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Do You Qualify for the EB-5 Visa? A Guide for Families



If you and your family is considering the EB-5 Investor Visa program as a pathway to U.S. permanent residency, one of the first questions you must ask yourselves is:

Do we meet the EB-5 requirements?

The EB-5 program allows foreign nationals to obtain a U.S. green card by investing substantially in a U.S. commercial enterprise. However, you must meet specific criteria to get one. Here’s what families need to know about EB-5 eligibility:

Investment Requirements A major EB-5 requirement is the capital investment amount. Families must be prepared to invest in either:

  • $800,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA)
  • $1,050,000 in a non-TEA location

The full investment amount must be made from a lawful source of funds that the family can properly document.

Source of Funds

Regarding documentation, proving the lawful path of all invested funds is a crucial EB-5 requirement. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will scrutinize the source of funds. A clear trail of lawful earnings, investments, and asset transfers is essential.

Job Creation

Through their investment, the EB-5 investor visa program requires the family to create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. This job creation criteria must be met within the 2-year sustainment period to obtain conditional permanent residency.

No Criminal Record

Any family member on the EB-5 petition must have a clean criminal record. Certain crimes can make an individual inadmissible and prevent EB-5 visa approval.

Determine Your Eligibility

With substantial funds, a lawful source, and the ability to meet other requirements, your family could qualify for an EB-5 visa. However, the program’s rules and regulations are complex.

The best way for families to assess EB-5 eligibility is through a free EB-5 evaluation by an authorized firm or attorney. Experienced EB-5 experts can review your situation and finances to determine if you meet all requirements.

By taking this first step of an EB-5 evaluation, families can understand their options and decide if this investment immigration program is the right choice

Sure, here’s a section added about EB-5 processing times as something to keep in mind:

Processing Timelines to Consider

Besides meeting the eligibility requirements, families should be prepared for lengthy EB-5 visa processing times from start to finish. This is an important factor to consider when pursuing this investment immigration path.

The EB-5 process involves multiple steps and forms, each taking a significant amount of time due to the thorough vetting involved. Here’s a look at current timelines:

I-526 Petition: Over 2 years Once all investment and source of funds documentation is compiled, the process begins by filing Form I-526. As of early 2023, USCIS processing times for I-526 petitions exceeded 25 months on average.

Conditional Permanent Residency: Additional delays After I-526 approval, investors must apply for conditional permanent resident status with form I-485, which adds further delays through additional forms and documentation.

Removing Conditions (I-829): Over 3 years The most daunting timeline is removing conditions after 2 years. Investors must file Form I-829 within a 90-day window before their 2nd anniversary. However, processing times for I-829 currently stretch beyond 38 months in many cases.

Total EB-5 Timeline: Over 5 years Based on current timelines, the entire EB-5 process could realistically take over 5 years from start to finish. Families must have a long-term plan and patience while maintaining status requirements.

While the EB-5 program allows families to ultimately achieve permanent U.S. residency, the processing delays are crucial to understand and prepare for. Working with experienced EB-5 immigration experts is invaluable for navigating this timely process efficiently.

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