Why Do I Have to Invest $500K for a Green Card?
What can you do with $500,000? You can buy yourself a nice, if not spectacular, home in many parts of the world. You can use it as capital to start a business in your home country. You can invest it in stocks, bonds or other securities. Or, you could invest in an EB-5 Project and be eligible to obtain a Green Card for you and your family, giving all of you the opportunity to spend the rest of your lives in the United States. Any assessment of the cost of an EB-5 visa should take into account these potential benefits.
10 Full-Time American Jobs
Keep in mind that in return for your $500,000 investment, you are creating at least 10 full-time American jobs. That is the requirement for obtaining your permanent Green Card. But as a business person, you know those 10 full-time jobs have an economic ripple effect. You are helping to boost the local economy and indirectly create more jobs and a higher standard of living for workers.
No Sponsorship Needed
The EB-5 visa is obviously not the only route to obtaining permanent U.S. residency, but it has many advantages if you can afford it. Other visa avenues require employer sponsorship to receive a work visa, and your spouse may not have the ability to work outside the home or attend school under these alternatives. Finding a sponsor, especially if job skills don’t match current needs, can prove difficult if not impossible for many who would like to immigrate to the United States. You don’t need sponsorship with an EB-5 visa.
While $500,000 is a lot of money, it’s important to consider what you may receive in return. First, if you have a spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21, your $500,000 investment allows all of them to accompany you to the United States and become eligible to apply for permanent residency status. Unlike other types of U.S. visas, the EB-5 visa doesn’t restrict the ability of you or your spouse to obtain jobs in the United States, and for you, your spouse and children to attend school. You can live anywhere in the country you desire and aren’t tied down to residing near the EB-5 Project in which you’ve invested your money. While your $500,000 investment must remain “at-risk,” according to the rules governing EB-5 visa, that doesn’t mean you can’t receive a return on your investment. While there is risk associated with every investment, if you invest in a successful project, you may receive a positive return on your investment. Given all the benefits associated with an EB-5 visa, a $500,000 investment might make sense for you and your family. Your EB-5 visa’s total cost could mean a net profit for you, and at the very least, it offers a viable path to permanent U.S. residency if you meet all project and other program requirements.
A Short Wait
One of the biggest advantages of the EB-5 visa program is the relatively short waiting period between visa approval and conditional permanent resident status. The majority of EB-5 investors receive conditional permanent resident status within two years – as long as all program requirements are met – and can apply for citizenship five years after that. Your $500,000 investment fast-tracks you and your family for permanent residency and eventual citizenship. While the EB-1 visa is available to foreign business owners, it’s not available for those who don’t currently have a business. That’s not the case with the EB-5 visa. You must have the capital to invest in an eligible U.S. job-creating project, but you do not need to own a business of your own. The EB-5 visa allows you to be eligible for permanent residency status as an investor rather than a business owner or manager.
If you decide not to spend the $500,000 and go the EB-2 or EB-3 visa route instead, your wait for permanent residency could take decades, depending on your country of origin. Meanwhile, your children might reach the age when they are no longer eligible for a green card via the EB-5 visa program. Time is money, and time is also opportunity. Seen in the context of time, that’s another reason why the EB-5 visa’s total cost may be a worthwhile investment for you. If you receive your conditional permanent residency within approximately two years, you can make all kinds of business and personal plans – and so can your family – that wouldn’t be possible if you are all still playing the waiting game.
The Most Popular Residency Program in the World
In 2017, Forbes magazine called the EB-5 visa program “the most popular residency program in the world,” and that is primarily due to its relative affordability. Perhaps you’ve considered immigrating to a country besides the United States, such as the United Kingdom, Canada or Australia. While these countries have their advantages, it will cost you at least double, and perhaps as much as ten times more, for their residency investment equivalents. These amounts run from $1 million to as high as $5 million. When comparing the competition, you can see why the EB-5 visa’s total cost may be a worthwhile expenditure for you and your family.