The popularity of the EB-5 program during 20 years of its operation only confirms its relevance and viability. An EB-5 visa is an immigration visa and a way to get a Green Card. To qualify, an investor must meet a number of requirements. First of all, he needs to make an investment in a project within a regional center in the USA. It is important to confirm the legality of the source of income. The investment must involve a risk. Then the following requirements must be met:
Invest at least $ 1,8 million in a new enterprise or $ 900,000 in a target region
Create at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified employees
Participate in the management of the established enterprise
Maintain the number of employees for at least two years
Unmarried children under 21
No requirements to a level of education, work experience, age, language proficiency
No need to have relatives in the United States
The fastest way to obtain a permanent residency in the United States for you, your spouse/and unmarried children under 21
An opportunity to get a Green Card, and subsequently obtain a US citizenship and then travel across more than 160 countries without any restrictions
Reduced cost of university studies for students
No queue for EB-5 applicants
The EB-5 visa allows investors to become Green Card holders and, after 5 years, a US citizen on easier terms. The advantages of this immigration program are more than enough. The program has been changed and extended several times – check out its current terms below.
The EB-5 visa is an official document issued to foreign investors who contributed to business development in the US territory.
The EB-5 program was launched in 1990 by the US Congress in order to stimulate economic activity in the country. It was decided to allow foreign investors and their families to ‘buy’ the right to live in the United States by making a substantial contribution to the national economy. To increase the program’s popularity, in 1993 the officials launched the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program which resulted in the creation of US EB-5 Regional Centers.
Regional Centers (RC) are private organizations authorized to receive investors’ money and manage it. As of today, there are about 300 RC in the USA, with this figure gradually growing.
The EB-5 program has the reputation of being one of the most credible in the world. What benefits does the EB-5 investor visa provide?
According to Amlaw Group experts, L-1 has historically been the most popular investment visa among Russians and residents of CIS countries. Although the cost of participation in this program is much lower (starting from $150,000) than that one of EB-5 (starting from $500,000), it requires a candidate to have at least a 1-year work experience as a top manager of a foreign company and does not imply the opportunity to receive a green card in the future. The investor can get permanent resident status only if he/she gets the visa re-issued.
The E-2 visa is issued under the condition of capital investment and business development and management in the territory of the United States. It is also not an immigration visa, just like L-1. This is why investors who want to settle in America need to opt for another type of visa. The most reliable variant for immigration is the EB-5 investor visa. But everything surely depends on the ‘right’ choice of the project for investment.
Every year US Citizenship and Immigration Services set the limit of 10,000 visas for EB-5 investors. However, this quota has never been exhausted yet. In 2005, 332 applications were submitted under the program, 486 in 2006, and 776 the next year. The number of participants skyrocketed in 2011, the immigration services issued about 3,500 visas that year, which figure exceeded the one recorded in 2010 by 80%. Experts explain the rapid increase in demand with the introduced changes to the program: the process became more transparent and effective, there appeared more RCs across the country.
The annual percentage of approved applications corresponds about 85-90% of the total amount.
All indications are that the interest of foreign investors to the jurisdiction is increasing annually. In the past 5 years, the number of immigration visas issued to Russian investors has grown almost by 100%. W1 Evans experts note that in the first quarter of 2016 the number of Russia’s citizens willing to receive EB-5 visas has noticeably increased. By the end of the year, the number of submitted applications grew by more than 60%. The spike of activity is believed to be connected with the unstable political and economic situation worldwide, with the EB-5 visa providing a real safe haven in case of force-majeure circumstances in one’s homeland.
The national composition of EB-5 investors in the USA is represented mostly by the citizens of China. Investments also come from the former Soviet countries, Vietnam, Brazil, South Korea, and Mexico.
A foreigner interested in participating in the visa program must choose between creating their own business and investing in one of the Regional Centers projects. In order to make the ‘right’ choice, one should understand the benefits of both options.
Practice shows that the majority of candidates for the EB-5 visa (90%) prefer investing through Regional Centers.
In this case, the investor does not have to follow the dynamics of the program requirements fulfillment regarding the investment capital amount and the creation of the required number of job positions. The key advantage of the RC is that not only directly created, but also indirectly created job positions are taken into consideration after investment. Indirectly created positions can appear, for example, as a result of the development of the region where the RC is located. Therefore, it becomes easier to comply with the requirements. RCs save investors a lot of headaches related to the monitoring of business that receives investment in order to check if it complies with the program requirements.
The level of project management is set by the investor. The EB-5 visa can be issued without the direct involvement of the candidate in the project development. The RC takes the responsibility for fulfilling the program conditions.
Another advantage is that the investor can live in any area, regardless of where his/her capital is active. For example, one can invest in a project in California and live in Florida. Moreover, one can be employed with any other company in whatever region, without losing one’s right to reside in the USA for oneself and the family.
