There are a lot of opportunities to be exploited in an overseas scenario because you are not bound by the constraints of the traditions or rules and regulation of the country. For example, the US has the EB5 visa program, under which investors who make an investment of $5,00,000 in an enterprise in this country can benefit from a 2-year provisional residency.This kind of provisional green card is provided to investors, their respective spouses and kids below the age of 21.
The EB-5 Immigration Investor Program is pursued by the government of the United States of America for seeking out financially well-off immigrants. The EB5 visa program was initiated to bring more capital investment into the country.
If you have been looking forward to settling abroad with a business of your own, you can apply for this investor visa to USCIS. The is one of the most powerful nations today. Being superior in its currency and production capabilities, it has been able to dominate the trade scenario everywhere with its policies. Gaining a green card or a permanent resident status has become difficult after it has tightened its norms and regulations. However, it has still kept the mutually beneficial ways (ones in which the government is the gainer too) open.
After you have been approved for this visa, you are provided with a provisional Green card that is available for a period of two years. After 21 months have elapsed, you can apply for removal of those conditions by proving that your investment has led to a creation of the job for 10 US individuals. Once the conditions are removed, he or she is given a permanent green card and the individual can apply for a citizenship after a period of 5 years have elapsed. During this course, he or she should not demonstrate any behavior that proves contradictory to the interest of the nation. Being a moral and lawful citizen is necessary for clearing the screening process that takes place after the initial two years.
The applicant has to be involved in the day to day management of the company. Even if it is not a functional role, you should be involved within the company at least on a public level. Alternatively, if you have decided to invest in a company as opposed to setting up your own, it should have been established after November 29, 1990. But apart from all these conditions, there are certain other requirements that are necessary for you to qualify for the US EB5 Green Card Visa.
Those who can:
The one term that comes up quite often in this program is the mention of ‘Targeted Employment Area’. This targeted employment area refers to a rural area where employment is not so high. This means that the area you are investing in should be capable of providing job opportunities under the EB5 visa program. All your investment should be going into one area only. There is a minimum of USD 500,000 to be put into a new commercial enterprise. If the investment is not getting made in a commercial enterprise in a TEA, then its 1 million USD. The investor should be able to prove that there is no other owner of the capital invested by him.
- The source of all investment and capital is identified. There should be transparency in your balance sheet.
- All the capital that there is in your business should have been derived from lawful means. Any black money or undeclared source of income will automatically debar you from the process.
The above-mentioned criteria are one of the key conditions that have been established in the guidelines that are issued to the applicants. If you are not sure about your terms under the guidelines, you can go to an online window and check your eligibility.
The application process:
EB5 Investor Green card applicants should follow the given steps to ensure that they sail through the process without any difficulty. They are:
- Get a prescreening done to ensure that you have all the documents and paperwork necessary for the process.
- Confirm whether you qualify for the visa or not.
- If you are eligible for the EB5 visa program then approach your regional center to review and analyze the investment route that you can take. The process starts with the applicant filling up the form, I-526 which is his petition for immigration to the US. Afterhe has been approved, he needs to apply for either provisional PR for 2 years through the form, I-485 or apply for an EB5 investor visa status through the form, DS-260.
- There is a certain administrative fee that you have to meet for making this application. You must have sufficient financial backing in addition to the investment funding to meet your application and administrative costs. This fee can fall anywhere between USD 40,000 to USD 75,000. These conditions are only necessary if you are interested in making an application under the EB5 investor visa program.
- In addition to making this amount available for meeting the administrative needs, the applicant must also be able to pay and hire an attorney who will carry and see through all the paperwork that is associated with your visa. This fee can range anywhere from USD 15,000 to USD 20,000. It should be noted that both these fees are nonrefundable. So only proceed if you are absolutely sure about your decision. Do not end up putting in a lot of money and then getting rejected.
- The overall cost of an application can reach anywhere between USD 65,000 to USD 80,000. This includes everything from the application to the attorney to administration fees. This is not a hard and fast cost. Apart from what you have to pay at the USCIS window, the other ones are variable.
