Immigrating through an EB-5 Application
A foreigner getting a green card must fill out various immigration forms and paperwork. If you wish to apply for a green card, you must be familiar with the legal process, the necessary supporting documents and prepare for an immigration interview.
When obtaining a green card or for concerns on your immigration status, be it permanent residency or even citizenship), get the services of a reliable green card lawyer in Texas.
An experienced and diligent The Woodlands EB-5 immigration attorney can help make sure that you do not commit mistakes that could lead to a denial of your green card petition. They can also help you avoid facing deportation proceedings or, worse, getting deported to their home country.
This article will discuss the immigration process of obtaining a green card through the EB-5 program. It is composed of the following sections:
- Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visas
- The Immigrant Investor Program
- Eligibility for an EB-5 Green Card Application
- Applying for a Green Card through the EB-5 Program
- Contact Our Texas Immigration Law Firm Today
Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visas
There are several types of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas that one could apply for through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. One example of this is the EB-5 Investor Program. Determining which applies to you, and knowing the eligibility requirements for each, is something that you should spend significant time on.
This type of visa lets visa holders visit the United States for specific purposes, such as education, work, business trips, or medical reasons. Its validity is only for a set period, with a clear departure date. Since these are temporary documents that do not come with lawful permanent residence in the US, a non-immigrant visa holder is not on their way to becoming a green card holder.
This type of visa allows the visa holder to travel to and reside in the United States permanently. This visa must be obtained before traveling to the country and is part of the immigration process of getting a green card. Some people, however, are confused with these two.
While very much related, there is a distinction between an immigrant visa and a US green card. On the surface, visas are acquired before travel, while green cards are obtained after arrival. Additionally, an aspiring green card holder will usually enter the United States using a visa. Still, not all visa holders (nonimmigrant visas) have or will be able to get a green card.
If you are foreign national planning to immigrate or if you have questions about EB-5, permanent residency, adjustment of status, or green cards in general, contact our Texas immigration law firm today.
The Immigrant Investor Program
Through the EB-5 green card process, a foreign national can get a permanent resident card through a business investment that will create employment opportunities in the US.
The EB-5 is one of the many programs that aspiring green card holders look into. Essentially, by establishing a new commercial enterprise, a foreign national can enjoy lawful permanent resident status and all accompanying benefits. The enterprise, however, must create full-time jobs for ten or more citizens, authorized immigrants, or legal permanent residents of the United States.
USCIS can give a total of 10,000 visas annually to those who seek permanent resident status through EB-5. Half of these or 5,000 visas are allotted for applications under a regional center (R.C.) pilot program. An R.C. is an organization, entity, or agency approved by the Service. The center must focus on one specific area in the United States and promote growth in the economy using export sales, regional productivity, employment, and domestic capital investment.
Eligibility for an EB-5 Green Card Application
According to relevant US immigration laws, an investor (plus spouse and any unmarried children) may use their investment to apply for permanent resident status. That is if capital has been or will be invested into an enterprise that will boost the economy and provide jobs for those qualified.
Before proceeding with a green card petition through the EB-5, it would help to look into the following:
- The new enterprise is established by creating an original business, purchasing an existing business (which was restructured or reorganized for the new enterprise), or expanding an existing business that lost 20% of its net worth in the past year or two.
- According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the standard minimum investment is $1.8 million. In a targeted employment area (TEA), the minimum is $900,000, both of which can be adjusted every five years.
- The new enterprise should create jobs for at least ten qualified individuals or, for a troubled business, will maintain the pre-investment level number of employees for a minimum period of two years.
Additionally, an alien investor must be able to demonstrate that:
- The investment is qualified and will be put up in a commercial enterprise within an R.C.
- the required minimum number of new employment opportunities will come from the enterprise, even if indirectly through increased exports, domestic investments, or regional productivity
One’s immigration status can open up a lot of opportunities for foreigners. When working on your visa, making sure that your application form and supporting documents are complete can help save you precious time. Additionally, a knowledgeable and well-trained The Woodlands green card attorney can help you with your EB-5 application.
Applying for a Green Card through the EB-5 Program
There are many ways to change your immigration status, become a green card holder, or even eventually be granted US citizenship. In a way, diligence and persistence are key.
If you are qualified to apply for a green card under EB-5, get a hardworking and credible The Woodlands immigration lawyer to help you in each of the following:
Filing the green card application
An investor should file CIS Form I-526 at the service center covering the area of the new enterprise. Supporting documents must show that the investment meets the following requirements:
- a new commercial enterprise is established
- the minimum capital amount is invested
- it is proven that the investment is from lawful fund sources
- the requisite number of employment opportunities are created
- it is demonstrated that the investor is currently an active participant in the business
- employment is designed in a TEA, if applicable
The USCIS Office shall forward an approved petition to the National Visa Center, notify you once an immigrant visa number is available.
Obtaining Conditional Resident Status
Before proceeding to the next step, make sure to consult with your immigration attorney. Upon approval of Form I-526, the person immigrating should do either of these:
- For investors residing within the United States, they must file USCIS Form I-485 with the USCIS Office
- For investors living outside the country, apply for an immigrant visa at the consulate
Removing Conditions on Permanent Residence
After two years, an eligible alien investor who wishes to become a lawful permanent resident should file CIS Form I-829. This should be done 90 days before the end of the two-year period when they are a conditional resident.
Citizenship and immigration concerns are not something you should take lightly. With one wrong move, you may not only have lesser chances of getting a green card. Given the worst-case scenario, you might even face deportation to your home country.
Consult a Reliable Texas Immigration Attorney Today!
US immigration lawyers deal with a variety of people and work on all sorts of immigration issues. While some people are interested in knowing more about the different types of visas for workers, USCIS forms for a naturalization application, or what not to do to avoid removal proceedings, we receive a good chunk of legal questions on the green card process.
If you have any legal questions related to both immigrant and non-immigrant visas, consular processing, and adjustment of status, conditional green cards, or removal of conditions, call our US immigration law firm today. Contact us at Luis F. Hess, PLLC to consult with seasoned immigration attorneys in The Woodlands, TX.