Do you dream of living in the United States of America? Do you have some money to invest in a business that can create jobs and boost the economy? If you answered yes to both questions, then this guide will teach you how to apply for US residency by investment.
This special program allows foreign investors to obtain a Green Card and eventually become US citizens if they meet certain requirements. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not easy, but it’s definitely possible.
In this article, we will explain how to apply for US residency by investment in a simple way.
US residency by investment is also known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Congress created it in 1990 to attract foreign capital and create jobs in the US.
Under this program, investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) can apply for lawful permanent residence (become a Green Card holder) if they:
- Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the US; and
- Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers.
The minimum investment amount is $1,050,000 unless the project is located in a targeted employment area or infrastructure project, in which case it is $800,000. A targeted employment area is a rural area or an area with high unemployment. An infrastructure project is a public works project that supports economic development or job creation.
A commercial enterprise can be any for-profit business that is established after November 29, 1990, or restructured or expanded after that date. It can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, joint venture, holding company, or any other legal entity. The investor must be involved in the management of the enterprise, either directly or through policy formulation.
The 10 jobs must be created or preserved within two years of the investor’s admission to the US as a conditional permanent resident. The jobs must be full-time (at least 35 hours per week) and for qualified US workers (citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylees, or other immigrants authorized to work).
Also, the jobs can be direct (employees of the enterprise), indirect (employees of other businesses that provide goods or services to the enterprise), or induced (employees of other businesses that benefit from the spending of the enterprise or its workers).
The application process for US residency by investment has several steps and can take several years to complete. Here is an overview of the main steps:
You can invest directly in your business or through a regional center. A regional center is an entity approved by USCIS that pools investments from multiple investors and sponsors projects that meet the EB-5 criteria.
Hundreds of regional centers across the US offer various types of projects in different industries and locations. Before investing, you should do your due diligence and research the project’s feasibility, profitability, and compliance.
This form is used to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility requirements for the EB-5 program. You need to provide evidence of your source and transfer of funds, investment agreement, business plan, and job creation plan. You also need to pay a filing fee of $4,0102.
This can take anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the complexity of your case and the backlog of applications. USCIS will review your petition and may request additional information or evidence if needed.
If your petition is approved, you will receive a notice of approval and become eligible to apply for a visa or adjust your status. If your petition is denied, you will receive a notice of denial and may appeal the decision or file a new petition.
If you are outside the US, you need to apply for an immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy in your home country. You will need to complete Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, pay a visa fee of $3454, and attend an interview with a consular officer.
If you are already in the US on another visa category, you need to apply for adjustment of status by filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You will need to pay a filing fee of $1,2252 and attend an interview with a USCIS officer.
If your visa or adjustment application is approved, you will receive a conditional Green Card that is valid for two years. This means that you are a lawful permanent resident of the US, but your status is subject to removal if you fail to comply with the EB-5 program requirements.
Within 90 days before your conditional Green Card expires, you need to file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status2. You need to pay a filing fee of $3,9002 and provide evidence that you maintained your investment and created or preserved the required number of jobs.
If your petition is approved, you will receive a notice of approval and a permanent Green Card that is valid for 10 years. And if your petition is denied, you will receive a notice of denial and may lose your permanent resident status and be subject to removal proceedings.
After five years of being a permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for US citizenship by naturalization. You need to meet certain requirements, such as being physically present in the US for at least half of the time, being able to speak, read, and write English, having good moral character, and passing a civics test.
You need to file Form N-400, Application for Naturalization2, pay a filing fee of $7252, and attend an interview and oath ceremony.
US residency by investment is a great opportunity for foreign investors who want to live and work in the US and enjoy its benefits and freedoms. However, it is also a complex and lengthy process that requires careful planning, documentation, and compliance.
If you want to apply for US residency by investment, consult an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and help you avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.
Good luck with your American dream!
The residency by investment program in the United States allows foreign individuals to obtain permanent residency by making a significant investment in the country.
The minimum investment requirement varies depending on the program you choose. The most common program, known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, requires a minimum investment of $1.8 million, or $900,000, if the investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA).
The general steps include selecting a qualifying investment project, preparing and submitting an application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), undergoing a background check, attending an interview (if required), and receiving conditional permanent residency status.
No, you need to invest in a qualifying business or project. The investment must create or preserve a minimum number of jobs for U.S. workers and meet other requirements set by the USCIS.
Yes, the EB-5 program has an annual quota of visas available. Currently, it allows for 10,000 visas per year, with 5,000 set aside for investments made in TEAs.
Yes, you can include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 in your application for US residency by investment.
The processing time can vary, but it generally takes 18 to 30 months to receive conditional permanent residency. After meeting certain conditions, you can apply to have the conditions removed and obtain unconditional permanent residency.
Yes, in addition to the investment sum, applicants should be ready to pay for administrative fees, legal fees, and possible charges associated with due diligence, developing a business plan, and document preparation.
Individuals and their families can benefit from several advantages by acquiring US residency through investment, including the freedom to live, work, and study anywhere in the country, entry to a top-notch educational system, access to healthcare benefits, and potential paths to US citizenship.