FAST TRACK TO US GREEN CARDS - Assisting families around the world to become permanent residents of the United States.
The program is administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence).
For investments in areas other than “targeted employment areas,” the minimum amount of investment is $1.8 million. Investments in “targeted employment areas,” which include most regional center projects, can qualify with a minimum of $900,000.
A targeted employment area is a rural area or a geographical area that has experienced unemployment at a rate of at least 150% of the national average rate.
Individual states are authorized to designate geographical areas within the state that qualify as targeted employment areas.
All investments are subject to risk and Regional Center projects are not exceptions. The USCIS requires proof that the capital invested is “at risk.” The individual investor cannot receive any bond, note, or other debt arrangement from the enterprise in exchange for the contribution of capital. This also includes the idea the investor buys a house or condo as this is prohibited also. This includes any stock redeemable at the holder’s request. Provision for guaranteed returns and redemptions will be classified by the USCIS as impermissible debt arrangements.
An EB-5 investor must invest the required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that will create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees.
For a regional center sponsored project, the full-time positions can be created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise.
An EB-5 investor who files an I-526 petition form with the USCIS and is approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card. A “conditional” Green Card is valid for two years. The conditional green card holder must submit I-829 petition from within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of obtaining conditional permanent resident status. Once the I-829 is approved, the conditional residency restriction is removed so that the immigrant, their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can live in the United States permanently. Both the temporary and permanent green cards offer the same rights and privileges.
The Eb-5 investor must file I-526 petition Form after investing or being actively in the process of investing the required investment amount in a new commercial enterprise (NCE):
1. In which the investor will engage in a managerial capacity through day-to-day managerial control or policy formulation;
2. Which will benefit the U.S. economy; and
3. Which will create full-time employment in the United States for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States, other than the investor, his/her spouse, sons or daughters.
The petition and accompanying documents must show the investor has already invested or otherwise irrevocably committed his or her capital to the project. Necessary evidence may include bank statements, investment agreements, and/or other evidence that the necessary amount of capital has been invested.
Furthermore, documentation must be provided with Form I-526 that shows the invested capital was obtained lawfully. In addition to the documentation related to the investment capital itself, the application must include documentation that demonstrates the new commercial enterprise is eligible for the EB-5 Program.
Finally, Form I-526 must be accompanied by evidence that the investor will be sufficiently engaged with the daily management of the new commercial enterprise. Accepted evidence includes corporate documents as well as a description of the investor’s responsibilities.
Usually, immigration attorneys compile and submit I-526 Petitions on behalf of their clients. The petition is sent to the USCIS Service Center for processing.
Once an EB-5 investor’s I-526 is approved, he or she can apply for permanent resident status. If already in the U.S. under a different status, the investor will file Form I-485 to adjust his or her status. Applicants living abroad must file Form DS-230 for immigration visa interview.
The I-829 petition is the final step of the EB-5 visa process for the investors to become lawful permanent residents of the United States. Form I-829 is for the EB-5 investor to petition to remove the conditions on their, and certain dependents’ permanent resident status which they obtained based on investment in a new commercial enterprise.
The EB-5 investor can file the I-829 petition with USCIS starting 90 days before the end of the two year conditional permanent status period. The petitioner’s conditional residency will be extended while the I-829 is processed. The I-829 application must be filed within 21 to 24 months of the investor’s two year conditional residency period; otherwise the ability to obtain a permanent residency card can be jeopardized.
There are numerous pieces of evidence that EB-5 investors must supply within the I-829 petition to prove that they have fulfilled all EB-5 program requirements:
– proof of conditional permanent resident card (green card);
– proof that a commercial enterprise was established
– proof that the capital investment was made
– proof that the commercial enterprise was sustained throughout the two year conditional residency period
– evidence that the required number of jobs were created by the project and that the business plan was followed
– biometrics services
– legal documents must be provided if the applicant has a criminal history
Usually, immigration attorneys compile and submit I-829 Petitions on behalf of their clients. The petition is sent to the USCIS Service Center for processing. Once the I-829 is approved, the investor’s conditional residency restriction is removed so that the investor, their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can live in the United States permanently.
Upon the approval of your EB-5 Investor Petition, notice will be sent to the National Visa Center, and once you have notified the National Visa Center that you have all of your documentation, you will be scheduled for your interview at the appropriate Consular Post abroad.
Form DS-260 needs to be filled prior to scheduling your consulate interview. It is personal information required for obtaining your visa/conditional permanent residency/green card, including a comprehensive form that requires biographical information and historical data of the applicant.
You will be scheduled for your final interview at the appropriate American Consulate once your EB-5 Investor Petition on Form I-526 is approved and visa numbers are available.
Form DS-260 is an immigrant visa application. This is the form you complete if you are residing or physically present abroad when your I-526 immigrant investor petition is approved and you are ready to proceed with the immigrant visa to enter the United States, as opposed to filing the I-485 form if you were filing in the United States.
The Consulate interview is for the Immigrant Visa, so the focus would be on the immigrant visa application you submitted.
Your attorney should prepare you for the consular interview. If he or she does not, then you must know the details of your I-526 petition and project details. You also need to submit civil documents required along with your Immigrant Visa application and each of your immediate family members (spouse and unmarried child or children under age 21 if applicable).
At your interview, the Consular Officer will basically review your record to make sure you have no criminal records or other adverse records that would disqualify you and review the accuracy of the information on your immigrant visa application.
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