The EB5 Visa Program allows foreign investors to receive a United States green card. The green card grants conditional residency in the United States and can lead to permanent U.S. citizenship. To participate in the program, applicants must invest in a commercial enterprise within the United States. Investors wanting to receive an EB5 green card that can lead to permanent U.S. citizenship should follow these steps:
Meet the Qualifications for the EB5 Program
To qualify for the EB5 Visa Program and receive an EB5 green card, you must be able to meet the minimum investment requirement. This requirement is $1,050,000, or $800,000 for targeted employment areas. This investment must create 10 full-time jobs in the U.S. You must also select an investment project. You can invest in this project independently, or you can invest through a regional center. Regional center investment projects are generally considered less risky because they can pool investments from multiple investors. A regional center can also help you meet the job creation requirement and handle project management duties. Consider researching various centers’ project success rates before deciding to work with one.
Apply for a Conditional EB5 Green Card
You can apply for a conditional green card after being approved to participate in the EB5 visa program. If filing with a regional center, an immigration attorney will submit an I-526E petition on your behalf. If the petition is approved, you, your spouse, and your unmarried children under 21 will receive conditional green cards. These green cards are valid for two years and allow you to live, travel, and work in the United States.
Apply for Your Permanent Green Card
To remove the conditions on your green cards, your immigration attorney will submit an I-829 application on your behalf. Your attorney should file this form around three months before your conditional green card expires. This application must include proof that your investment created 10 full-time jobs. If you invested through a regional center, they are responsible for providing this evidence. If your I-829 application is approved, the conditions on your green cards are removed, and your green cards become permanent.
Apply for U.S. Citizenship
Once you have had your permanent residency green card for five years, you are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship through naturalization. The requirements to participate in the naturalization process include being physically present in the U.S. for at least 30 months during the five years preceding your application. You must have lived continuously within the U.S. since you obtained your green card. Applicants must demonstrate good moral character by not having a record of serious criminal activity. You must also pass an English language and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption.
Benefits of U.S. Citizenship
When you become a U.S. citizen, you get the same benefits and opportunities as natural-born U.S. citizens. These benefits include voting rights, the ability to run for elected office, and access to consular services when traveling outside the U.S. As a citizen you can sponsor family members, such as parents, siblings, or married children, for immigration. You gain access to various employment opportunities, including state and federal government jobs. Once you become a citizen you also become eligible to receive certain government benefits, including Medicare and Social Security.
The EB5 Visa Program Can Lead to U.S. Citizenship
Getting an EB5 green card through the EB5 Visa Program provides the opportunity for immigrants to receive U.S. citizenship. After being accepted into the program, investors will receive a conditional green card. If they meet all of the requirements of the EB5 program, their green card can lead to permanent residency. After five years, the investor and their family members can apply for citizenship. Contact an EB5 regional center or immigration attorney today to learn more about how they can help you meet the requirements of the EB5 program and become a U.S. citizen.