- The money that you have agreed to invest in the business in the country has to be put into an escrow account. This amount may range between USD 1,000,000 to USD 500,000 has to be made pre available. And the party will only get this amount back after he or she has carried out all the terms as mentioned in the contract. There are certain paper works that have to be seen through before the local authority transfers the entire amount. It also protects the interest of the investor since the paper works involved in the process are the ones that are used in issuing the green card under the EB5 visa.
- All this can take up to 3 to 6 months of time. So it is important to have patience while going through the process.
- Even if midway you are having second thoughts about your application, you do not have to worry about your deposit. If it is carried through you get the money in your new account. And if it is turned down, the money gets transferred to the account it originated from.
- You have to file the application for an immigrant visa(I-526) before transferring money to the escrow account. At this stage in your application, you are almost halfway through. A time of 6 to 8months is needed now to complete the process. If you are outside your country at that time, approach the nearest US Embassy for completing the process.
- You enter the United States on the basis of a provisional Green Card under the EB5 visa after applying for it via form I-458 or form DS-260.
- After the period of 21 months(2 years after the business was set up-90 days) has elapsed, the applicant can now file for removing the provisional status of the Green Card. This process usually takes about 6 months to be completed. Once through, the card is dispatched through to your official address.
- Even if your request has been turned down, you retain the right to file an appeal.
Key features of the program:
There are certain conditions that are made mandatory under the EB5 investor visa program. We mention them for your consideration:
- In case the business that you are about to invest in has been formed before 29 November 1990 then your investment must be vital in making the concern expand up to 40% of the number of employees. An EB5 visa investor can also invest in a business set up after the date of 29th November 1990.
- The expansion must be able to create at least 10 jobs for US individuals.
- There is an option available as to how to make the investment. Either you can make the investment directly or route it through a regional center that has an approved project by USCIS for employment creation in a targeted employment area. This generally helps one to avoid all the complication that is associated with traditional routes and is preferred by those not interested in carrying on a continuous operation.
- The business has to be the for-profit motive and must face some form of risk in the market. The form of ownership can be any as long as the above-mentioned criteria are met.
- The incoming aspirant must make sure that he or she has invested in a US business. It is not necessary to show that he/she has established it.
- The source of investment under an EB5 visa program should be clearly specified and not be obtained from any questionable source. Each investor has to individually specify the source of investment.
- The policy formulation for the management of funds should not bear any wrong doing.
- If there are any assets that the individual wishes to bring through for the sake of investment, they will be valued as per its price in US market and in its native currency.
- The commercial enterprise thus formed should operate in the US market and contribute to it.
- With the investment, the investor should specify the way this will create a job opportunity for 10 individuals. The employment should be full time and the number of employees should not include the investor and any of his family members.
- The area of investment under the visa EB5 program should be qualified to receive the amount of proposed investment.
- The business should remain in operation for at least 2 years even if the loss suffered is 20%. In case a business is facing losses, either for the last two years or one year, its called a troubled business. Such losses which led to an erosion of 20% of the net worth existing at the time when the business started. However, such businesses should be able to maintain the number of employees which were there at the time when the business was started.
Cancellation of the Green Card:
The EB5 visa USA can be canceled under some circumstances. They are being listed as under:
- If it is proved that the investment made under the program was to escape the US immigration laws and enter the country illegally.
- If the commitment capital was not made completely or the business was not sustained for a period of 2 years.
- If the investment did not lead to the creation of jobs as promised. That is to say that the individual could not create 10 jobs for US citizens.
Leaving behind your home country for embracing the foreign shore of US can be a huge decision. Be sure that you have thought it through. Even if you are having a second thought at the time of completing the formalities, you can withdraw your application and get back the money you have proposed to invest in the concern. The process might be lengthy and intricate but once you sail through, all doors will open up for you. There are quite a number of benefits that being a permanent resident of the United States can get you. You can bring over your relatives and family members for educational or health purposes. If they qualify, you can sponsor their visa application too. If you are a businessman and are looking forward to expanding your horizons, embracing the US market will give you a whole new level of market level operations to perform in. The best thing is that you get to bring along your spouse and children too after getting approved for the EB5 visa without undertaking any additional lengthy process. All your papers are processed simultaneously.