What Immigrants Need To Know About Investor Visas
Obtaining an investor visa is one of the faster tracks to permanent residency available within the American system. The EB-5 visa is a conditional green card, meaning it allows you to maintain residency in the U.S. indefinitely, although re-upping every two years is necessary. You can, however, use it as a path to an unconditional one that doesn't require further reviews or even citizenship. As you might imagine, the government does have some stipulations.
Limits on Issuance
Each year, the U.S. accepts up to 10,000 immigrants by this method. If more than 10,000 acceptable applicants seek entry in a single year, the overage is reconsidered for the next year. This means you'll be moved to a waitlist and assigned a priority level based on the date of your application. Someone who applied in April of 2020, for example, would be given priority over someone who applied in September of the same year.
Similarly, there are limits on how many people can enter from high-demand nations. These tend to be fairly populous countries, such as India and China. You may want to talk with an investor visa attorney if you come from a high-volume nation to learn if there might be other routes to consider while you wait for an EB-5 to clear.
In 2019, the U.S. raised the amount of investment required. Folks investing in what are called targeted economic areas must make investments of at least $900,000. These are regions that are economically depressed, and an experienced investor visa lawyer can point you to potential opportunity zones you might want to consider. Folks seeking to invest elsewhere, such as thriving metro areas like New York and San Francisco, will be expected to invest $1.8 million.
The government considers investor visas to be high-risk applications in terms of potential fraud. Consequently, your financial situation and business ties will be thoroughly reviewed prior to any consideration of your application.
Your green card status means that you must use your EB-5 to maintain a permanent residence in America. If you are only planning to work or travel in the U.S., you should consider pursuing the appropriate visa for those goals.
Also, a spouse is welcome to seek a conditional green card along with you. If you have unmarried children below the age of 21, they may also seek residency based on your visa status. Folks who successfully maintain residence for 5 years under an EB-5 are allowed to seek citizenship.