EB5 direct, how to qualify here are the application stages

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Navigating the path to U.S. residency can be complex.

The EB5 direct investment visa program offers a viable route.

This program allows foreign investors to obtain a U.S. green card. The key requirement is making a substantial investment in a U.S. business.

But how does one qualify for this program? What are the stages involved in the application process?

This article aims to demystify the EB5 direct application stages. It provides a clear, step-by-step guide to the EB5 process and timeline.

Whether you’re a potential investor, an immigration attorney, or a financial advisor, this guide will be a valuable resource.

Understanding the EB5 Direct Investment Visa Program

The EB5 Direct Investment Visa Program is a U.S. immigration program. It was established to attract foreign capital into the U.S. and create jobs for U.S. workers.

Investors must invest a minimum amount in a new commercial enterprise. This investment must lead to the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

The EB5 program has two main pathways: the Direct Investment and the Regional Center programs. This article focuses on the Direct Investment pathway.

In the Direct Investment program, the investor has a more hands-on role in the business. This differs from the Regional Center program, where the investor typically has a passive role.

Qualifying for the EB5 Direct Program

To qualify for the EB5 Direct Program, investors must meet specific criteria. The first requirement is the investment amount.

Investors must invest a minimum of $1.1 million in a new commercial enterprise. However, if the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum investment is $800,000.

The investment must also lead to the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. These jobs must be created within two years of the investor’s admission to the U.S. as a Conditional Permanent Resident.

Finally, the investor must be involved in the day-to-day management of the new enterprise or must be involved in policy formation.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the EB5 Direct Program are stringent. The investor must have the required capital to invest.

The funds must be invested in a new commercial enterprise. This enterprise must be a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business.

The investor must also be involved in the management of the enterprise. This can be through day-to-day managerial control or through policy formulation.

Lastly, the investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years.

Lawful Source of Funds

The EB5 program requires that the investment funds come from a lawful source. This means that the investor must prove that the funds were obtained legally.

This can be through salary, investments, sale of property, or inheritance. The investor must provide detailed documentation to prove the lawful source of funds.

If the funds were gifted to the investor, the person who gifted the funds must prove their lawful source.

Failure to prove the lawful source of funds can lead to the denial of the EB5 application.

EB5 Direct Application Stages

The EB5 Direct application process involves several stages. Each stage requires careful planning and execution.

The process begins with selecting a suitable business project. This is followed by preparing a business plan and filing Form I-526.

Once the I-526 is approved, the investor can apply for a conditional green card. After two years, the investor can file Form I-829 to remove the conditions.

Stage 1: Selecting a Suitable Business Project

The first stage in the EB5 Direct application process is selecting a suitable business project. The project must be a new commercial enterprise.

The enterprise must be for-profit and formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business. It can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, holding company, joint venture, corporation, or business trust.

The investor must also ensure that the project is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) if they wish to invest the lower amount of $800,000.

The project must also have the potential to create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

Stage 2: Preparing the Business Plan and Filing Form I-526

The second stage involves preparing a comprehensive business plan. The plan must demonstrate that the new enterprise will create at least 10 full-time jobs.

The investor must then file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor. This form includes information about the investor, the investment, and the job creation plan.

The investor must also provide evidence of the lawful source of funds.

Once filed, the processing time for Form I-526 can vary. It typically takes between 12 to 18 months.

Stage 3: Conditional Green Card Application

Upon approval of Form I-526, the investor can apply for a conditional green card. If the investor is already in the U.S., they can file Form I-485 to adjust their status.

If the investor is outside the U.S., they must apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate.

The conditional green card is valid for two years. During this time, the investor must ensure that the investment leads to the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs.

Stage 4: Filing Form I-829 to Remove Conditions

The final stage is filing Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. This must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of the investor’s admission to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident.

The investor must provide evidence that the investment has led to the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs.

Once approved, the conditions are removed and the investor becomes a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.

EB5 Process Timeline

The EB5 process timeline can vary greatly. It depends on several factors, including the complexity of the project and the investor’s country of origin.

The initial stage of selecting a suitable business project and filing Form I-526 typically takes between 10 to 12 months.

Once the I-526 is approved, the investor can apply for a conditional green card. This process can take an additional 6 to 8 months.

Finally, the investor must wait two years before filing Form I-829 to remove the conditions. The processing time for this form can take up to 24 months.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls in the EB5 Application

The EB5 application process can be complex and fraught with potential pitfalls. One common mistake is failing to adequately document the lawful source of funds.

Another pitfall is not properly demonstrating that the investment will create the required number of jobs.

Lastly, investors often underestimate the importance of a well-crafted business plan. This document is crucial for the success of the EB5 application.

Conclusion and Additional Resources

Navigating the EB5 direct application stages can be a daunting task. However, with the right guidance and resources, it is achievable.

Investors are advised to seek professional help. This can be from immigration attorneys or financial advisors experienced in EB5 matters.

We at Global Immigration Partners PLLC offer a free consultation to help you asses and guide you along your EB5 journey. 

Remember, the EB5 program is not just about obtaining a green card. It’s also about making a successful investment in the U.S. economy.

Stay informed, stay diligent, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your American dream.

 

This Blog was written by:

Global Immigration Partners PLLC, is a specialized immigration law firm.

1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC, 20006, United States

Phone: +1 267-507-6078

Book a free consultation

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Global Immigration Partners | EB5 direct, how to qualify here are the application stages

Global Immigration Partners PLLC, is a specialized immigration law firm.

1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC, 20006, United States

Phone: +1 267-507-6078

Book a free consultation


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