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The EB 5 visa, otherwise known as the Immigrant Investor Program was put in place by the United States Congress in 1990. This program aimed to stimulate the growth of the economy of the United States via capital investment and job creation by allowing foreign investors to set up in the US. The EB 5 visa is known to let only a limited number of people given the stiff requirements for eligibility. To help you understand the eligibility requirements and the application process for an EB-5 visa, Toppins Law Firm, through this article provides a clear guide for the same.
It is not all international investor looking to invest in the United States that can apply for the EB 5 visa. There is a set minimum investment amount that one has to attain. To be eligible, the amount of investment in the United States should be at least $1 million, and the amount should be invested in a New Commercial Enterprise. A new commercial enterprise, in this case, refers to a business that was set up after 29/11/1990. Enterprises that were established earlier than that date can be referred to as NCE’s too if they have undergone a significant organizational restructuring after the said date.
If the applicant for the visa has the intention of investing in a regional center or a targeted employment area in the United States, the minimum investment amount that they are required to have is pushed lower by half to $500,000. The Targeted Employment Areas include rural areas that lie outside a municipality with a population of about 20,000 or more and the metropolitan regions with employment rates that exceed 150 of the national average.
The investment, also, has to be at-risk.
The applicant’s assets have to be credible
For one to be a candidate for the Immigrant Investor Program, they have to prove that their funds are from a legitimate source and their path is, also, clean. Assets that have been acquired unlawfully either directly or indirectly cannot be accepted as legal forms of capital. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is particularly strict with the source of the funds. An applicant will be required to provide evidence showing a direct ling from the source of the capital to be invested to the investor and from the investor to the area of investment.
One of the requirements for one to get an EB 5 visa is that their investment has to lead to the creation of at least ten permanent jobs for United States citizens. This condition is usually revised after some months of operation in the United States.
Guide on the process
Getting an immigration attorney
Navigating through the visa application process is one of the most exhausting tasks. As such, it is advisable that one acquired the services of an immigration attorney who knows how the process goes and have them guide you through the application. The visa process into the United States is extensive, and a small mistake in the form can result in months and possibly years or extended delays.
Confirm your eligibility status
The first thing to do is to confirm that you are an eligible candidate. It involves the confirmation of the items highlighted in the eligibility requirements section.
Select your preferred choice of investment
If you successfully pass the eligibility hurdle, the next stage is confirming the investment option that is most appealing to you. You can choose to invest in a targeted area or a new commercial enterprise.
Preparing and filing your petition
Your immigration attorney will provide you with the list of requirements to file the petition and help you fill and go through all the documents to ensure that they are without a flaw. The most cumbersome process usually is obtaining proof that your investment funds were received legitimately.
This process typically involves tracking of money up to a couple of years back. Once you have found all your documents and evidence needed for proof of legitimacy, your attorney will help you file your petition. All the costs, inclusive of the attorney charges are estimated to lie anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000.
What follows is the waiting period. Usually, it takes anywhere between 8 months to 18 months for an EB-5 visa application to be processed. Actually, at the moment the average waiting period stands at 15 months. You may have to wait for more than a year for your petition to be processed. It means that if you have to invest in the United States, you have to be strategic and time-wise correct for the best times.
Once your petition has been approved, you will be notified of the date for your visa interview at the United States embassy. Passing the interview will make you an automatic conditional Green Card holder upon arrival to the United States.
Confirming your visa responsibilities
After about 24 months, your investment should have created the minimum ten permanent jobs for US citizens. If the results have been achieved, you become a permanent Green Card Holder.