The EB-5 investor visa opens the doorway to permanent residency in the United States for those investing in government-approved projects. Introduced by Congress in 1990, the program aims eb5 visa consultants to boost the U.S economy through job creation and capital investment. Foreign investors may qualify for the EB5 visa by investing through regional centers designated by uscis.gov.
The government of the United States revived the EB-5 program on March 15, 2022, under the enactment of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA or the Act). The Act reauthorized the EB-5 regional center program till September 30, 2027. Besides, the program also received several changes to ensure that investors feel safe and confident while applying for the program.
Besides, families can benefit from the RIA's grandfathering provision that states that petitions filed on or before September 30, 2026, will continue to be adjudicated even upon the program's expiration. The update instills confidence among the existing EB-5 petitioners as their files will continue to process regardless of the program's status after five years. These applicants will still be eligible to receive their green cards even in the event of suspension.
The Act now allows EB-5 investors to live, work, and study in the U.S while their green card application is in the processing stage. The concurrent filing provision makes it possible for investors residing in the United States to submit their Adjustment of Status petition (Form I-485) along with their EB-5 application. These investors will also receive travel work and work authorization to do a job in the U.S.
The USA EB5 for Indians can be beneficial in several ways:
The demand for the EB-5 visa is gaining momentum among Indian nationals. The number of applications USCIS receives surpasses the number of visas available. The overall quota set for the EB-5 visa is 10,000 per year only. India is one of the fastest-growing markets for visa investments. The United States is also a desired destination among Indian youngsters seeking a global life.
For international students in the U.S., the eb5 visa process is an excellent alternative to the H1B visa because it guarantees them permanent residency, which H1B does not.
Wealthy Indians with prior EB-5 visa approval may send their children for higher studies with lower tuition fees. It also eliminates their concerns regarding the post-graduation visa.
Many work-visa holders like H-1B have to wait for their P.R. even after spending decades in the U.S. They are still stuck in the waiting line, whereas the visa program provides a quicker path to permanent residency status.
Another benefit is that while you may invest in a remote area in the U.S, you can still live in a bigger city with your family. Many Indian families explore this pathway once their kids reach high school.
There are two investment options for investors interested in applying for an EB-5 Visa:
Applicants investing in the TEA area need to ensure that their investment generates at least ten full-time jobs for U.S citizens, either directly or indirectly. The money investment must also have been legally acquired. Some investors also send their employees to the United States on an L-1 visa, which helps them in setting up the entire business in the U.S and managing its operations.
There are four steps in the EB-5 application process that an immigrant investor should follow to become a lawful U.S. permanent resident:
Step 1: Select a qualifying EB-5 project
First of all, you must select a suitable EB-5 project that meets the program's basic eligibility requirements. While choosing an eligible investment, keep two things in mind: a Green card and a return on your investment. The first relates to your immigration prospects in the U.S, while the second relates to how profitable your investment is?
Step 2: File EB-5 Petition
In this step, the investor must submit their EB-5 petition (known as Form I-526) with USCIS. The purpose of the I-526 petition is to prove that the applicant has invested the required amount or is in the process of investing the required capital, and that fulfills the basic EB-5 program requirements.
Step 3: Conditional two-year permanent residency in the United States
Once the investor's Form I-526 is approved, they can apply for a two-year permanent residency in the U.S. There are two ways to do it:
Step 4: Removal of Conditions
In this step, the investor becomes an unconditional permanent resident in the U.S. In this step, the department will remove the conditions to permanent residency after the filing of the I-829 application is filed.
The step proves that the petitioner has fulfilled all the basic requirements of the program according to USCIS.
Processing time and fees
The processing time between the petition filing and being assigned to a USCIS officer can be a bit lengthy. The review and evaluation process can also take a lot of time. At present, USCIS takes around 33.5 months-60 months to process the EB-5 investor visa case from the date of application received.
One of the most proven ways to speed up the adjunction process for the I-526 petition is by investing in a Project with Expedited I-526 Approval. Individuals can submit an expedited request with their I-526 petition when filing or sending the request after their petition has already been filed.
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Q1. Is there any annual limit on EB-5 Visas?
USCIS issues only 10,000 Green Cards in a year. If the number of people applying in a year exceeds, they are placed on a waiting list based on the “priority date”.
Q2. Where the investment money should come from?
All money should come from you. You cannot share the investment amount with others and expect them to get green cards in the United States. USCIS will review all your source of investment and will ensure it comes from a legal means only. You need to provide evidence, such as salary, investment, sale of lawfully obtained assets, gift, or inheritance, to prove your investment.
Q3. Do I need to get actively engaged in the business?
You must understand that you just can’t send the money and expect to get your Green card without much efforts. The investor must be actively engaged in the company, either in a managerial or a policy-forming role.
Q4. Can an international student from India with an F-1 visa apply for EB5 visa?
Yes, an EB-5 visa is available for Indian students in the U.S. EB-5 is considered as an ideal pathway for Indian students and skilled professionals in the U.S. to get permanent residency in the country without any sponsorship.
Q5. How much does an EB-5 visa cost?
The approximate cost of obtaining the EB-5 Visa is as follows: