However, besides the significant financial threshold involved in an EB-5 application, this visa type has other eligibility requirements that result in denials for many unprepared applicants. In this article, you will find out whether an EB-5 visa leads to a green card.
Does EB-5 Lead to Green Card? – An Introduction
Created in 1990 to stimulate the US economy by attracting foreign capital investments and incentivize job creation, the EB-5 program permits eligible foreign investors to enter the United States legally upon:
- Investing the necessary amount of capital in a US commercial enterprise, and
- Demonstrating the investment will create or preserve ten permanent full-time jobs for US workers
As provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the federal agency which administers the program, the required standard minimum investment amount is $1 million for standard commercial enterprises.
If the investor chooses to invest in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum investment amount required is $500,000.
Does EB-5 Lead to Green Card? – Key Checkpoints
Filing Form I-526
The first step is to file Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur). When filling out the forms, the applicant must prove that he or she has invested (or is in the process of investing) the required amount of capital, and that he or she satisfies the requirements of the EB-5 program.
In terms of processing time, it usually takes between one and a half to two years for an I-526 petition to be processed by USCIS.
Obtaining Conditional Permanent Residence
Upon the approval of Form I-526, successful EB-5 applicants may obtain conditional permanent residence in the United States. If the investor is living in the country, they can file Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).
If the applicant is still living abroad, it is possible to file Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application) in the nearest US consulate or US Embassy. Once either application is approved, applicants are granted two-year conditional resident status in the United States.
Attaining Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card)
The final procedure to attain lawful permanent residence (green card) in the United States under EB-5 status is filing Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status).
Applicants should submit their I-829 petitions to USCIS at least 90 days before the anniversary of the date that they were granted the two-year conditional residence. It is crucial to note that not filing Form I-829 on time may result in hefty consequences, such as not obtaining an EB-5 green card.
After receiving USCIS approval for their I-829 petitions, successful EB-5 investors will receive a ten-year green card with unlimited renewal times. Plus, the EB-5 investor may bring a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to live, study, and work in the United States as dependents.
EB-5 visa holders may also apply for US citizenship after five years from the date they originally obtained their conditional status with USCIS. Upon becoming US citizens, individuals under EB-5 status are entitled to all applicable rights and benefits.