Foreign investors interested in obtaining permanent legal resident status in the United States have a unique opportunity to pursue this goal through the EB-5 visa process. Once an applicant invests a certain amount of money in a specific kind of American business enterprise, creates a number of new, full-time jobs for Americans via that enterprise and maintains those jobs over time, he or she will generally be granted permanent legal resident status.
After the requisite initial investment has been made, conditional permanent resident status is granted via an EB-5 visa. The visa holder may then remain legally in the United States while creating the required number of jobs and maintaining those positions over time. After all EB-5 visa requirements are met, a green card may be issued. But in order for the initial EB-5 visa application to be properly approved, either a $1 million or $500,000 investment must be made in an eligible American business enterprise.
Please note that regardless of whether you opt to directly invest in a business or invest via a regional center opportunity that your investment amount will be tied to the location in which your eligible business operates. In addition, your investment must lead to the creation of at least 10 new American jobs that are classified as both “permanent” and full-time. A $1 million investment may be made in regards to any eligible opportunity, whereas an applicant needs only to invest $500,000 if the business enterprise is located in a qualifying rural area or area of especially high unemployment.
If you are interested in making a direct investment or participating in a regional center opportunity, know that the enterprise you are investing in must be new, must generally be based in the United States and must create the requisite number of new, permanent jobs for Americans. It must also benefit the U.S. economy, although if all other conditions are met, this last one will almost certainly result as a matter of course.
It is worth noting that the new commercial enterprise may not be a non-profit and may not be a holding company. Public or private for-profit enterprises generally qualify for EB-5 investment, provided that they are new and meet the other qualifications already noted. These qualifications are generally the same regardless of whether you make a direct investment or participate in a regional center investment program.
Investment and Immigration Assistance Is Available
If you are an aspiring business owner or investor, the assistance of a legal attorney can help you navigate employment-related visa options. LawTrades has extensive experience assisting both individuals and businesses in matters concerning investment and employment-based immigration.