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If you intend to start or purchase a business in the United States, an EB-5 Investor Visa could be perfect for you. The EB-5 investor visa program enables foreigners who want to make an investment in a U.S. business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents, and potentially citizens, of the United States. There are some new changes for EB-5 requirements in 2020, this final rule is effective in November 21, 2019.
To meet EB-5 investor visa requirements, foreign investors must make an capital investment in a for-profit U.S. business entity. According to the new rules, the required investment amount is either $900,000 or $1.8 million, depending on which project you invest in. If you invest in a targeted employment area (TEA) the investment is $900,000, and if you invest elsewhere the minimum required investment is $1.8 million. EB-5 investments must lead to the creation of 10 fulltime U.S. jobs for at least two years. With these new changes, some foreign investors may want to take another alternative visas such as the E-2 (Treaty Investor Visa)
Under a new rule published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, several changes to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program will go into effect on Nov. 21, 2019.
The new rule modernizes the EB-5 program by:
● Providing priority date retention to certain EB-5 investors;
● Increasing the required minimum investment amounts to account for inflation;
● Reforming certain targeted employment area (TEA) designations;
● Clarifying USCIS procedures for the removal of conditions on permanent residence; and
● Making other technical and conforming revisions.
Currently, the average processing time for the EB-5 Visa (green card) is six months and the initial application and petition are usually approved in 60 days from the date of filing. With the new requirements EB-5 visa may take longer for visa processing.
You should find a suitable project which meets the EB-5 program requirements.EB5 projects are generally sponsored by EB5 Regional Centres and investors invest in a newly formed company called a New Commercial Enterprise (NCE).The project must be in a rural area or in an area that is considered to be a high unemployment zone to qualify as a TEA.
In order to continue the EB5 process, the EB5 visa applicant must also ensure that he or she is able to meet the Income requirement and other EB-5 visa program requirements.
After choosing an appropriate EB5 project to invest in, the applicant must make the required capital investment in the chosen project. From 2020, the required capital amount for EB-5 visa is $900,000 or $1.8 million, rising 80% as before.
In order to make the investment, investor must sign a subscription agreement which will give the investor an ownership interest in the New Commercial Enterprise. Investor’s funds are generally wired to an escrow account controlled by an appointed escrow agent. Then, an immigration attorney will provide proof of this investment by filing an I-526 petition with the USCIS. It will take about 12 to 18 months for the USCIS process. If the I-526 petition is denied, you will be informed and refund the capital investment.
The next step in the EB 5 visa process is to become a 2-year conditional resident of the United States. When your I-526 petition has been approved by USCIS, you will be eligible to become a US resident. This can be attained in one of the following ways:
File Form I-485 to adjust your status to conditional permanent resident. If you has already been granted lawful status in the U.S. (i.e. holds an immigrant visa issued by the U.S. Department of State).
If you does not already have lawful status in the U.S., then you must file for an immigrant visa by submitting Form DS-230 (replaced with the electronic version, DS-260) to the National Visa Center. This process can be done either through a U.S. consulate or a U.S. embassy in your home country. On May 31, 2019, Department of State (DOS) updated its requirement for DS-260 forms applicants, to fully disclose the social media activity of the last five years under a Social Media Disclosure.
In general, either of these steps will require the assistance of an immigration attorney. If approved, the immigrant visa is generally issued, on average, within 6 – 12 months.
The final step in the EB 5 visa process is for the applicant to become an unconditional permanent resident. This is done by the removal of your 2-year conditional residency status. The I-829 petition is submitted to the USCIS within 90 days before the anniversary of the date that the applicant first received your conditional residency.
The form generally requires that you prove you investment, involvement in the enterprise in which you invested, and the job creation that flowed from your investment. It has to be accompanied by a filing fee of $3,750 as well as a biometric services fee of $85.
Yes and in most cases you should have an accountant too because it is a good idea to have an accountant deal with the financial statements of any business you may want to purchase. You need a lawyer because the EB-5 Visa can lead to the forefront significant tax, financial and liability implications that you should precisely consider so that you set up your business and file your petition the right way.