Getting EB-5 Visas for Your Family
With an EB-5 visa, you and many of your immediate family members may start a new life in the U.S. Your EB-5 investment of $900,000 in a Regional Center helps create jobs in the U.S. An EB-5 investment allows you to receive a conditional and then a permanent Green Card after fulfilling all conditions, including the creation of 10 fulltime, permanent jobs within two years. On a personal level, one of the program’s greatest benefits is that it also provides EB-5 visas for family members. Here’s what you need to know about EB-5 visa family eligibility.
EB-5 Visas for Family
Not only the EB-5 applicant, but his or her spouse and all unmarried children under age 21 may receive Green Cards via the EB-5 visa program. There is no limit on the number of children who may receive visas, as long as they meet the age and marital status requirements,
If a child marries before the age of 21 or turns 21 prior to U.S. admission, they are not eligible for inclusion on the parent’s EB-5 visa. When it comes to stepchildren, those who are under age 21 and single do qualify for Green Cards under the EB-5 visa as long as the stepparent has established the stepparent/stepchild relationship prior to receiving conditional permanent resident status.
When a child reaches the age of 21 or marries while holding a conditional Green Card but permanent residency has not been granted, it may prove possible for them to remove their EB-5 visa conditions under the investor’s Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.
If an EB-5 investor has received conditional permanent resident status but then goes through a divorce, the divorced spouse might also obtain residency after filing his or her own I-829 form. The divorced spouse must meet all qualifying conditions set forth by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Failure to meet these conditions can place the divorced spouse in removal proceedings and may have to leave the country.
EB-5 Visas Advantages
An EB-5 visa offers far more advantages than other U.S. visas, such as the H1-B visa. The investor and spouse may live or work anywhere in the U.S., and their children may attend school anywhere in the country. Children are eligible for in-state tuition if attending a college or university in their resident state. EB-5 visa holders may also travel in and out of the U.S. for certain periods without harming their conditional Green Card status.
In time, EB-5 investors and their family members receiving permanent Green Cards may apply for naturalization and U.S. citizenship. Once citizens, they can vote, run for most elected positions and fully enjoy all of the other prerequisites of U.S. citizenship.
Parents and Other Family Members
While the EB-5 investor’s parents, siblings, children over age 21 and other family members do not qualify for Green Cards under the EB-5 program, there are ways to help these relatives qualify for permanent lawful residency. If parents or other family members have the capital to invest in the EB-5 visa program, they can apply for their own EB-5 visa. That is probably the fastest route to obtaining conditional and then permanent U.S. residency.
Five years after receiving permanent residency, an EB-5 visa investor may apply for U.S. citizenship. At that point, the new U.S. citizen can petition to have parents enter the country as Green Card holders by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Parents are considered immediate relatives by the USCIS, but this is not an option for EB-5 investors who have decided not to seek U.S. citizenship. You can also petition for a stepparent, as long as that individual married your parent before your 18th birthday.
Along with the form and filing fees, you must include the following documents in your petition:
- S. citizenship proof
- Proof of parentage – Birth certificates listing the parents’ names will usually suffice, along with marriage certificates. Adoptees should include the adoption certificate. If petitioning for a stepparent, include your birth certificate and the marriage certificate of your biological and stepparent.
While you can also petition to have your siblings receive permanent residency status via a Form I-130 once you are a U.S. citizen, this process can take many years. If you are petitioning for more than one sibling, the USCIS prefers to process the petitions at the same time and schedule interviews on the same date. While you must include proof of your U.S. citizenship, you must also provide proof that the person is your sister or brother. Your sibling’s birth certificate, showing the same parents, is necessary. If you are half-siblings, you must provide documentation of the various beginnings and ends of marriages. You can petition for a stepsibling if the parents married each other while both of you were under age 18.
For best results, work with an immigration attorney during this complicated process.
How Lightstone Can Help
As one of the largest privately-held real estate companies in the country, Lightstone has raised more than $400 million in EB-5 investments and created nearly 10,000 jobs nationwide. We currently have more than $6 billion in assets under management and development. If you would like more information about the EB-5 visa cost and its benefits for family members, please fill out our contact form.