of your project.
- Obtain your conditional permanent residency status- Post approval of the I-526 application from the USCIS authorities, you can apply for conditional residency in the USA for the next 2 years, where your business will be under observation by the authorities. For this, your attorney will submit Form I-485 if you are residing in the US and Form DS-260 if you are residing somewhere else.
- File I-826 petition for removing the conditions- You need to apply for unconditional citizenship 3 months before the expiration of your conditional visa. Once your attorney files Form I-826, your project will be evaluated, and a non-conditional visa will be issued to you.
- Get your US citizenship- 5 years after the applicant has received their non-conditional citizenship, one can apply for US citizenship through the naturalization process. Your attorney will file this form once you get qualified for this. After that, you must appear for a US Civics and English test and interview with the authorities. In the end, all you need is to attend the citizenship ceremony on a specific date with an oath of allegiance.
Role of an immigration lawyer
There are certain forms and documents you will need to produce before USCIS authorities. The fee for application, medical examination, biometrics, etc., needs to be submitted to the specific authorities. A minor mistake can compromise your application status and delay your chances for a visa. To avoid such cases, it is recommended to hire a lawyer and ensure that all the documents are submitted correctly.
The road to the EB-5 USA visa is complex and requires patience. However, it is one of the simplest and quickest ways to get the green card of the United States and live as a US citizen.
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