Frequently Asked Questions
Who should invest in EB-5 visa program?
EB-5 investors include people from all walks of life: professionals, business people, people wanting to facilitate their child’s education, and retirees. Because the EB-5 visa permits employment in the U.S., many EB-5 investors also create their own companies, become involved in charity or part-time work. Simply put, the EB-5 visa gives you the flexibility to do what you want in the United States. If you don’t want to actively manage your business, you should consider a director regional center EB-5 investment. If you have a U.S. citizen parent or child over 21 years of age, you may consider family-class visa categories. If you have exceptional skills or are famous, you may qualify for a green card based on your extraordinary ability. If you want to manage your own business, consider an L-1 (Intracompany Transferee), E-2 (Temporary Treaty Investor), or EB-5 case based on your own business which you control. If your goal is to have a green card and not to actively manage a business, it is more often cheaper and/or convenient to utilize the regional center EB-5 category rather than to start and maintain your own business.
Is EB-5 truly as passive investment?
The EB-5 regulations require some involvement in management or policy-making. The regulations deem a limited partner in a limited partnership that conforms to the Uniform Limited Partnership Act, sufficiently engaged in the policy-making of an EB-5 enterprise.
How much time does it take to complete all processes and get the green card in hand?
It typically takes investors about two months to invest, gather the necessary documents, and file the petition. One can then apply for adjustment of status in the U.S. or an immigrant visa overseas. Change of status for EB-5 cases can be processed in about six months, but can sometimes take longer. The immigrant visa at the American consulate requires about 8-12 months. After being granted, it usually only takes a few weeks or months for the conditional green card to arrive in the mail.
Can the EB-5 investment money be gifted?
Yes, provided that any applicable gift taxes are paid. It must be demonstrated that the gift is an actual arms-length transaction and that it is a not a mere ruse nor that the gifted funds will be given back after permanent resident status is granted.
What is a conditional green card?
A conditional green card is a temporary green card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application with the USCIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested and maintained and employment created. When the conditional resident status has been lifted, full permanent resident status is granted, and a permanent green card is issued.
Can I qualify for a green card another way?
People working for U.S. employers may be sponsored for a labor certification. Many highly successful and qualified people may qualify for permanent resident status as a person of extraordinary ability. Others may work for a multinational company with offices in the U.S. and overseas and be transferred to work in the U.S. – as a result; they may be granted permanent resident status. Contact us for a consultation on other alternatives for applying for permanent resident status.
What documents must I prepare to process my petition?
You must prepare complete biographical information and must prove the source of the investment funds. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires five years of personal and business, if any, tax returns; proof of ownership in any businesses; and business licenses. You must present a track record of an honest course of dealing. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as the sale of a house, inheritance or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred by providing an official document, such as a closing statement or contract or other official records. This is not an exhaustive list. Other documents may be required and vary on a case-by-case basis.
What issues have been problematic in EB-5 cases?
The most common problem area has been insufficient documentation regarding the source of funds. Many people try to disclose the least possible information only to have the file returned with a request for further details. It is better to provide too much information rather than too little information. In this era of terror alerts and suspicions about money laundering, CIS case examiners require a well-documented source of funds.
Are EB-5 visas available to people from any country in the world?
Legally yes. The statute and regulations can be accessed via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov
Visa processing times
California EB5 Investments cannot promise a specific timeframe, but all visa processing times can be found directly on the USCIS website link below: