Q. What is the EB-5 visa program?
A. This is a program that allows foreign nationals to sponsor themselves for a Green Card by investing in the US. The EB-5 Immigration Green Card category was created in 1990 by Congress. The Immigration Act that created this category aimed at improving the economy of the US and creating more jobs for the residents of the country. In the EB-5 category, a foreign national can qualify for permanent residency if they meet three basic requirements. The first requirement is that they have to start a business or invest in an existing business that was restructured no earlier than November 1990. The second condition is that they must inject 1 million dollars into this business, though in rural locations or locations with a high unemployment rate, the investment could be as little as $500,000. The third requirement is that the business must provide employment to at least ten US workers.
Q. What are Regional Centers?
A. Regional Centers are investment projects that exist in certain geographical locations and that have a particular business plan. This centers are established in the various locations to improve the economy of the area. They also help to increase the employment rate and domestic investments. The USCIS approves all regional centers in order to establish that they will create the necessary jobs. Investing in Regional Centers is more passive than an individual or direct foreign investment. This is because the investor does not have to be actively involved in the daily management of the Regional Center.
Q. After investing in Regional Centers, will I ever get my money back?
A. Regional Centers usually have a business plan that includes an exit strategy for every investor. This exit strategy states that the investor can receive their investment back within five to six years. However, investors should note that Regional Centers are just as risky as any other business. Therefore, they could lose some or all of their investment. There is no guarantee that their money will be returned after the five or six years have passed.
Q. Do I have to relocate to the state where the Regional Center is located?
A. No. Since you are not required to actively take part in the daily management of the Regional Center, you will not have to live in the state where the center is located. You can relocate to any city or town in the United States.
Q. What is Individual or Direct EB-5?
A. This is a situation in which the foreign national invests in his or her business or company. The investor will have to inject at least $500,000 or $1,000,000 into the business. They also need to show that their investment has created ten new employment opportunities. However, these conditions may vary for businesses that are struggling.
Q. Who is eligible for the EB-5 Immigration Green Card?
A. Citizens of various countries can apply for the EB-5 Immigration Green Card. However, the applicant’s eligibility may be jeopardized by certain criminal or immigration violations.
Q. Do I have to be fluent in English to apply?
A. No. In fact, you do not have to speak any English in order to be eligible for this immigration program.
Q. What is the minimum amount of money that the foreign national must invest in order to be eligible for the EB-5 visa program?
A. The foreign national requires at least $500,000 or $1,000,000. The minimum amount will depend on the Targeted Employment Area, or the area where the investment is located.
Q. What is the Targeted Employment Area for the EB-5 category
A. This is an area in the U.S. whose unemployment rate is about 150% more than the average of the country. It is also a place that is considered rural because it has a population of less than 20,000 people. A foreign national has to invest in a Targeted Employment Area in order to qualify for the EB-5 immigration category.
Q. What is the processing time for the EB-5 category?
A. The processing time varies from one applicant to another. The foreign national starts by filing an application with the USCIS. The average processing time for this petition is between four months and twelve months. After their petition has been approved, the applicant can apply for the conditional visa within the US if they are eligible, or at any US consulate abroad. The time it takes to process this conditional visa varies from one consulate to another. However, it typically takes between two months and six months. The processing time for an applicant who applies within the US is between three months and six months.
Q. How many EB-5 immigration visas are processed each year?
A. There is a statutory number of 10,000 EB-5 visas every year.
Q. Does the investor have any restrictions on the business type that they can invest in?
A. 90% of EB-5 applicants make investments in Regional Centers that have been approved by the government. The remaining 10% make direct investments that involve business that they buy or start. The only requirement that the USCIS has is that the job must create at least ten employment opportunities for US workers.
Q. What documents are needed when applying for the EB-5 visa program?
A. Each applicant and their investment are different. However, the major documents that will be requested are those that prove that the investment resources were acquired in a lawful manner. Therefore, the foreign investor will be required to provide proper documentation of the source of their finances in a way that the USCIS finds acceptable.
Q. Can the investment funds be a gift?
A. Yes, the investment funds can be a gift that the investor received. However, the USCIS will want to make sure that the giver of this gift acquired the money legitimately. They will also need to know the circumstances surrounding the giving of this gift money.
Q. Can I use my company name to invest in the EB-5 program as opposed to my individual name?
A. Yes, using the company name is one of the ways to invest in the EB-5 program. Loans, payments and dividends from the company can be allocated to the applicant’s EB-5 investment. However, this is an area that has to be discussed a lot further with an EB-5 attorney.
Q. How many Regional Centers have been designated by the USCIS at the moment?
A. There are a total of 250 Regional Centers, and most of them are less than 5 years old.
Q. I see that your offices are located in California. I live in a different state. Is this going to be disadvantageous for me when working with your EB-5 lawyer?
A. Most of our clients do not live in California. We are a global company and we cater to the needs of clients from all over the world. Our team speaks seven languages, including Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Tagalog, Farsi and Korean.
Q. If I am the principal applicant, who is obligated to immigrate with me in the EB-5 visa program. Do they have to immigrate to the US?
A. This is one of the main advantages of filing a petition for the EB-5 visa. The applicant’s spouse and any of their children under the age of 21 will be eligible for the program and they do not have to apply or provide any additional investment. They do not have to immigrate to the US with the investor and they can choose to stay in their home country. Unfortunately, the applicant’s siblings and parents do not qualify for this program.
Q. When will I qualify for naturalization as a US citizen?
A. After holding the permanent residence Green Card Visa for 5 years, you will be able to apply for naturalization as a US citizen.
Q. Why choose our company, The Law Offices of Kate L. Raynor and Associates to help you with your application process and investment project?
A. Our company has worked with foreign nationals seeking the EB-5 visa for more than seventeen years. Our qualified EB-5 lawyers have successfully filed more than 1,500 applications. Our expertise, diversity and experience has helped us to represent clients from all over the world. We provide project materials to investors who would like to invest in Regional Centers. We help direct investors to choose investment programs that will help them qualify for the EB-5 program. We also help Regional Center investors to select the best Regional Center project to invest in. Our unique selling point is our extensive knowledge on all the policies and laws that govern the EB-5 visa program. The Law Offices of Kate L. Raynor and Associates have also received several awards in recognition of their expertise in the EB-5 visa area.