EB-5 Visa & Investor Visas

EB-5 Visa & Investor Visas - Warren Law Firm

Need help navigating the EB-5 visa process? Angela Warren and her team at Warren Law Firm have over 20 years of experience obtaining visas for those who qualify, including investor visas like the EB-5 visa. 

We work with investors from all around the world to help them obtain green cards.

An experienced San Francisco immigration attorney like Angela Warren can be a great resource for individuals and companies in the San Francisco area looking to make use of this visa. 

She provides quality support, so you can rest assured your application is taken care of professionally!

Not sure if they EB-5 visa is right option for you? We’ve outlined a lot of our clients’ most common questions. If you’d like specialized advise, you can contact us for a consultation.

About the EB-5 Visa Investor Visa

With an EB-5 visa, investors have the potential to pursue permanent resident status in the U.S., also known as a green card, through capital investment in either brand new or existing businesses. 

It’s an exciting opportunity for those looking to gain permanent residence status while also investing in business growth and development!

Who is Eligible for the EB-5 Investor Program?

To qualify for the EB-5 investor program, you must:

  • Invest at least $800,000 in targeted employment areas or
  • Invest at least $1,050,000 in non-targeted employment areas (for visa petitions that are filed after March 15, 2022)
  • Create a minimum of ten full-time jobs for qualifying employees, and in the instance of a troubled business, ensure that the number of pre-existing employees does not decrease for a minimum of two years
  • Be admissible to the U.S., 18 years or older, and have a legal source of funds
  • Qualify as an accredited investor, according to standards set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

You do not need to be a high-powered business executive or a specialist in a chosen field to obtain an EB-5 visa. It is available to anyone who has the money to invest. Many EB-5 investors create their own companies and invest in a business that they are passionate about.

Once approved, there are few restrictions on what an EB-5 green card holder can accomplish within the United States.

The E-2 and E-1 visas can be similar to the EB-5 visa. Although they may require less initial investment, they are temporary visas and do not grant green cards. Learn more about the E-2 visa and E-1 visa.

What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A targeted employment area is a location that is either rural, or has a high unemployment rate—a rate that is at least 150 percent above the national average. USCIS describes rural areas as any locales that are not in a metro area (Metropolitan Statistical Area), and are outside of any town or city that is populated by 20,000 people or more.

Who is a Qualifying Employee, and Who is Not?

In order to meet the standard of the EB-5 Investor Program, you must meet the requirement to create 10 new full-time jobs for qualifying employees in your commercial enterprise. But what is considered a qualifying employee?

An individual is considered a qualifying employee if they are: a U.S. citizen, a lawful permanent resident (LPR), or another immigrant who is permitted to work in the U.S. This includes a conditional or temporary resident, an asylee or refugee, as well as individuals who live in the U.S. with the suspension of deportation.

People who are excluded from the 10-person prerequisite include:

  • You, the investor
  • Your spouse, or children
  • Extended family who live within the same household as you
  • Foreign nationals in the U.S. in a nonimmigrant status

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Angela D. Warren

With more than 20 years of immigration and business immigration experience, Angela Warren has helped hundreds of individuals, families and businesses.

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Can Your Family Travel With You to the U.S. on an EB-5 Visa?

EB-5 Investor Visa - Warren Law Firm

You may be able to bring your spouse and unmarried children under 21 with you to the U.S. on an EB-5 visa. If this is your plan, you’ll need to include them on your Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor.

How Do You Apply for an EB-5 Investor Visa?

In order to apply for an EB-5 visa, here are the forms and evidence that you’ll need to include:

  • Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor, or Form I-526E, Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor
  • Evidence that you’re investing, or have invested, the required amount of capital in a commercial enterprise in the U.S.
  • Evidence that your capital investment will generate at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers
  • Evidence that, in the instance of a troubled business, the number of pre-existing employees will not decrease for a minimum of two years

If you’re including members of your family on your I-526 petition, you must provide evidence of their relationships to you, like a marriage certificate or a birth certificate. If USCIS grants your petition, you can then apply for an EB-5 visa (Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Here’s what you’ll need to bring for your visa interview:

  • A copy of your approved I-526 petition
  • Your passport
  • Evidence of your capital investment(s)
  • Medical examination and vaccination records
  • Proof of the relationships with members of your family who you included on your petition

Is There a Yearly Cap on How Many EB-5 Visas Are Issued?

In a fiscal year there is a limit of 10,000 EB-5 visas that may be issued. Out of that figure, 3,000 visas are dedicated or “set aside” for investors in commercial enterprises who will create employment opportunities in targeted employment areas.

Once the 10,000 limit is reached, if you’re an investor from a country where EB-5 visas aren’t in high demand, you may have to delay your petition until the following fiscal year. But if you’re from a country where EB-5 visas are highly sought after, there is a workaround that you may be able to take advantage of. A skilled immigration attorney can show you how it works.

What Are “Set-Aside” EB-5 Visas?

EB-5 immigrant visa set-asides are for qualified immigrant investors, and every fiscal year the following categories and percentages of these set-aside visas are available for eligible immigrant businessmen and businesswomen:

  • Rural Areas: 20%
  • High Unemployment Areas: 10%
  • Infrastructure Projects: 2%

Visas that are set-aside for this purpose, but are unused during a fiscal year, maintain the same set-aside designation throughout the following fiscal year. After a second fiscal year has ended, any immigrant visas that remain unused are freed-up for the unreserved EB-5 immigrant visa pool in the third fiscal year.

Can You Get a Green Card on an EB-5 Visa?

After you’ve been granted your EB-5 visa and enter the U.S., if you aren’t already in the U.S, you are able to adjust your status to get a green card by submitting Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to USCIS. If your application is approved you will be granted conditional permanent residence (a temporary green card), which will last for two years.

Within 90 days of the expiration of your conditional green card, you will need to file Form I-829 to remove the two-year condition and obtain your permanent green card. With your I-829 petition you’ll need to include evidence that you’ve invested the required capital in a commercial U.S. enterprise, and that a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers were created, or will be created.

How Long Does It Take to Obtain an EB-5 Visa?

The documentation and filing required to obtain an EB-5 visa usually takes about three months. Most petitions are given a response in about 15 months. When the petition has been approved, you can apply for an adjustment of status, which may take six to 10 months to be processed. Every case is different.

Ready To Get a Green Card Through Investment?

To start the process of obtaining an EB-5 visa, contact Warren Law Firm to schedule a consultation. We have years of experience in obtaining EB-5 visas and green cards for immigrants across the world. We’ll walk you through every step and make sure the process is a smooth as possible.  By preparing your biographical information, proof of the source of investment funds, and five years of personal and/or business tax returns ahead of time, you will make the most of your consultation.

To take the first steps in obtaining your EB-5 visa, contact Warren Law Firm to schedule a consultation.

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