EB-5 stands for Category 5 Employment-Based Visa and is a government investment immigration program that creates US jobs.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was created by the US government in 1990 to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth by creating US jobs. The program allows foreign nationals to invest in a new or existing US business that creates 10 jobs in the US to obtain a green card (permanent residence in the US). EB-5 investors and their families receive a residence permit and can live and work anywhere in the United States. One EB-5 investment allows the main applicant (investor), his spouse, and all of the investor’s unmarried children under the age of 21 to receive green cards.
Advantages of the EB-5 Visa for investors
The EB-5 visa provides many benefits to foreign investors wishing to immigrate to the United States, including:
- Green card for investors, their spouses, and children under 21
- Eligibility for US Citizenship
- Ability to work, travel and live anywhere in the USA
- The ability to enter and exit the United States as a permanent resident
- The ability to start a business in the United States without immigration restrictions (compared to other types of business visas)
- Investors’ children can study in the US public school system
- No language proficiency or professional experience requirements
- Depending on the immigrant’s country of birth, EB-5 may be the fastest way to obtain visas compared to other visas such as EB-1/2/3
Immigrant investor programs exist in many countries. These are programs aimed at attracting foreign capital and businessmen by granting the right of residence and citizenship. For example, the Canada Program (QIIP) requires an investment of C $ 800,000 to immigrate to the province of Quebec. Portugal offers a residence permit in exchange for an investment in residential real estate for € 500,000 (which puts you at the mercy of the market situation in the real estate market for return on investment).
A similar program in the UK requires a minimum investment of £ 2,000,000 in government bonds. In all of these examples, you also bear the risk of local currency fluctuations. Therefore, the US EB-5 program is one of the cheapest and most secure options compared to others.
If you are in the United States on an H-1B / F-1 / L-1A visa or any other nonimmigrant visa, then obtaining an EB-5 green card is the best way to ensure you and your family have a future in the United States. Even if you are waiting for an EB-1/2/3 visa petition to be processed, the current waiting time is so long and can often result in you not being able to get a green card for these petitions.
Obtaining a green card also removes the need to permanently renew a nonimmigrant visa and significantly reduces the risk of being forced to leave the country due to any change in your visa program, work, or personal life.
Using EB-5 to speed up the green card process is especially important for H-1B visa holders who must continually renew their status and struggle with career restrictions. EB-5 could also be an alternative to H-1B in general, as the H-1B program is currently on hold. H-4 spouses who are eligible for a work permit should be aware of the proposed status changes to remove this benefit. Many other H-4 visa holders cannot get a work permit at all.
What are the basic requirements for obtaining an EB-5 visa?
Each investor must invest $ 1,800,000 or $ 900,000 (when investing in a targeted employment area or “TEM”) and create 10 jobs in the US. The first EB-5 green card is conditional and temporary. After two years from the date of issuance of the first green card, the investor must show that the investment has been retained in the project throughout this time and that at least 10 jobs have been created. This is necessary to obtain a permanent green card.