EB-5 Immigrant Visa

New Jersey Immigration Lawyer—(973) 814-4408

The EB-5 Immigrant Visa (Fifth Preference for permanent workers) was created to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. This type of visa does not require a job offer from an U.S. employer (sponsor). Among all business visas, the EB-5 is the most desirable, as it ensures the permanent residence (Green Card) in the United States for the principal investor, his or her spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.

As a New Jersey Immigration Attorney, I handle any kind of immigration matters, including Investment Visas, Employment-based Visas, Green Card petitions, and application for U.S. Citizenship. I am also one of the very few Immigration Lawyers in New York with firsthand experience in Business Visas and the immigration system in general, as I have held the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa status before becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Permanent Residency through Investments

The EB5 business Green Card is reserved for foreign nationals who make an investment of $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 full-time workers (a minimum of 35 hours per week). Said workers must be either U.S. citizens or Green Card holders.

  • A sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Corporation
  • Business trust or other entity

Some geographic areas or political subdivisions qualify as high unemployment areas, which, along with rural areas, are recognized as Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) in the EB-5 program. A rural area is any area not within either a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or the outer boundary of any city having a population of 20,000 or more. A high unemployment area is a geographic area or political subdivision located within a metropolitan statistical area, or within a city having a population of 20,000 or more, that, at the time of investment, has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate. If the enterprise in which the immigrant investor invests in is located in a TEA, the required amount of capital from the immigrant investor to make a qualifying investment is $500,000, otherwise it is $1,000,000.

Capital invested can be money, equipment or property owned by the entrepreneur.

How to Obtain an EB-5 Business Green Card

There are two ways to invest in a commercial enterprise within the EB-5 program and they are: creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business.

Thus, to qualify you must:

  • invest in an at least two years business;
  • invest in a business which deserved a net loss (equal to the 20% of the net assets) from 12 to 24 months before filling the Form I- 526;
  • keep the number of jobs and not less than the pre-investment, for a period of at least two years;
  • be involved in the daily management of the business or directly manage it through formulating business policy (corporate officer or board member).

There are two ways to obtain an EB-5 Visa: either through an approved Regional Center or through a private investment.

A Regional Center is any economic unit, public or private, involved in the economic growth, improving regional productivity, job creation and increasing domestic capital investment. It is a feasible solution for immigrants who are not interested in the management and control of a company but are interested in granting a Green Card.

A direct investment can be done in any legitimate productive activity that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified American employees.

There are two ways to make a direct EB-5 investment: by starting a new commercial enterprise, or by purchasing and expanding an existing business, increasing its net worth of at least 40% or increasing the number of its employees.

Assistance with EB-5 Business Green Card Application

The application for an EB-5 Business Green Card is made with the USCIS on Form I-526 (Petition for an Alien Entrepreneur). If you live outside the United States you can start a petition via consular processing that is the USCIS collaborate with the Department of State to issue a visa, according to the prior approval of the Form I-526.

Once the petition is approved, there are two way to proceed:

If you live outside the United States, you have to schedule an immigrant Visa interview at the U.S. Embassy of your country. This is also called Consular Processing

If you are already living in the United States under a valid, unexpired non-immigrant Visa, you can apply for adjustment of status with USCIS with Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), accompanied by the required documentation.

The spouse and children residing in the United States may be included in the petition, filling in the Form I-485 for each of them. Even if you are waiting for a Form I- 485, you can apply for permission to work in the United States and permission to travel and be admitted to the United States to return.

Once the EB-5 petition is approved, the investor and his/her dependents are admitted in the United States as Conditional Lawful Permanent Residents. The Form I-829 (Petition by an Entrepreneur to Remove Condition) must be filed 90 days prior to the two-year anniversary of the granting of the EB-5 applicant's conditional Green Card in order to demonstrate that the investment was sustained. If this petition is approved by USCIS, then the EB-5 applicant and the family will be issued a new Green Card without any further conditions and will be allowed to permanently live and work in the United States. After 5 years from the initial admission in the United States as conditional permanent resident, an EB-5 investor is eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship.

Get in touch with my firm for more information and legal counsel customized to your unique situation.

EB-5 Visa Advantages

By investing $500,000 to $1,000,000, you can secure a Green Card and enjoy the following benefits:

  • After 5 years the initial admission in the United States as conditional permanent resident, you can apply for U.S. Citizenship;
  • You don't need language, age, professional experience, or education requirements;
  • You can invest your money anywhere in the U.S. and in any business you wish;
  • You don't need direct family members in the United States;
  • You don't need residency requirements in the U.S.;
  • You don't need a job offer from a U.S. employer;
  • Your spouse and unmarried children, under the age of 21, can get their own Green Cards, as direct relatives;
  • For individuals investing in, no daily management of a business (only for Regional Center projects).

Hire an Experienced Immigration Attorney in New Jersey

Becoming a part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program involves the investment of a considerable sum of money. For this reason, you need to make sure that you have a dedicated and experienced legal team supporting you. I offer complete solutions for foreign investors, from Business Plan review to Visa approval, and everything required in between. If you would like a free evaluation of your immigration case, please fill out a contact form with as many details as possible. I am also available for in-person consultations at my offices in Cedar Grove New Jersey or New York City.

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