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Who is eligible for an EB-5 green card?

  • A foreigner who invests $1 million (or in certain instances $500,000) and creates 10 jobs in the United States may be eligible to obtain a green card. The green card or residency would be for the investor and his or her immediate family (spouse and children under 21). The creation of the jobs may be direct or indirect, meaning that the foreign national is not required to manage the day-to-day operations of the business in the U.S.

Can I include my family in the residency petition?

  • Yes, once you’ve made your qualifying investment, and the initial process has been approved, you may include your spouse and children under the age of 21 in your residency or green card application. They would have the same benefits as you.

What are the factors that permit me to invest $500,000?

  • If the investment is made in a “rural area” or in an area with an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average level, an investment of as little as $500,000 could qualify a foreign investor for his or her residency.

I don’t have the money to invest, but my rich uncle would like to give me a gift. Can I use that gift to make the investment in the United States?

  • Yes, you can use money that has been given to you as a gift to make the investment and petition for the immigration benefits.

Do I have to be the person responsible for managing the business I invest in or can I have a team dealing with the day-to-day operations?

  • You do not have to be involved in the day-to-day operations of your investment, but at the same time your role cannot be completely passive. As an example, you could be a corporate officer of the business or a member of the board of directors to satisfy the legal requirements.

What happens if I withdraw my investment after obtaining my conditional/temporary residency?

  • The investor must prove that the investment funds have not been withdrawn and that the full-time positions within the enterprise have been created. Otherwise, the investor will not be able to obtain permanent residency.

Do I have to create 10 (ten) positions or jobs in my company in the United States?

  • Yes, before USCIS approves the permanent residency, they will want to see that you have created ten jobs in the United States. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, if you invest in a troubled business, USCIS will want to see that you are maintaining at a minimum the pre-investment level of employees in the company. There are a number of ways of dealing with this issue, but in general, you should think that there must be a job creation of 10 positions.
  • Acquiring an existing business and engaging in significant “restructuring or reorganization”. This alternative is rarely used and has not been defined.
  • Expanding an existing business. This option requires the investor to prove not only the creation of 10 new jobs but also the expansion of either net worth or number of employees of the business by at least 40%.
  • If the investor invests in a “troubled business” (a business with substantial losses as quantified in the regulations), there may be an opportunity to qualify based on preserving existing employees as opposed to adding new ones.

I have been denied a U.S. visa previously. Can I still apply for the EB5 program through an investment in the U.S.?

  • The answer is maybe, but generally yes. You must speak with an experienced U.S. immigration attorney and discuss your specific situation. Immigration laws have many regulations, and also many exceptions. We have seen successful cases of foreigners who had been denied visas in the past, and who are now U.S. residents.

I was deported from the United States, would I still be eligible for residency through an investment?

  • You may still be eligible for your residency even after deportation, depending on many factors that would need to be reviewed by an experienced U.S. immigration attorney.

Who should be part of the team working on my behalf to ensure a good strategy to obtain my and my family’s green card?

  • We recommend that you have a team that encompasses an experienced immigration attorney, a business, tax and/or securities attorney, and an accountant.

What are the benefits of having a green card?

  • For one, after some time as a resident (as a green card holder) you may become eligible for U.S. citizenship and may obtain your U.S. Passport. You can also file petitions for certain family members as a U.S. resident (although these processes can take several years).

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