Los Angeles EB-5 Visa Attorney
EB-5 Investor Visa FAQs
The EB-5 visa, also known as the investor green card, is one of the most costly and difficult to obtain. If you are seeking to start your own business or wish to invest in or restructure an existing one in the Los Angeles area or anywhere in the country, the dedicated team at Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. can help you navigate this complex process.
The following questions may provide further insight into the qualifications and application process for an EB-5 visa. Please call us at (213) 375-4084 for a comprehensive evaluation to discuss your specific circumstances.
What are the steps for acquiring an EB-5 visa?
Obtaining an EB-5 visa is a lengthy process with a number of specific requirements. First, a foreign national must invest a minimum of $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. by either creating a new business or purchasing shares of an existing business. The minimum investment amount depends on the location of the enterprise.
The involved commercial enterprise must be a for profit entity established after November 29, 1990, and in one of the following categories:
- Sole proprietorship
- Joint venture
- Limited or general partnership
- Publicly-or privately-owned business trust
Then, you must petition for a conditional residency status that will last for a period of two years in which to develop the business. The investment must lead to the creation of 10 full-time jobs in the U.S. within a two year period and you must play an active role in management.
After the two year period, you must file an I-829 application to prove that you have met the requirements of the EB-5 program. If this application is approved you will receive unconditional permanent residency. Three years after that you may apply for citizenship.
It is not necessary to create your own commercial enterprise in the U.S., as long as you are able to invest in an existing business. You may also purchase an existing business and either restructure it or create a 40 percent increase in the net worth or number of employees within two years.
A popular option for investors who do not wish to run their own business in the US is to invest in one of the 400 or so approved Regional Centers (RC) that sponsor one or more EB-5 eligible projects. In a RC scenario, foreign investors typically become limited partners of the EB-5 enterprise.
There is no single source of funds that is required for an EB-5 investment. USCIS finds various sources of funds acceptable including savings from accumulated income, gifts and real estate secured loans – as long as the source of funds is lawful and the path of funds well documented. The USCIS’ standards for source of funds are strict and working with an experienced immigration attorney is essential in preparing an approvable source of funds report.
The immigrant investor, the investor’s spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 21 may receive immigrant investor visas and obtain conditional resident status for the first two years. Your spouse and unmarried children will be able to obtain permanent green cards as well once you have successfully completed the two year conditional residency requirements of the EB-5 program.
The best way to find an existing business is to locate a Regional Center designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Regional Centers are preapproved for accepting EB-5 investments for various projects from a qualifying immigrant investor. The Regional Center offers a more hands off approach to obtaining an EB-5 visa because the investor simply provides the investment funds and the Regional Center allocates the funds and manages the EB-5 enterprise on your behalf. This option– like the direct investment option– also allows a lower investment of $500,000 if it is in a targeted employment area.
“Targeted employment areas” (TEAs) are rural areas or high unemployment areas (150% higher than the national average) that are in need of economic stimulus. By investing in a “targeted employment area,” an immigrant investor will be required to invest only $500,000 instead of $1 million. TEAs can be found all around the country and in every major city. In fact, even in “high wealth” areas of Los Angeles, California like Culver City, West L.A., Santa Monica or Venice there are TEA’s in certain census tracks.
Yes. If you have successfully completed the EB-5 program and your investment has created either 10 jobs, you will receive a permanent green card, which will allow you to live and work in the United States and to apply for citizenship after a certain amount of time.
Contact the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C.
If you would like to obtain permanent residency for yourself and your family through the EB-5 immigrant investor visa, it is in your best interest to work with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer. As a member of the Association to Invest in the USA (IIUSA), attorney Linda Lee and her team have the experience and resources to help immigrants successfully apply for EB-5 visas. To learn more about your legal options and rights, please do not hesitate to contact us.