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How to Apply for EB-5 Investment Visa

How to Apply for EB-5 Investment Visa

Applying for an EB-5 Investment Visa can be a complex and time-consuming process. However, with the right guidance and resources, you can successfully navigate the application process and secure your path to a green card. In this step-by-step guide, we'll break down the EB-5 Investment Visa process and provide you with tangible tips to help you achieve success.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before you begin the application process, it's essential to determine if you're eligible for the EB-5 Investor Visa program. To qualify, you must:

  • Invest at least $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or $1.8 million in a non-TEA
  • Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified US workers
  • Have the required funds legally obtained and available for investment
  • Be actively involved in the management of the new commercial enterprise

If you meet these requirements, you can move forward with the application process.

Step 2: Select a Suitable Investment Project

Choosing the right investment project is crucial for the success of your EB-5 application. You can either invest in a new commercial enterprise or a Regional Center project. When selecting a project, consider factors such as:

  • Job creation potential
  • Financial stability and growth projections
  • Location and industry
  • Management team experience and track record

There are two main types of EB-5 investments: direct EB-5 investment and regional center EB-5 investment.

1) Direct EB-5 Investment:

With direct EB-5 investment, investors establish and manage a new commercial enterprise themselves. They must create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the investment.

Advantages of direct EB-5 investment:

  • Investors have greater control over their investment and business.

  • They have flexibility in choosing the location and nature of their business.

  • The minimum investment requirement is $1.8 million in most areas (or $900,000 in targeted employment areas), which is relatively lower.

Disadvantages of direct EB-5 investment:

  • Investors have more hands-on involvement and need to dedicate significant time and effort to manage the business.
  • The success of the business depends solely on the investor's management skills and the business's performance.
  • There is a job creation requirement of at least 10 full-time positions for U.S. workers.

2) Regional Center EB-5 Investment:

Regional center EB-5 investment involves investing in a project affiliated with a designated regional center. Regional centers focus on economic growth and job creation within specific geographic areas. They pool investments from multiple EB-5 investors for larger projects.

Advantages of regional center EB-5 investment:

  • Regional center projects can count direct, indirect, and induced jobs towards the job creation requirement, providing more flexibility.

  • Investors can have a more passive role and rely on the regional center's management team.

  • Regional centers often undertake extensive due diligence and market analysis, reducing investment risks.

Disadvantages of regional center EB-5 investment:

  • Investors have less control over project management and decision-making.
  • It's important to stay updated on the specifics of the EB-5 program, including investment amounts and requirements, as they may change. Consulting with an immigration attorney or qualified professional is recommended for the latest information.

It's essential to conduct thorough due diligence on potential projects to minimize risks and maximize the chances of success.

Step 3: Prepare and File Form I-526

Once you've selected a suitable investment project, the next step is to file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor. This form demonstrates your eligibility for the EB-5 program and includes evidence of:

  • Your investment amount and capital source
  • The project's job creation potential
  • Your involvement in the management of the enterprise

It's crucial to provide comprehensive documentation to support your application, as USCIS will thoroughly review your petition for compliance with EB-5 program requirements.

Step 4: Wait for Form I-526 Approval

After submitting Form I-526, you'll need to wait for USCIS to review and approve your petition. The processing time for Form I-526 can vary, but it typically takes between 12 to 18 months. During this time, it's essential to stay informed about any updates or requests for additional information from USCIS.

Step 5: Apply for Conditional Permanent Residence

Once your Form I-526 is approved, you can apply for conditional permanent residence. If you're already in the United States, you'll file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. If you're outside the US, you'll need to apply for an immigrant visa through consular processing.

After receiving your conditional green card, you'll have a two-year period to fulfill the EB-5 program requirements, including job creation and maintaining your investment.

Step 6: File Form I-829 to Remove Conditions

Within 90 days before your conditional green card expires, you'll need to file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. This form demonstrates that you've met the EB-5 program requirements, including job creation and investment maintenance. Once your Form I-829 is approved, you'll receive your permanent green card.

Contact Our EB-5 Investment Visa Attorneys

Navigating the EB-5 Investment Visa process can be challenging, but with the right guidance and resources, you can successfully secure your path to a green card. At Musa-Obregon Law PC, our experienced immigration attorneys can help you through every step of the application process and provide personalized advice tailored to your unique situation. Contact us today to learn more about our EB-5 Investment Visa services and how we can help you achieve your immigration goals.


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