Candidates interested in getting the maximum profit from their investments can choose a project to contribute in. Only those investors who meet certain requirements can get the EB-5 visa. First of all, the candidate must be ready to invest in the business, create a particular number of new job positions, carefully study the organization and make sure it is a suitable one. After all the formalities have been observed and the applications approved, the investor and his/her family receive temporary resident cards.
Applicants who want to obtain the EB-5 visa must go through the many-staged procedure. Those investors and their relatives in direct descent who will duly follow this procedure will eventually become green cardholders.
How can one receive the EB-5 visa?
Foreigners who become legal permanent residents in the USA receive a green card. This document allows them to move to the USA for permanent residence. Five years after receiving a permanent resident card, foreigners can apply for US citizenship.
What motivates wealthy people to immigrate to the USA? Let us name the major advantages offered to green card holders right now:
Getting a US passport is a logical ending to the whole process of immigration to the USA. It provides for the rights not available to non-citizens. American passport holders have the right to vote in elections and stand in elections for the majority of positions.
In general, US permanent resident status is enough to ensure a good life for the family, successfully move ahead with business ideas and integrate into American society.
$900 000 — minimum investment in a project in a rural region
Examples of calculations:
For 1 applicant - $ $908.600
For a family of four - $912.500
$1 800 000 — minimum investment in a project in a developed region (with a low unemployment rate)
Examples of calculations:
For 1 applicant - $ 1.808.650
For a family of four - $1.812.500
The following steps are described for reference purpose only. The main thing that we want to underline is that Migronis takes care of the preparation and submission of your case. You only need to provide the original documents. We will do all the paperwork ourselves.
Free preliminary background check of an applicant (1 day) and conclusion of the contract in one of our offices or remotely. At this stage, it will be sufficient to provide the copies of foreign passports for all family members that will be included in the application for an EB-5 visa.
Result of this step: background check report + signed contract.
We receive Police Certificates, fill out government forms, arrange notarization, translation and apostilization of all the necessary documents.
You submit the original documents and sign the forms and other documents that we prepare by ourselves.
As soon as the investment project and the Regional Center are chosen, an investment contract is executed and the money is transferred to the acquired company’s accounts or escrow account. After that, a petition for an EB-5 visa is submitted.
Result of this step: Approval received.
Once the petition is approved, the visa documentation is submitted, and the investor is granted a conditional permanent residence (conditional green card) valid for 2 years.
Applicant’s actions: Passing a visa interview at the embassy and departure to the United States.
You pay only after your case is approved and you’ve obtained your visa. Payment can also be made through world-renowned escrow agents. In this case, all funds shall be kept on the agent’s account until you receive visas.
It is very important to have a local certified specialist who understands the local specifics of work. We work without intermediaries and therefore are responsible for the results.
Our offices are located in different time zones, so we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want to see for yourself? Send us a message online or call us now.
We receive Police Certificates, fill out government forms, arrange notarization, translation and apostilization of all the necessary documents. Our partner controls the whole process. Your participation is kept to a minimum: you only provide the original documents, make the necessary payments and sign the forms.
Our lawyers are based both in the CIS countries and in the countries where we apply for citizenship and residency.
We are not an offshore company, which can disappear at any time and which cannot be sued, where the list of shareholders is closed and the company is registered for nominee directors. Our company is operating honestly and transparently, we work with our clients within a clear legal environment.
We start working on a case only if we 100% sure we can help a client obtain citizenship or residency. For this purpose, we conduct a preliminary background check (due diligence), submit a report and our recommendations. Only after that we sign the contract and proceed with the case.
In order to implement the post-paid service mechanism, we have perfectly adjusted our internal processes. Our goal is to provide the service within the shortest possible time and with a successful result because only in this case we will get our service fees. On the average, the preparation of documents takes from 5 to 25 days.
We have extensive experience and honestly talk about both successful cases and difficult situations on our blog. We do not recommend programs that do not function well (for example, in Bulgaria), or offer overvalued real estate to obtain citizenship (most of the projects on the islands).
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L-1 visa also involves a possibility of doing business in the United States. Under the US laws, an L-type visa is considered to be a tool for moving executive officers and managers of foreign companies to offices based in the United States. Also, an L-1 visa is issued to foreign nationals employed in the US companies abroad, to attract them to the US-based main offices. Whereas for obtaining an EB-5 visa it is not required to provide a detailed background for investor qualifications and managerial experience, a situation is different with an L-type visa. An individual petition must be supported by a number of documents. These documents shall include not only bank statements and financial documentation, but also promotional materials, job descriptions, business cards of employees, etc.
Those who invested in the development and management of business in the United States may apply for an E-2 visa. An important condition: an investor must hold 50% of shares in the US company.
L-1 and E-2 visas are not immigration visas. In order to obtain permanent resident status in the USA, L-1 and E-2 visa holders need to switch to a different visa category - often it is an EB-5 visa.