Foreign Investors: EB-5 Visa Program - Your Gateway To A US Green Card
How To Secure A Great Investment And Become A US Citizen...
In 1990 the US Congress created the EB-5 immigrant investor visa category to attract foreign capital to the US and creating jobs for American workers in the process. There are 10,000 visas available in this category each year, 3,000 of which are reserved for investors in 'Regional Centers' designated by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (the branch of the US Goverment that overseas US Citizenship and Immigration matters). These 'Regional Centers' are private entities that specialize in promoting economic growth in low employment areas through business and investment projects.
There are three basic requirements for an EB-5 visa:
Now meeting these requirements may sound like quiet a challenge, but fortunately there is an easy way to achieve these objectives, provided you have $500K to $1 million to invest. Here's how...
In 1993, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created an option whereby Foreign Investors could invest $500,000 or more in a USCIS designated "Regional Center" to stimulate business in low employment areas. Essentially the approved Regional Center will set-up a joint-venture partnership into which Foreign Investors will invest $500,000 or more. Investors may apply for a Green Card on making the investment.
Investors in a Regional Center generally become 'silent partners' with a proffessional team that establishes and manages the joint venture partnership. At least 10 Full-Time jobs must be created for US workers by the joint venture partnership, but these do not need to be created directly within the new business itself. Instead the Regional Center may rely on industry job multiplier statistics. Additionally, if there are more than one EB-5 Investor per investment unit, EB-5 Investors can use the same employees to reach the required 10 new worker positions, provided each EB-5 Investor contributes the required investment amount to the investment unit.
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EB-5 Investment & Targeted Employment Areas
The basic EB5 Visa investment unit amount is $1 million. This may be reduced to $500,000 if the business is established in a "Targeted Employment Area, (TEA)." A TEA is either a rural area or an area experiencing a high unemployment rate at the time of investment as defined in the act. Right now many US Cities have areas falling within a TEA.
Investment Through A Regional Center
The first step when deciding to apply for an EB-5 Visa is to hire a Certified Foreign Investment Specialist (CFIS) to assist you in finding the right type of investment through a USCIS Designated Regional Center. Your CFIS will also assist you to find a local immigration attorney to help you prepare all immigration applications and paperwork. Generally this is how the process will proceed once you have engaged a CFIS:
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Once you have your EB-5 Visas, you may establish US Residency in any of the 50 US States. You do not have to live in the state where you have invested, but you will need to live at least 181 days of each year in the USA to maintain your status as a US resident.
Barry J. Gazzard is a Certified Foreign Investment Specialist (CFIS) and can asssit you in locating a USCIS Approved Investment Project to invest in. While you will be required to complete an Engage Letter to hire Barry J. Gazzard to assist you as your CFIS, Barry will be remunerated directly by the Regional Center once your EB-5 application has been approved by USCIS. Some currently available investment opportunities brokered by Barry J. Gazzard are listed below.
Getting Your Green Card
In order to deter immigration fraud, EB-5 Visa Investors are subject to conditional permanent residence for a two-year period. Ninety-days prior to the end of this two-year period, the EB-5 Investor must file a petition to remove this condition and thus become a lawful permanent resident of the USA (i.e. 'A Green Card Holder'). This petition must show amongst other things that the business has been established, is successfully operating and has created employment (either directly or indirectly) for at least 10 US workers per EB-5 Visa applicant, and that the required $500,000 or more per EB-5 Investor has been invested. Each EB-5 Investor may include under their application their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 years.
Becoming A US Citizen
After a period of 5 years, a US Permanent Resident may apply for US Citizenship. Certain additional criteria may be required such as completing a citizenship test on US Civics and History, and a basic comprehension of the English Language must be demonstrated. In addition, applicants for US Citizenship must swear allegence to the USA and commit to uphold and defend the constitution, and to defend the country against foreign invasion. Obtaining a fellony conviction while a permanet resident may result in forfieture of citizenship opportunities and/or termination of permanent residence status and/or deporation from the USA. Permanent Residents are not required to become US Citizens and may remain US Permanent Residents indefinitely provided they comply with the laws of the land and do not breach the conditions of their permanent residency.