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EB-5 Investment Green Card
The EB-5 Green Card Program
Foreign nationals can obtain permanent resident status in the United States by applying for a green card under the EB-5 category. Also, the applicant’s spouse and children under the age of 21 (“qualifying family members”) will be eligible for green cards as well.
The applicant can obtain a green card under the EB-5 category by investing USD$500,000 into a project (i.e. a business or real estate development project) that is managed or affiliated with a government authorized Regional Center.
The applicant and his accompanying family will obtain conditional green cards within approximately 14 – 28 months (or more) after making the investment and filing the green card petition. Two years after the conditional green cards have been issued, the applicant will need to file a petition evidencing that (a) 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents have been created as a direct or indirect result of his/her USD$500,000 investment or (b) the area in which the Regional Center/project is located has benefited economically as a direct or indirect result of the investment. If this standard has been met, the condition on the green cards will be removed. If the standard has not been met, the green cards will be withdrawn.
EB-5 Green Card Process
The EB-5 green card process is as follows:
Step 1: Investment Funds Placed in an Escrow Account
The applicant will first need to wire the investment funds and Regional Center administrative fees into the Regional Center’s checking account. As indicated above, the investment funds total USD$500,000. The administrative fees total USD$45,000. Therefore, the investor must transfer a total of USD$545,000 to the Regional Center.
Step 2: File I-526 Petition
TheI-526 petition, otherwise referred to as the Green Card Petition, is a document intensive petition that EB-5 green card applicants must file with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (‘USCIS’). The purpose of the document is to evidence that applicant, the EB-5 green card applicant, have in fact dedicated at least $500,000 USD to a qualifying Regional Center, and have entered into an arrangement with a Regional Center that qualifies the applicant for a green card pursuant to the EB-5 classification.
Step 3: Approval of I-526 Petition
Once the I-526 petition has been approved, the investor will need to file the Green Card Application. If the I-526 is not approved, the investment funds and administrative fees will be refunded in full.
Step 4: Green Card Application
Once the I-526 petition has been approved, we will be able to file the Green Card Application.
Step 5: Obtainment of Conditional Green Card
Once the Green Card Application is approved, the applicant and his qualifying family members will obtain their conditional green cards. As green card holders (i.e. U.S. permanent residents), the applicant and his family will enjoy most of the rights U.S. citizens enjoy – that is, they will be permitted to reside in the U.S. indefinitely, obtain employment without having to get a work visa, and so forth. However, they will need to maintain a residence in the U.S. (i.e. a home in the U.S.) and they should try to spend at least 6 months in the U.S. a year.
Step 6: Removal of Condition on Green Card
Approximately two years after the green cards have been issued, our firm will receive a notice to file an I-829 petition to remove the conditions on the green card. The I-829 will need to evidence that (a) 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents have been created as a direct or indirect result of the applicant’s USD$500,000 investment or (b) the area in which the Regional Center/project is located has benefited economically as a direct or indirect result of the applicant’s investment. If this standard has been met, the condition on the green cards will be removed. If the standard has not been met, the green cards will be withdrawn. Finally, the project will return your investment of $500,000 in full after the I-829 has been approved.
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