EB5 Visas: Obtaining a Green Card by Investing in a Regional Center

Thứ Hai, 01 Tháng Hai 201610:29(Xem: 3393)
EB5 Visas: Obtaining a Green Card by Investing in a Regional Center



Since most EB5 visas are given to people who invest in Regional Centers, we will look at some of the frequently asked questions about these centers.

What are Regional Centers? Regional Centers are private, non-government agencies that focus on a specific geographic area within the United States in order to promote economic growth within that area. Regional Centers work to increase export sales, improve regional productivity, create new jobs, and increase domestic capital investment. Regional Centers must apply to US CIS for recognition but US CIS does not guarantee the performance of any regional center.

What are the benefits of investing in Regional Center projects? Investing in an approved project satisfies all the requirements for the EB-5 visa program. The investor does not have to worry about presenting a business plan for approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services because the regional center does that.

It is easier to satisfy the job creation requirements in a Regional Center. Regional Centers are permitted to count both the jobs that were created as a direct result of the investment, and jobs created as an indirect result of the investment.

How does the EB-5 visa differ from an L-1 visa (manager transfer)? With an EB-5 visa, you obtain a green card for permanent residence in the United States. After 5 years, the investors and their family may apply for US citizenship. Other visas, such as the L-1, may never result in permanent residence. They have time limits, they must be renewed, and they require additional filings with the USCIS or Department of State.

Who may obtain an EB5 visa? Any person who can invest the required amount into the American economy and can document that the capital was legally earned, is qualified to apply. The investor's spouse and any minor children (under 21) also qualify. The age of the minor children is "frozen" at the time of the I-526 application so, for example, a 20-year old dependent is not in danger of "aging out" during the process.

What is the minimum investment required? An investment of at least $1,000,000. is required for an EB-5 visa. However, if the investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the investment is a minimum of $500,000.

How long is the Green Card valid? The investor and dependents receive a conditional, 2-year green card. Before the expiration of the two year period, an I-829 petition is submitted to the USCIS confirming that the investment has been made and that ten jobs have been created as a result of the investment.

If the investor and his family are already in the U.S. on another visa, is it necessary to return to Vietnam in order to obtain an EB-5 visa or permanent residence? Probably not. In order to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. under the EB-5 program, the investor may not need to return to Vietnam. They may apply to adjust status while in the United States if they are in valid, non-immigrant status.

How long does the application process take? In general, the process takes less than one year. After the I-526 petition is approved, it is forwarded to the overseas consulate, or to the local USCIS for further processing and final visa issuance and conditional residency approval.

Where can I find more information about the EB5 visa program? Further information regarding the application process, requirements, and benefits of the EB-5 visa program can be found on the website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (www.uscis.gov).

Is it required that I have a degree of higher education? Must I have previous business experience? What if I do not speak English? There are no education requirements for EB-5 visa applicants. Investors are not required to have had any previous business experience. It is not required that an investor speak English because he will not be involved in the running of a business in the US.

Does the investor need to earn the money for the investment by himself? No. For example, the money can be a gift. The only requirement would be to show that the gifted money was legally earned. Another example would be using the proceeds of the sale of real estate or a prior investment to fund the investment.

May an investor apply for an EB-5 visa if he has previously been denied a visa to the U.S.? If a person was previously denied a visa to the U.S., he may still apply for an EB-5 visa.

What are the financial risks involved with the Regional Center investment projects? All investments are risky by nature and that includes Regional Center projects. Under the law, the Regional Center cannot guarantee profit or the return of the principal investment.

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Q.1. What is the most common reason for rejection of an EB-5 visa application?

A.1. In most cases, when an EB-5 visa application is rejected, it is because the applicant failed to demonstrate that he had legally earned his investment capital.
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Q.2. Will my investment in a Regional Center be returned if my application is denied by the USCIS ?

A.2. All reputable Regional Centers create an escrow account in which your investment is held until your application is approved by the USCIS. If your I-526 application is denied, your investment will be returned to you in full, minus administrative expenses.
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Q.3. Is the investor expected to be actively involved in the management of a business?

A.3. The investor in a Regional Center does not take an active role in the management of his investment. Also, the investor may live and work anywhere in the United States; he is not required to live in the area where the investment is located.

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