What is the EB-5 program?
USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” it is the shortest approval time for an applicant with less requirements in the entire immigrant catalog.
What are the requirements for the EB-5 program?
According to regulations, EB-5 status can be obtained through any of the following: a) Invest $1 million in a commercial business and directly create at least 10 jobs, b) Invest $500,000 in a targeted employment area and directly create at least 10 jobs, c) Invest $500,000 in a USCIS approved regional center.
What is the Immigrant Investor Regional Center program?
In 1993, to facilitate investments to Targeted Employment Areas and more effectively promote economic growth, Regional Centers were added to the EB-5 program which loosened job creation requirements to allow for indirect job creation as well.
How many regional centers are there?
According to USCIS, as of January 2016 there are 1,108 approved regional centers.
What are the differences between Regional Centers and the traditional EB-5 program?
An EB-5 program requires the investor to set up a corporation and directly hire and manage 10 full time American employees. EB-5 regional centers allow investors to instead invest in an approved project without having to directly manage the enterprise and can directly or directly create 10 jobs.
Are there a limited number of EB-5 visas annually?
Currently the USCIS allows for 10,000 EB-5 applications annually with 5,000 reserved for regional center investors.
What are the requirements to apply for EB-5?
There are not any commercial, age, education, or language limitations as long as the investor can legally prove their source of funds.
What is the USCIS?
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States.
Where can I find the law on EB-5 Green Card?
Under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(5), 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise. The complete text of the Immigration and Nationality Act can be located on the United State Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) website.
What documents must I prepare to process my investor Green Card petition?
With the help of an attorney you must prepare complete biographical information and prove the source of the investment funds. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires personal and business tax returns, if any, and proof of ownership in any businesses and business licenses. If your capital comes from a specific transaction such as the sale of a house, inheritance or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred by providing an official document, such as a closing statement or contract or other official documents. Other documents may be required and vary on a case-by-case basis.
Applying for the EB-5, how long before I obtain my green card?
Typically in two to four months after submission of all required documents the qualified applicant will be notified of the USCIS decision. If approved the applicant must schedule an interview at a U.S. Embassy in order to obtain a “conditional” green card in 9-12 months. For Chinese nationals the “conditional” green card’s waiting period is currently 18-24 months due to the large number of applicants.
What is a "conditional" Green Card?
A conditional green card is a temporary green card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application with the USCIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested and employment created. When the conditional resident status has been lifted, permanent resident status will be granted with the option to pursue U.S. Citizenship.
What are the differences between a conditional green card and a regular green card?
A holder of the EB-5 visa may obtain a temporary green card, which is valid for two years. Three months before expiration, the holder must apply for an I-829 with the USCIS. Once USCIS confirms the total investment and the total number of jobs created, a permanent green card may be issued. Otherwise, both green cards provide the same rights and benefits.
Can a conditional green card become a permanent green card?
A conditional green card is valid for two years. Three months before expiration, the holder must apply for an I-829 with the USCIS. Once that is approved a permanent green card may be issued.
After obtaining a green card, do I need to live at the location of my investment and manage the EB-5 project?
If the investor obtained the EB-5 visa through a regional center then the investor is free to enter and re-enter the United States without restrictions and does not have to manage the EB-5 project.
There are no limitations on locations to live. The investor can choose to live anywhere in the United States.

Can I apply for the EB-5 visa for my family?
Yes, as long as the investment meets EB-5 requirements you can apply for the EB-5 visa with your spouse and your children who are single and under the age of 21.
During the application process, if something happens to my marital status, such as marriage or divorce, what happens?
If during the processing your family status changes you do not need to reapply. Relevant and applicable documents will need to be submitted to catch up to your current status. This might delay your processing time and interview, but will be much faster than reapplying.
What does it mean to legally obtain investment capital?
The investor must acquire their investment capital through legal means, which means the source of funds must be from legal business operations, wages, investments, property sales, inheritance, gift, or other legal means.
Can gifts from parents or other relatives be used for EB-5 investment?
Yes, but the gift must be proven to be legal and fair. The gift may not be returned after the investor obtains permanent residency.
If I previously applied for L1, E2, B or other visas and was rejected or visa expired, can I still apply?
Previous rejections do not affect your application unless there is a serious reason for rejection or other major problems. The most important issue is to provide complete criminal records, health records, and/or past immigration records to your attorneys.
If my I-526 has been approved why do I still need to interview at the U.S. Embassy? What is the purpose?
The interview is before the issuing of conditional visas to assess the investor and their family for criminal records, safety, and immigration experiences. During the interview the investor may be asked about these issues and items on the I-526 application. If the investor and family currently live in the United States they can directly apply for a change of status through the USCIS without having to return to their native country’s embassy for an interview.
What are some problems that can affect the EB-5 application?
The most common problem is because the documentation is insufficient. Many applicants provide the minimum required documents and only submit more information when the application is denied by the USCIS. Legal proof of the source of funds is extremely important.
Is the attorney fee included in the $500,000 investment funds?
No, the attorney fee is not included in the investment.
After I-526 is approved can my family be interviewed in embassies in other countries?
Yes, family members can be interviewed in other countries according to their situations. If your children are in school in the United States they do not need to return to your country of origin. Your attorney will be able to assist your family to change their status at the local immigration office.
How is 21 years of age limit delineated?
According to the immigration law, 21 years of age is counted from arrival. As long as the child’s application is received by the USCIS before turning 21 the application is still valid.
If my I-526 application is rejected, will my investment capital be returned to me?
If your I-526 is rejected all of your investment capital will be returned.

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