The EB-5 Investor visa is one way that you and your family can acquire permanent residence status (green card) in the U.S. You will need to use an immigration visa, probably hire a professional legal translator (if your native language isn’t English), and have sufficient capital to invest in a job creating enterprise in the U.S.
The following is a very brief guide to the steps involved in getting your EB-5 visa:
- Make sure you are able to pass the “admissibility”criteria. These have nothing directly to do with your investment, but are personal criteria determined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). They include having no criminal convictions, good health, no connection to terrorist organizations and can prove that your assets used in the visa application are from legitimate sources.
- Choose an immigration attorney in the U.S. who has experience in EB-5 visa applications. The first thing that the attorney will do is to check to make sure that you are eligible to apply for the visa. You may be able to do this online, depending n the attorney you have chosen.
- You will need to select an appropriate investment. It must be an “at-risk” type investment that creates at least 10 jobs for American citizens or permanent residents. You may need to consult an investment expert to help you choose a suitable investment. You are only an investor, not a manager, so it is not important that you take a direct role in the business you invest in.
- With the help of your attorney you file what is called in the U.S. a “petition.” This is the name given for an application for a visa in the U.S. The attorney will provide details of the documents you will need to provide for you, nay family members and proof of your investment’s eligibility for an EB-5. If any of these documents are in a language other than English, they must be translated by a certified legal translator. The documents will be rejected by the USCIS if they are not translated into English and certified by the translator.
- Your EB-5 status depends on the progress of your investment. That’s why it is important that you choose an investment expert wisely as your success with the visa depends on the investment succeeding. Meanwhile your application for the EB-5 goes into a queue at the USCIS. Average waiting time for an EB-5 petition is around 15 months at the moment.
- If your application is approved, you will have an interview at your country’s U.S. embassy or consulate. As long as this goes according to expectations, you will get conditional green cards for yourself and any family members who were legitimately part of your application. You can then go to the U.S. as a permanent resident.
- Permanent green card status takes some time and is dependent on the success of the investment and, in particular, the job creation aspect. This may take another two years while you are conditional green card holders.