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Investment Immigration

  • Overview
  • Requirements
  • Filing Process
  • Common Questions & Answers

Overview

If you want a green card and are interested in starting or purchasing a business in the United States, EB-5 - investment immigration may be a great choice for you. Generally, EB-5 investor immigration requires you to invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000 and in return, you will give receive a Green Card. The quota for EB-5 investor immigration is 10,000 per year. The advantage of EB-5 immigration is the processing time and receiving a Green Card in exchange of your investment to the United States. It is a complex legal petition that requires extensive documentations and substantial investments. Contact us for a Consultation: 415.992.7368.

Requirements

There are some main requirements to receive a green card through an EB-5 investment and they are as follows:

  • You must invest either $1,000,000 or US $500,000;
  • You must show that the funds come from a lawful source;
  • The total amount of the investment must be at risk (this means that no guarantee to the return of your total investment which may be lost);
  • You must make the investment in a “new” or “existing business enterprise” (you can buy a new business or buy an existing business); and
  • You must show that the investment directly or indirectly results in the creation or preservation of ten full time jobs.

If you can meet these criteria, you may meet the main requirements to receive a green card by your investment.  The process is complex and require extensive documentation and you will need an experienced lawyer to navigate through this complex process. When preparing the petition, an extensive number of documents must be prepared including the immigration forms, personal financial information and other supporting documents to proof legitimate source of funding and your qualifications to meet all of the requirements.

Oasis Law Group, can to assist you with this complex competition. As our founder, Chelsea Wang has an extensive business management and compliance experiences and can effectively guide you to navigate through this complex area of law. Contact us for a Consultation: 415.992.7368.

Filing Process

There are a number of steps that investors must complete to get a green card through the EB-5 investment. If you have the investment funds, this is an excellent way for someone and their family to get a green card and ultimately become a U.S. citizen.  Generally speaking the EB-5 Investor requires that you invest either $1,000,000 or $500,000 and in return you will receive a Green Card.  In order to qualify, you must also create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers and meet some other requirements. Here are the 4 key steps:

1. Find an Investment “Project”

The first step is to find a project to invest in and this generally takes the form of either directly investing in a commercial enterprise for individual investors or indirectly investing through a Regional Center project. If the applicant chooses to directly invest as an individual investor then they must locate an investment project or creating a business of their own. For example, the investor could start or buy a manufacturing company. This is a great option for people who have experiences to run their own business and are capable of operating the business on their own.

Investors can also choose to directly invest as passive investors called “Regional Centers.” In 1993, the U.S. Government has created a special program called a Designated Regional Center Pilot Program where Investors can invest as passive investors and contribute funds to recognized entities.

A Regional Center is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service, which:

    • Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and
    • Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, or increased domestic capital investment.

With this option, you would invest with projects offered by the regional center and receive a small return on your investment. There are risks involved in projects offered by the regional center and would require analysis of various projects and choosing a suitable project for your investment. This option is great for an investor who do not want to manage a business directly.

Oasis Law Group can help you prepare the extensive list of documentations required for your immigration petition.

2. Filing Initial Petition - I-526

Once you choose your investment project and have the funds ready for investing, we can help you file the initial petition Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur with USCIS. In order to file I-526 petition, the petitioner must prepare and file supporting documents to show that the investment made by the investor meets all of the requirements, such as:

    • Investing in a new commercial enterprise,
    • Proving the investment funds from a lawful source,
    • Investing the requisite capital amount,
    • Creating the requisite number of jobs for eligible U.S. workers,
    • Demonstrating the investor is actively participating in the business, and if applicable,
    • Creating employment within a targeted employment area.

The investment funds must be obtained through lawful means. The investor are required to submit documentation demonstrating the lawful source of the capital invested in their chosen project. The required investment funds must be the personal funds of the investor, rather than funds belong to a third person or a business entity owned by the investor.

3. Obtaining A Conditional Green Card

Once the Form I-526 is approved, EB-5 investors may obtain a conditional green card by:

    • Filing Immigration Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS to adjust status to a conditional permanent resident if you reside within the United States, or
    • Filing Form DS-230 or DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the U.S. Department of State to receive an EB-5 visa for admission to the United States if you reside outside of the United States.

Once the investor's  I-485 is approved or upon the entry into the U.S. with an EB-5 immigrant visa, the investor, their spouse and children under the age of 21 will be granted conditional permanent residence (conditional green card) for a two-year period.

4. Removal of Conditions (I-829) Petition

The last step for the EB-5 petition process is for investors to become unconditional permanent residents by removing their two-year conditional status. Your immigration attorney would file an I-829 petition 90 days prior to the anniversary of the date that the investor first received their conditional residency. If the I-829 petition is approved by USCIS, the conditions on the green card will be removed from the EB-5 investor's status, and the investor, their spouse and children under the age of 21 will receive permanent green cards and can permanently live and work in the United States. This application proves that the investor has met all requirements of the EB-5 visa program and the government usually issues a permanent green card around 6 months after the I-829 has been submitted.

The conditions on the investor's green card is related to the legitimacy of the business and creation of the required jobs (10 full-time employees per investor). After the two-year period, the investor would request removal of the conditions on the investor's greed card based on fulfilling all of the requirements for EB-5 petitions. The removal of conditions can be complicated and would require extensive preparation by an experienced attorney. Contact us for a Consultation: 415.992.7368.

Common Questions & Answers

Can my family members also qualify for green cards?

If your children is under the age of 21 and unmarried, you can get your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 green cards.  

What is the Designated Regional Pilot Center Program?

In 1993, the U.S. Government has created a special program called a Designated Regional Center Pilot Program where Investors can invest as passive investors and contribute funds to recognized entities.

A Regional Center is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service, which:

  • Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and
  • Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, or increased domestic capital investment.

Is it risky to invest in a Regional Center project?

A few things you should consider if you wish to invest in a Regional Center:

Even though the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) gives approval to designated regional centers, this approval of an EB-5 Regional Center does not:

  • Constitute USCIS endorsement of the activities of that Regional Center;
  • Guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws; or
  • Minimize or eliminate risk to the investor.

This means that you could invest in a designated regional center and may risk losing your investment funds. The fact that the regional center being approved by USCIS does not guarantee that the regional center could not fail in the operation of the business. Choosing a suitable regional center project for your investment funds require due diligence on the investor to minimize their investment risks.

Proper due diligence before your investment is essential and necessary to the petition process. You should consult with professionals to perform due diligence and to assess whether or not the regional center is complying with U.S. law prior to your investment.

There are many regional center approved by USCIS. Some of the regional centers have well-established track records while others are new. If a Regional Center has not been in existence for less than 2 years, it means that no investors have obtained an unconditional green card yet.

Each regional center often has multiple projects available for investments.  The fact that one project has been successful does not provide any assurance that the next one will be. It is very important that investors perform due diligence on the specific project you are interested in investing.

How Can Oasis Law Group Help You with you EB-5 Application?

The EB-5 petition process involves a complex area of law and does require extensive documentations and you are strongly advised to seek the assistance of a qualified immigration attorney.   Let Oasis Lawq Group be your guide.  Here are some of the ways we can help you with your EB-5 petition process. We can:

  • Work with the investor and family to put together an EB-5 petition applications.
  • Assist the investor in preparing all documents needed for the EB-5 petition.
  • Prepare the investor and his family for the Department of State interview and assist in the interview process.
  • Assist the investor and family in entering the United States and establishing lawful permanent residence in the United States.
  • Assist the investor and family in removing the condition from the permanent resident status within the last three months of the second year of the granting of conditional green card.

Find more information on various immigration topics discussed in our blog.

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