IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM
Established by the USA government in 1990, the EB-5 visa stands for Employment Based Visa, Preference 5 and is found in Section 203 (b) (5) of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA). EB-5 allows immigrants seeking to enter the U.S. to engage in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy by substantial investment and creation of jobs for U.S. workers.Applicants can choose to create a new enterprise or invest in a pre-approved Regional Centre. Issued with a Green Card it provides Permanent Residency for the applicant, his or her spouse and any dependents under the age of 21.
The EB-5 program offers a number of benefits:
→ No language skills required;
→ No minimum education required;
→ No business or management experience required;
→ Investment capital can come from a gift, inheritance, business ownership or any other lawful activities;
→ Applicants do not have to live in the area of their investment;
Live, work and study anywhere in the US and benefit from lower tuition fees; Inclusion of dependent children below the age of 21.
What are the steps?
There are 2 investment options within the EB-5 program:
1. Creation of a new US enterprise
To be eligible an applicant must meet the following criteria:
→ Make an investment of US$ 1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise, or US$ 500,000, if in a “targeted commercial area”, which includes rural areas or areas with unemployment of at least 150% of the national average;
→ Create full time employment for at least 10 qualified US workers, who must be direct employees of the commercial enterprise;
Actively manage the enterprise, through day to day management or policy formulation.
2. Invest in a Regional Centre
Regional centers are investment opportunities that have been pre- approved by the USCIS. To be eligible an applicant must meet the following criteria:
→ Make an investment of US$ 500,000;
→ The enterprise must create full time employment for at least 10 qualified US workers, where indirect employment is permitted;
→ Active management of the enterprise is not required.
An eligible applicant must meet each of the following requirements:
→ Be at least 21 years of age;
→ Demonstrate legal source of assets and funds;
→ Chose from one of the available investment options.
Become a citizen
If you are a non-conditional Green Card holder for at least 5 years, you must meet the following requirements, in order to apply for naturalization:
→ Be 18 or older;
→ Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence for at least 3 months prior the application;
→ Have continuous residence in the United States as a Green Card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the application;
→ Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years (60 months) immediately preceding the application;
→ Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization;
→ Be able to read, write and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics);
→ Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law.
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