An Overview of the EB-5 Immigration Process
Immigrating through EB-5 with Legal Help from a Miami Immigration Attorney
When not appropriately handled, US visas and green cards can lead to a variety of immigration issues. Handling paperwork required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS Office) and doing necessary preparations can be overwhelming. However, a seasoned immigration attorney in Hallandale Beach, FL can help simplify for you the legal process of securing a visa.
In general, an immigrant visa holder can travel to and reside in the United States permanently. This visa must be obtained before traveling to the country and is part of the immigration process of getting a green card. Qualifying for the Immigrant Investor Program, however, can sound a lot simpler than it is. It must be established that both the individual and the investment would meet specific requirements and qualifications.
This article will discuss the immigration process of obtaining a green card through the EB-5 program. It is composed of six sections, as seen below:
- Quick Overview of the Immigrant Investor Program
- Planning Your EB-5 Green Card Application
- The EB-5 Visa and Applying for a Green Card
- Lessening the Risk of Having a Visa Application Denied
- Preparing for and Going through the Visa Interview
- Call Our Blacksburg Immigration Law Office Today
Quick Overview of the Immigrant Investor Program
The USCIS can give a total of 10,000 US visas annually to a foreign national proceeding with a business investment that will create employment opportunities in the United States. A total of 5,000 visas, in particular, are allotted for those with applications under a regional center pilot program.
A regional center, in simple terms, is an approved organization, entity, or agency that focuses on one specific area in the United States. These centers must promote economic growth using export sales, employment, regional productivity, or domestic capital investment.
Through the EB-5 green card process, a foreign national can enjoy lawful permanent resident status and all accompanying benefits by establishing a qualified new commercial enterprise. This, however, must create ten or more full-time jobs for qualified citizens, authorized immigrants, or legal permanent residents of the United States.
Planning Your EB-5 Green Card Application
Aspiring EB-5 green card holders must show the investment meets the set qualifications and will be put up in a commercial enterprise within a regional center. Furthermore, the required minimum number of new employment opportunities will come from the enterprise. Indirect means, such as increased exports, domestic investments, or regional productivity, can also be considered.
An immigrant investor green card petition must meet the following criteria:
- According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the standard minimum investment is $1.8 million. In a targeted employment area (TEA), the minimum is $900,000, both of which can be adjusted every five years.
- The new enterprise should create jobs for at least ten qualified individuals or, for a troubled business, will maintain the pre-investment level number of employees for a minimum period of two years.
Additionally, under relevant immigration rules, you must have established the new enterprise through any of the following:
- Creating an original business
- Purchasing an existing business, which will be restructured or reorganized for the new enterprise
- Expanding an existing business that lost 20% of its net worth in the past year or two
The EB-5 and Applying for a Green Card
Under relevant US immigration laws, an alien investor may be able to apply for permanent resident status through an investment that meets specific qualifications. Their spouse and unmarried children below 21 years old can also qualify through family-based immigration. However, you must show that the minimum capital has been or will be invested into an enterprise that will boost the economy and provide jobs for those qualified.
There are many ways to change your immigration status, become a green card holder, or even eventually be granted US citizenship. As you apply for a green card under EB-5, it is vital to ensure that all USCIS forms are prepared under the supervision of a dedicated and diligent EB-5 green card attorney
Getting a green card through EB-5
For an alien investor to be eligible for a permanent resident card, it must be established that:
- The applicant is establishing a new commercial enterprise
- The applicant is currently an active participant in the business
- The employment is created in a TEA, if applicable
- The capital amount invested comes from lawful fund sources and meets the minimum amount
- The required minimum number of employment opportunities are created
You must file a filled-out CIS Form I-526 at the service center covering the new enterprise area. Once approved, a petition shall be forwarded by the USCIS Office to the National Visa Center, which will notify you once an immigrant visa number is available.
Obtaining Conditional Resident Status and Removing Conditions on Permanent Residence
For investors outside the country, you may apply for this immigrant visa at a US embassy or consulate in their home country. For investors living within the United States, you must file USCIS Form I-485 with the USCIS Office.
After two years in the country, an eligible alien investor who wishes to become a lawful permanent resident should file CIS Form I-829. This should be done 90 days before the end of the two years as a conditional resident. Before proceeding to the next step, make sure to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney.
Lessening the Risk of Having a Visa Application Denied
Citizenship and immigration concerns are not something you should take lightly. With one wrong move, you may not only have lesser chances of getting a green card. Given the worst-case scenario, you might even face deportation to your home country.
When obtaining a green card or for concerns on your immigration status, be it permanent residency or even citizenship), get the services of a reliable green card lawyer in Florida. A foreigner getting a green card must fill out various immigration forms and paperwork. If you wish to apply for a green card, you must be familiar with the legal process involved, the necessary supporting documents, and how to prepare for an immigration interview.
If you are foreign national planning to immigrate or have questions about EB-5, permanent residency, consular processing, adjustment of status, or green cards in general, contact our Miami immigration law firm today.
Preparing for and Going through the Visa Interview
During the visa interview, the questions will primarily depend on the type of visa being applied for. In general, however, you will likely be asked questions meant to evaluate whether or not you qualify for the visa.
If everything is in order, you will either be asked to wait for the visa through courier or return another day to pick it up personally. The visa will consist of a stamp on your passport. However, one must remember that immigration officers will tell not all applicants whether they have been approved or denied right after the interview.
Once the visa interview is over and a problem arises in your case, the officer will highly unlikely deny your application right then and there. From your part, politely ask the officer to put any requests in writing, stating exactly what is needed and why.
If you are inadmissible but are eligible for a waiver application, or if the problem that arose can be corrected, they will likely ask you to either apply for a waiver or provide additional documentation or evidence. Make sure to comply and submit the supporting documents as soon as possible since these will factor into an eventual approval or denial.
Call Our Miami Immigration Law Office Today
There are several types of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas that one could apply for through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. One example of this is the EB-5 Investor Program. Determining which applies to you, and knowing the eligibility requirements for each, is something that you should spend significant time on.
You must take EB-5 Visa applications seriously. If you have questions related to your visa status, getting a green card, or avoiding deportation to your home country, call our Miami immigration law firm. Contact us at AmLaw and consult with dedicated Miami immigration attorneys.
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