FAQ

INFORMATION TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND

THE BENEFITS AND RISKS OF THE EB-5 PROGRAM

EB-5 Program

Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions are intended to provide answers to common questions regarding the EB-5 Visa Program. If there are further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

EB-5 PROGRAM FAQ

Must I have specific employment experience or college education?
The applicant is not required to have any specific level of employment experience or education. The key requirement is that he/she has the required net worth and capital.
Must I pass an English exam?
No, not to obtain permanent resident status.
Must I complete a medical exam?
Yes. You will be required to complete a medical exam with a U.S. approved physician.
What are some green card benefits?
Each person has his/her own reason for desiring permanent United States residency. Having a green card provides many benefits that accomplish these goals:
  • Legal permanent residents under the EB-5 Program enjoy many of the same benefits as United States citizens.
  • Any family member with a green card can enter the U.S. without any restrictions on their length of stay.
  • Permanent residents travel to the U.S. without the need of a visa.
  • Permanent residents may work, live, or own their own proprietary business anywhere in the U.S.
  • The U.S. has internationally recognized colleges and universities for basic education and graduate study. Permanent residents can benefit from lower tuition costs.
  • The cost of living in the U.S. is lower than most large industrial nations. Consumer goods, services, and housing are less expensive than comparable services and goods in most other industrialized countries.
  • Permanent residents may work in the U.S. while they attend college and
What is meant by the requirement that the funds be "lawfully gained"?
Under USCIS regulations, the applicant must demonstrate that his/her assets were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the applicant prove his/her funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means.
Can money gifted by a parent or other relative be used for EB-5 funding?
Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual “arm’s-length transaction” and that the gifted funds won’t be given back after permanent resident status is granted.
What is a "conditional" green card?
A “conditional” green card is valid for two years. One year and nine months (21 months) after it is issued, a three-month window opens during which an individual must file another application with the USCIS. It must verify that all required funds have been paid and employment created. When the “conditional” resident status is lifted, full resident status is granted and a new green card is issued.
What is the difference between "conditional" and "unconditional" green cards?
Under U.S. law, an applicant approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card, which must be reissued after two years, subject to removal of conditions. Otherwise, the two cards offer the same rights and privileges
If my I-526 petition is approved by USCIS, what is the purpose of the consulate application and interview, and how soon do I get my green card?
Upon approval of the I-526 Petition, the applicant must await notification from the U.S. Consulate in his/her home country and prepare documents for the visa interview. The purpose of the consulate application interview is to verify the applicant’s identity and confirm he/she has not committed any criminal acts or misconduct that makes the applicant ineligible to come to the U.S.
Can I apply for an EB-5 if I have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for an L-1, E-2, B, or other visas?
Rejection in the past does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reasons related to immigration fraud or other major problems. It is important that all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration history problems be disclosed to legal counsel in advance of application.
After petition approval, can members of the family interview in different countries?
Although possible, it is generally faster and more efficient for family members to interview in the same country at the same time.
Who receives the permanent residency (green card)?
Spouses and any unmarried children under the age of 21 receive the Green card. It is possible for adopted children to be included in the family. Upon approval, the applicant will receive a form evidencing approval and a travel document. The applicant will ultimately receive a conditional Green card in the mail.
What issue causes the greatest problem when applying for an EB-5 visa?
In some experiences, the most common problem area has been insufficient documentation for the source of funds. In this era of terror alerts, and suspicions about money laundering, USCIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds.
How long must I remain in the United States each year?
Applicants must enter the United States within 180 days of visa issuance from the consulate. Permanent residents may be considered to have abandoned U.S. resident status if they are outside the U.S. for more than 180 days on a single trip. But, once someone becomes a citizen, residency requirements no longer apply.
What is the difference between permanent residency and citizenship?
Permanent residents cannot vote and are not entitled to certain federal jobs and positions. Permanent residents may be considered to have abandoned U.S. resident status if they are outside the U.S. for more than 180 days on a single trip. But, once someone becomes a citizen, residency requirements no longer apply. Besides, these permanent residents generally have similar rights and obligations as U.S. citizens.
Can my green card be taken away from me?
Yes, under very limited circumstances such as being convicted of a serious crime.
I have a green card and plan on traveling out of the U.S. for a long time. Can I keep my green card?
I have a green card and plan on traveling out of the U.S. for a long time. Can I keep my green card?
Permanent residents travelling outside of the U.S. for trips of 180 days or more can apply for a reentry permit (on form I-131) before leaving the U.S. They can depart before the reentry permit is approved.
With this reentry permit, residents can return to the U.S. even after one year until the reentry permit’s expiration date. Reentry permits are issued for two years. Residents cannot renew a reentry permit, but they can return to the U.S. for a short time and apply for a new one. The second such reentry permit will be granted for two years, but subsequent ones may only be approved for one year at a time.
For how long is a green card valid?
Permanent residents must apply for removal of conditional status within 90 days before the end of the initial two years. Once approved, residents receive an “unconditional” green card. If they apply too early or too late, they will have a problem and should consult an immigration attorney for advice.
Once conditional status is removed, a new green card is issued and valid for ten years. A new Green card can be issued every ten years.
If conditional status is not removed, the green card will become invalid at the end of two years and permanent resident status will be terminated.
Are any countries excluded from eligibility for the EB-5 Visa Program?
It can be difficult for citizens of countries with currency export controls to document their lawful source of funds. Applicants may be able to overcome these issues by residing in a different country.
What is a designated Regional Center?
A Regional Center
• Is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services;
• Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and
• Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital.
What is a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)?
Targeted Employment Area is defined in Title 8 C.F.R. § 204.6 as an area that, at the time of funding, is either a Rural Area or an area which has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.
A Rural Area is defined as any area not within either a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more.
How many immigrant visas are allotted for this classification?
The EB-5 program allots 10,000 visas per year for aliens and family members whose qualifying funding results in the creation or preservation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 3,000 immigrant visas are set aside for aliens who fund designated regional centers. An additional 3,000 are available for those funding regional centers located within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).
Where can I find a copy of the relevant EB-5 law and regulations to review?
Visit the USCIS website. A link to immigrant investment Visa information is available at: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
Is my spouse required to apply for immigration with me and my children?
No. Through the EB-5 program, your spouse is entitled -- but not required -- to apply for immigration. Your spouse can continue to reside outside the United States and visit you by obtaining a U.S. visa (most likely a B-2 tourist visa). If your spouse wants to immigrate in the future, the laws in effect at that time will determine the best way this can be achieved.
Can a son or daughter apply as a principal investor? If so, how would they prove the funds were obtained legally if they don’t file a tax return?
Yes, tax returns are usually submitted as documentation that funds were obtained lawfully. Therefore, if the invested funds are a gift, the donor would submit the required tax forms.