EB-5 Visa – Requirements, Processing Time, Investment, Cost, Process

EB-5 Visa – A Green Card, which signifies US citizenship, has long been a goal of many Indians. Using the EB5 Visa path is one approach to obtaining a Green Card. Indians can establish businesses in the US using this visa in addition to obtaining a Green Card. Individuals, their spouses, and even unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to apply for a green card, or permanent residence status in the US, under the EB-5 Visa program, which is run by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Read below to get detailed information related to the EB-5 Visa.

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What is EB-5 Visa

For wealthy Indian families seeking to immigrate abroad, the U.S. EB-5 Investor Visa Program has grown in popularity. By investing in a local enterprise that generates at least 10 full-time American employees, the visa program offers qualifying investors the chance to earn permanent residency in the United States. For projects that are in rural or a targeted employment area (TEA), the current funding amount is $800,000. The exchange rate for USD 800,000 as of January 18, 2023, is roughly Rs 6.5 crore.

The program’s main draw is that it is one of the quickest methods to get a US Green Card. It provides immigrants from other nations with an even playing field in the US. A green card makes it possible to join start-ups and smaller organizations as well as to seek entrepreneurial prospects in the US. It also does away with the burdensome H1-B lottery system. A straight route to US citizenship is also offered by the US green card after 5 years.

Minimum Investment Amount for EB-5 Visa

After the passage of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, applicants seeking EB-5 visas must normally invest $800,000 or $1,050,000 in a U.S. business. The investment under the EB-5 program may be made in the form of cash, inventory, equipment, secured debt, tangible property, or cash equivalents, and is valued using the fair market value of U.S. dollars. If the investment is made in a business that is situated in a rural area, an area with a high unemployment rate, or an infrastructure project, the minimum capital requirement for the EB-5 visa program may be reduced from $1,050,000 to $800,000.

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Criteria for EB-5 Job Creation

The USCIS mandates that EB-5 investments provide 10 new full-time jobs for Americans. The investor must create these jobs during the first two years of receiving conditional permanent status. In some circumstances, the investor is required to demonstrate that their investment resulted in the creation of direct jobs for workers who are directly employed by the commercial organization that received the investment. If the investment was done in a regional center, the EB-5 investor may simply need to demonstrate that 10 full-time indirect or induced employments were generated. Jobs developed in companies that provide goods or services to the EB-5 project are referred to as indirect jobs. Jobs that are “induced” are those that are produced in the larger community as a result of money spent by EB-5 project workers.

EB-5 Visa Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for permanent residency under the EB-5 visa program, foreign investors must satisfy certain regulatory and US Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) standards. Generally speaking, the investor must satisfy the minimum capital investment requirements, the job creation requirements, and the requirement that the business receiving the investment be eligible for the EB-5 program, as outlined in 8 C.F.R. 204.6. If all requirements have been satisfactorily satisfied and accepted by the USCIS, EB-5 visa applicants, their spouse, and their children under 21 will receive their permanent residency green cards.

Entities engaged in EB-5

A candidate for an EB-5 visa may invest in a variety of business organizations. Generally, the applicants have the option of investing directly in a new business or through a regional center. New businesses are legitimate for-profit corporations that can adopt a variety of organizational structures. Corporations, limited or general partnerships, sole proprietorships, business trusts, and other privately or publicly owned business structures are examples of such business structures. All new businesses must have started operating after November 29, 1990.

However, older businesses may be eligible if the investment results in a 40% increase in their net worth or number of employees, or if an older company is restructured to the point where a new commercial venture is created. The Regional Center projects, which may be more favorable because the investor won’t have to individually set up the EB-5 projects, are another option available to EB-5 visa applicants in addition to individual commercial operations.

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EB-5 Visa Working

According to the US Immigration Act of 1990, immigrants, along with their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, are eligible for an EB-5 visa provided they invest a specific sum in a US-based company that will create jobs for at least 10 qualified American workers. According to current regulations, the minimum investment amount is $1,050,000 (about Rs. 8.6 crores), although it can be as low as $800,000 (around Rs. 6.4 crores) if it is going into a “targeted employment area (TEA),” which is typically a rural area with a high unemployment rate.

According to immigration experts, those who hold an EB-5 visa can apply for a conditional green card, which is often granted in two to three years. After two more years, a request can be made to change the conditional green card into a permanent one, which will eventually open the door to citizenship and permanent residency. The H1B program places restrictions on where applicants can work and study, whereas EB-5 visa holders are not. They are also permitted to launch their enterprises anywhere in the nation.

Procedure to Apply for a U.S. EB-5 Visa by an Individual

Investors can cooperate with a Regional Center, a registered organization that pools funds from EB-5 investors to invest and create jobs on their behalf. Regional Centers are approved by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS ). The EB-5 Regional Center Program is the name of the later approach. Whenever you submit an EB-5 visa application via one of the two available methods, the immigration procedure begins concurrently with the investment phase. While running concurrently, they remain distinct. This implies it’s very conceivable to earn your US green card but not receive your investment money back, or the other way around. It’s crucial to comprehend the financial and immigration risks associated with the U.S. EB-5 Investor Visa Program if you want to ensure that you get your US green card and your money back safely.

Immigration Risks with the EB-5 Visa Program in the US

Within two to three years of submitting an EB-5 application, investors often receive a conditional green card (for Indian-born applicants, based on current processing timelines). An individual can live, study, work, or even launch their own business in the US with the aid of a conditional green card. Investors can petition to have their conditional green cards converted to permanent ones two years after receiving them. They can now ask the project to reimburse them for their investment. Denial of the Conditional Green Card or failure to convert it to a Permanent Green Card constitutes the primary immigration risk. Some factors can cause this to occur:

  • The investor’s Source of Money is not sufficiently verified to satisfy USCIS officials.
  • The investment you made in the project did not result in the creation of 10 jobs on your behalf OR did not follow EB-5 regulations.
  • You don’t meet the requirements for travel or residency

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