Of the many ways in which U.S. immigrants can apply for a green card, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is among the lesser-known methods. This important program was initially created to help support the creation of U.S. jobs and to act as an incentive for foreign citizens to invest in U.S. markets. By uncovering the details of this program, foreign citizens can better understand the potential opportunities it provides to them.
UNDERSTANDING THE EB-5 PROGRAM
The EB-5 Program (short for employment based fifth preference visa, the document received by approved applicants) is offered through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The main purpose of the program is to provide entrepreneurs and investors with a means of securing permanent residency in the United States by contributing to the U.S. economy in carefully outlined ways.
Through the EB-5 Program, entrepreneurs and investors can apply for a green card if they both meet the investment requirements and prove that they will establish or maintain a minimum of 10 full-time jobs within the United States through their business dealings. If these two criteria are met, the applicant may secure a green card and become a permanent U.S. resident.
CREATING OPPORTUNITY FOR IMMIGRANT INVESTORS
The EB-5 Program is unique in that it offers approved applicants several benefits in addition to permanent residency. First, those approved for the EB-5 Program also may be eligible to have their spouses and unmarried children apply for U.S. green card status. Additionally, the program provides entrepreneurs and investors with an opportunity to conduct business and expand their commerce in the United States. In fact, the EB-5 Program was intentionally designed in 1990 to generate interest and investment from foreign citizens in an effort to fuel the U.S. economy.
In order to be accepted into the program and reap its benefits, those who apply need to have sufficient and consistent documentation that their business transactions meet all of the prerequisites. This includes proof that jobs will be created and investments will be made for a new commercial enterprise that was established, purchased or expanded within specific time constraints.
Through the EB-5 Program, immigrants have an unprecedented chance to secure permanent residency for themselves and their families, as well as to conduct business within the United States. While this program can lead to successes for both immigrant entrepreneurs and the U.S. economy, it can also result in a highly complex application process. For this reason, it is wise for interested individuals to consult with an attorney who has experience with EB-5 applications.17