1. 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 investments result in the creation or preservation of at least ten (10) full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 5,000 immigrant visas are set-aside for aliens who invest in designated regional centers, areas of high unemployment or other qualifying areas.

2. What is the history of the EB-5 visa category?
The EB-5 visa category started in 1991. Regional Centers started in 1993.

3. Must I have previous business experience or education?

The investor is not required to have any prior business experience. Likewise, the investor is not required to demonstrate any minimum level of education. The only requirement for the investor is that he/she has the required net worth and capital.

4. Must I speak English?

No. However, do try to learn English as it will help in an immigration interview.

5. What is meant by the requirement that the investor’s assets be “lawfully gained”?

Under USCIS regulations, the investor must demonstrate that his assets were gained in a lawful manner. This requires the investor to prove his investment funds were obtained through lawful business, salary, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, loan or other lawful means.

6. Can money gifted by a parent or other relative be used for an EB-5 Investment?

Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual arms length transaction and is not a mere ruse that the gifted funds will be given back after permanent resident status is granted.

7. What is the difference between “conditional” and “unconditional” green cards?

Under the regulations, an investor who is 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.

8. What is a ‘Conditional’ Green Card?

A conditional Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application (I-829) with the CIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested and employment created, in a regional center whether directly or indirectly. When the conditional resident status has been lifted, full resident status is granted and a permanent Green Card is issued.

9. 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 I-526 Petition, you must wait for notification from the US Consulate in your home country to prepare documents for the Visa interview. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the investor and his/her family undergo medical, police, security and immigration history checks before the conditional permanent resident visa are issued. At the interview, the consular officer may address these issues and information printed on the I-526 application, including asking the investor to summarize the nature of his/her immigrant investment. If the investor and his/her family are in the United States, then you may apply for adjustment of status by filing form I-485, and supporting documents, the application may be filed at the appropriate office of the USCIS.

10. What issue has caused the most problems when applying for an EB-5 visa?

The most common problem area has been insufficient documentation of the source of funds. Many people try to disclose the least possible information only to have the file returned with a request for further information. It is better to provide too much information rather than too little information. USCIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds application. Professional assistance from a certified public accountant or tax attorney is recommended.

11. How long must I remain in the United States each year?

The first requirement of any investor after they receive the visa at the United States overseas consular office is to enter into the United States within 180 days of visa issuance from the consulate. The investor must then establish residency in the United States. Evidence of intent to reside includes opening bank accounts, obtaining a driver’s license or social security number, paying state and federal income taxes, renting or buying a home.

All permanent residents must remain in the US for more than 6 months each year, or they may be deemed to have abandoned their permanent residence status.

 

 

12. What is an ‘escrow’ account, and when does the investor transfer the money to this account?

An Escrow Bank Account is a legal, interest-bearing account established in a registered bank to hold the initial deposit in the trust until the completion of visa processing. This type of account is commonly used in the sales of real estate, businesses and personal property. The Investment Visa Program has established an Escrow Account for the purpose of safely holding an investor’s funds at a leading bank in the United States. Under the agreements entered into with the servicing affiliate, the investor’s investment money is not authorized to be released from the Escrow Bank Account by the bank until the visa I-526 Petition has been approved. This process was created to protect the investor.

 

13. What are the processing procedures?

The foreign investor must complete three phases of the application process become a permanent US resident:

Step 1:

To obtain immigrant investor status, the foreign investor to submit a completed Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur Form (Form I-526) to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with supporting documentation clearly demonstrating that the investment meets all EB-5 requirements. Upon approval of the I-526 Petition, this will be the foundation for Step 2.

Step 2:

If the foreign investor is residing within the US and has received Form I-526 approval, he or she may obtain conditional resident status by submitting a completed Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) to USCIS. If residing outside the US, the foreign investor must apply for an immigrant visa at a US Consulate abroad.

Step 3:

During the 90-day period prior to the expiration of the conditional period, the investor should file a completed Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions (Form I-829) to USCIS. In this petition, the foreign investor must demonstrate that the investment was sustained over the two-year conditional period, and the requisite jobs were created. Upon approval of the I-829 petition, the conditional nature of the green card is lifted and full permanent residence is granted to the investor and the investor’s family members less than 21 years of age.

14.  What information and documentation are required?

Professional Background:  You must prepare complete biographical information for each applicant and the principal applicant must prove the source of the investment funds.  A résumé with copies of college diplomas and other educational certificates, if applicable, should be included. Any memberships in professional organizations should be documented. Unless the investor inherited the funds, the investor should be presented as a successful professional or businessperson with a business, financial or family history that explains the accumulation of financial net worth that is presented in the financial information. Provide as much documentation as possible that pertains to the career and achievements of the Investor.

Source of Funds:  Funds for the investment must come from a lawful source. Lawful sources of funds include: profits from the sales of a property, stocks or bonds, profits from business, business transactions, gifts, and inheritances.  To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires five years of tax returns, five years of bank records, proof of ownership in any businesses, financial statements for each business and business licenses. The idea is to present a track record of an honest course of dealing. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as sale of a house, inheritance or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred, by providing an official document, such as a closing statement or contract or other official documents.
All documents included in the application must be translated into English in a proper Affidavit format.

15. 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 I-526 Petition:

(a) If you are residing outside the U.S. you must wait for notification from the U.S. Consulate in your home country to prepare documents for the visa interview. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the investor and his or her family undergo medical, police, security and immigration history checks before the conditional permanent resident visas are issued. At the interview, the consulate officer may address these issues and information printed on the I-526 application, including asking the investor to summarize the nature of his or her immigrant investment.

(b) If you are in the United States, then you may apply for adjustment of status by filing form I-485, and supporting documents, the application may be filed at the appropriate office of the USCIS.

 

16. Is my investment guaranteed?

No. The law requires an “at risk” investment without guarantees or redemption rights.

17. What are my risks?

As in any investment there is a risk of total loss. By U.S. regulations, all funds must be put at risk.  All investors should independently verify the information contained in the investment prospectus.

18. Should I consult my own financial advisor before investing?

Yes. Prospective foreign investors should consult their own financial advisors for advice on investing.

19. Why must I invest before you will apply for my green card?

Investment companies and designated Regional Centers accept EB-5 investors by placing funds in an escrow account pending I-526 Petition approval. The funds may only be released upon approval of I-526 Petition unless otherwise agreed upon in the Offering Memorandum.

 

 

 

 

FLOW CHART

        Timeline:

 

The rules governing the EB5 program are unlike any other Green Card program offered by the USCIS. In simplest terms, however, the process of obtaining permanent resident status through investment may be broken down into the following ten steps.

Step 1:
Receive information on the EB-5 program and an Accreditation Questionnaire.

Step 2:
Register and receive information about projects, wire transfer instructions, and a reservation agreement.

Step 3:
Wire a refundable fee to a Trust Account.  Execute the Subscription Agreement and Reservation Agreement.

Step 4:
Receive a Questionnaire, Offering memorandum and Operating Agreement.  We assist in the review of these documents.  If they are acceptable, execute and return them.
Step 5:
Upon accreditation acceptance, you will wire a second payment to Trust Account.

Step 6:
After approximately three months, you wire the investment of either $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand) USD or $1,000,000.00 (One Million) USD to a Trust Account and commence immigration processing.

Step 7:
You receive a Notice of Approval for your temporary Green Card in about 4-7 months and conclude consular processing or adjustment of status in the U.S.

Step 8:
After approximately two years, you can apply to lift the temporary residency status through USCIS.

Step 9:
In a little over three years, you will receive a permanent Green Card.

Step 10:
You may apply for U.S. Citizenship