How EB-5 Investors Can Help Their Parents Get US Residency
The EB-5 investor program allows you to bring your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 to live with you in the United States and eventually receive permanent Green Cards if you meet all EB-5 requirements. It may prove hard to leave aging parents behind, but it is possible that this separation is only temporary. There are two ways EB-5 investors can help their parents obtain United States residency. One takes time, and one takes money.
The EB-5 Investor Program and Citizenship
Five years after receiving your Green Card, you can decide to become a United States citizen. Once you become a naturalized United States citizen, you can petition to have your parents receive residency, on the basis of their status as your immediate relatives. While you must wait five years after receiving your Green Card to go through the naturalization process, the timeframe in which you receive your permanent residency varies depending on the country of origin.
When a country is in retrogression with the EB-5 investor program, that means more people are applying for EB-5 visas than there are visas available. In countries experiencing retrogression with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which oversees the EB-5 visa program, it can take years to receive the conditional Green Card. The backlog for mainland China is considerable, with applicants waiting a decade or more after filing their I-526 petition, “Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.” Viet Nam is also in regression, and India has joined the list.
Filing the I-130 Petition
Once the long wait is finally over and you become a United States citizen, you may file Form I-130, “Petition for Alien Relative,” with the USCIS to bring your parents to your new country. Contact an immigration lawyer to help you with this process. In addition to your parents, you may file this petition for a sibling or child. For an EB-5 investor, this is likely a child over age 21 at the time of filing Form I-526 or a child you are adopting.
The USCIS website warns that filing the I-130 petition is only the first step in helping a relative immigrate to the United States, and states, “Eligible family members must wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply to become a lawful permanent resident.” It is crucial that all sections of the form are completed. The USCIS rejects any forms missing information regarding the relationship between the petitioner and the alien relative, as well any information omitted regarding the petitioner or beneficiary’s name, address, birth dates and marital status.
As the petitioner, you must include evidence of your United States citizenship, a copy of your birth certificate if sponsoring a parent, a copy of your birth certificate and that of your sibling for the latter’s sponsorship, and a copy of your child’s birth certificate if you are sponsoring him or her.
An EB-5 Investor Visa for Mom and Dad
If the money is available, there is another way parents can obtain United States residency, and that is by filing an EB-5 investor visa petition for themselves. For most people, this is the fastest route for having family members receive a Green Card and permanent residency. The qualifications for your parents is the same as your own, and that includes a minimum $900,000 at-risk investment in a new commercial enterprise, such as a Regional Center project that creates at least 10 full-time American jobs.
As with all EB-5 visa applicants, your parents must prove their investment capital was obtained legally. That means submitting tax returns, business records, real estate appraisals and the like. If the money they are using for the EB-5 investment is an inheritance or a gift, they must provide supporting documentation.
Any EB-5 visa applicant must pass a background check. Such a check includes any criminal history or health issues. When it comes to medical problems, the person must prove they will not become a public charge in the United States, and this is especially a factor for older applicants.
How Lightstone Can Help
No matter your age, the EB-5 investor program is one of the best ways for a qualified investor to move to the United States and receive permanent residency status. We can help investors not only realize their dreams of living in the United States, but also help their parents come here if they are qualified investors. As one of the largest private held real estate companies in the country, Lightstone has more than $6 billion in assets under management and development. Our development track record is strong and Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s give us an A+ and A1 rating, respectively. To date, we have raised more than $400 million in EB-5 investments and created nearly 10,000 jobs across the country.