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The United States has the world’s largest economy and has sustained success due in part to the wonderful immigrants who come to work in the U.S. One way immigrants can legally migrate to the United States is through a EB-5 Investment Visa. This type of visa allows entrepreneurial job creators to do what they do best here in the United States. On this page, we will review everything you need to know about the EB-5 Investment Visa process and how a lawyer can help you through this process.
What is an EB-5 Investment Visa?
EB-5 visa, or employment-based fifth preference visa, is a type of visa program built specifically for investors who meet certain criteria in the United States. According to the USCIS, the EB-5 visa program was created ‘by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.”
Requirements to Get an EB-5 Investment Visa
In this next section, we will review the requirements and steps needed to file and receive an EB-5 Investment Visa.
1. Choose a Qualifying EB-5 Project
To qualify for a EB-5 Investment Visa, there are certain criteria a prospective visa holder must meet. Here are some key EB-5 project qualifications to follow:
- Invest in a commercial enterprise that was established after 1990
- Investment in a commercial enterprise that was established before 1990 but is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new enterprise is created, or that increases the value by 40% or the number of employees by 40%
- Invest at least 1 million dollars, or $500,000 if invested in a Targeted Employee Area (TEA)
- Your investment must bring about at least 10 new full-time U.S. jobs
2. Make Investment and File for an EB-5 Petition
After choosing an investment that meets the above criteria, an immigration attorney will help you file your EB-5 petition (form I-526) with USCIS. This petition must prove that you the investor has invested, or is in process of investing the required capital and that they meet the above criteria listed. Your EB-5 Visa lawyer can help you prove the following:
- Show that your invested capital was obtained legally
- Make sure your business plan is credible in the eyes of the USCIS
- Your investment is going to a new commercial enterprise and is creating at least 10 U.S. jobs
- Your capital is “at risk” until the end of your conditional permanent residency process
- If you invest $500,000 it must be proven that you’re targeting the Targeted Employee Area (TEA)
3. Receive Conditional Permanent Residence
After the USCIS deems approves your petition, conditional permanent residency can be obtained with your lawyer’s help via two ways:
- For investors living in the U.S.: File form I-485 for adjustment of status
- For investors still living overseas: File form DS-260
After approval of option 1 or option 2 above, you will have 2 years as a conditional permanent resident.
4. Apply for Lawful Permanent Residence
After two years as a conditional permanent resident, an EB-5 Visa applicant must fulfill physical presence requirements and cannot remain outside of the U.S. for more than a year. The next step is to file to become a lawful permanent resident. This is done by removing the conditions to the conditional permanent residency after your I-829 application is filed and approved.
Do I Need a U.S. Investment Visa Lawyer?
Obtaining an EB-5 Investment visa can be a very complicated process. With a limited number of work visas available, navigating the process and following all the nuances required can be overwhelming. As seen above, there are a lot of forms to file, processes to follow, and caveats to successfully petitioning the USCIS. Further, because you are investing such a large sum of money for this process, it is crucial that it be done correctly considering the stakes are high in these cases.
If you need guidance, schedule an investment visa strategy session here.
An EB-5 Visa lawyer can help you by:
1. Avoiding Mistakes
Filing the right paperwork is a critical step of the process of getting your rights to work in the USA. This paperwork is normally extremely comprehensive and complex, and without the guidance of a lawyer, there are a lot of potential mistakes that can disrupt your process entirely or cost you precious time and money.
2. Help You Find the Right EB-5 Investments
With all the business investment opportunities in the United States, it’s important that you find an investment opportunity that meets all the required criteria and makes sense considering your goals. Nothing would be worse than for you to make an investment into a company that fails to meet EB-5 criteria if your goal is to get permanent residency in the United States through an EB-5 Visa.
3. Help You File a Petition
Filing an EB-5 petition, which is the only investment visa with a path to a green card, is a complex process. You need to file the right forms and make a successful case to the USCIS that your investment meets their criteria, your funds came from legitimate and legal sources, and that the business plan is up to USCIS standards. We know how important it is for all the details to be correct and for your case to be properly documented. We can help you through this process to make sure your case is as strong as it can be with the best chance of approval.
4. Help You File the follow-up steps for Conditional Residency and Permanent Residency
After USCIS approves your petition in step 3, you can file for the I-485 inside the country or for Consular Processing with the National Visa Center, or NVC, outside of the country. Further, after 2 years with a Conditional Green Card, your Miami EB-5 Investment Attorney will help you file for your permanent 10-year Green Card. With an attorney, you will not be required to fill out these papers or remember these deadlines, as we will help you through the process and paperwork. Our goal is to help you submit the correct paperwork, fees, and supporting evidence required for success that leads to your permanent green card.
Hire a Top EB-5 Investment Visa Lawyer in Miami, Florida
With the level of expertise needed to successfully petition the USCIS for an EB-5 Investment Visa, you need a partner who can help you succeed. Immigration Lawyers USA can help! We specialize in the EB-5 Investment Visa process and are top immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida. Give Immigration Lawyers USA a call at 305-501-0783 or contact us here to schedule your consultation today!