What is EB-5 Visa?

The United States EB-5 visa is a popular option for eligible Immigrant Investors to become lawful permanent residents in the US.

Every financial year (October 1st – September 30th), about 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to eligible applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration Act.

U.S. immigration Department has made visas available to business investors looking to enter into the United States to participate in new commercial initiatives that benefit the U.S. economy through employment creation and principal investment. E5 investors receive up to 7.1 percent of all employment-based immigrant visas granted globally each year.

Foreign investors who are looking to invest into the United States in order to get lawful permanent residents in the US.

Source: U.S. Department of State

To be eligible as an immigrant investor for petitions filed on or after November 21, 2019, an overseas citizen must invest, without borrowing, the subsequent minimum qualifying capital dollar amounts in a succeeding commercial enterprise:

  • $1,800,000 (U.S.); or
  • $900,000 (U.S.) in a high-unemployment or rural area,

A succeeding investment must, within two years, establish full-time jobs for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants approved to work in the United States, not including the family members of the investors.

Source: U.S. Department of State

To apply for a US EB-5 visa program, you must follow these following steps:

First Step: File a Petition

To apply appropriately, an E5 immigrant investor visa applicant must file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  For further information on eligibility as an immigrant investor and filing the Form I-526 petition, see EB-5 Immigrant InvestorEB-5 Immigrant Investor ProcessEB-5 Regional Centers, and Permanent Workers on the USCIS website.

No Labor certification is required for EB-5.

The Form I-526 petition must be accepted by the USCIS before applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate outside the United States.

Next Steps: Fees and Visa Application

After USCIS approves the petition, it goes to the National Visa Center (NVC). Once acknowledged, NVC will allocate a case number for the petition. Once an applicant’s priority date meets the most recent qualifying date, National Visa Center will ask the applicant to complete Form DS-261, Choice of Address and Agent. National Visa Center will start pre-processing the applicant’s case by giving the applicant with guidelines to submit the exact fees. After the fees are clear, National Visa Center will ask that the applicant submit the essential immigrant visa documents, like application forms, civil documents, and more.

Source: U.S. Department of State

Basic documents may include:

  • Passport(s) valid for at least six months beyond the intended date of entry into the United States,
  • Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application.
  • Preview a sample DS-260 (6.4MB).
  • Two (2) 2×2 photographs. Read the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements.
  • Civil Documents for the applicant.  The consular officer in the US embassy may ask for more information at the time of visa interview. Bring your genuine civil documents that includes ID documents, birth and marriage certificates, as well as legible photocopies of the genuine civil documents, and any required translations to your immigrant visa interview. Original documents and translations can then be given back to you.
  • Financial Support – At your immigrant visa interview, you must show documents to the consular officer that you are not likely to become a public charge in the United States.
  • Completed Medical Examination Forms – These are issued by the panel physician when you have successfully completed your medical and vaccination. If your medical is unsuccessful, your petition may be rejected.
Source: U.S. Department of State

Government fees to apply for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is $3,675.

Source: U.S. Department of State

EB-5 Visa is one of the fastest methods to obtain permanent residency in the United States for the investor, spouse, and dependent children under 21 years of age. It offers freedom to live and work in the United States, without limits, including in states for example, Florida and Texas with no state income tax.

Once the overseas investor’s petition is approved, the investor applicant and their dependents will be granted conditional permanent residence which is valid for two years. Within the 90-day period before the U.S. conditional permanent residence expires, the investor applicant must submit supporting evidences that the full required investment has been made and that 10 jobs have been retained, or 10 jobs have been created or will be created within a rational time period.

Source: U.S. Department of State