EB-5 Visa Cost
The EB-5 Cost: What is the Total Cost of an EB-5 Visa?
When assessing the appropriateness of pursuing an EB-5 visa, investors should bear in mind the capital requirements and other costs that they will have to pay as part of the process. The more customary costs and expenses are summarized below but, depending on your individual case, you may incur additional costs. Your immigration attorney will often be able to provide general estimates of the costs based on your country of origin and your particular circumstances.
Please note that the cost of an EB-5 visa depends on many factors and may change over time. The most significant costs to consider are the initial investment amount (either $1,000,000 or $500,000 in a “TEA”), EB-5 administration fees, a $3,675 I-526 application filing fee, a $1,140 I-485 application filing fee, a $3,750 I-829 application fee, and your attorney’s fees. Please see below to learn more about the breakdown in capital required throughout the EB-5 visa process.
Minimum EB-5 Investment
The most significant EB-5 visa “cost” is often the amount of the investment itself, which is either $1,000,000 or, in the case of a qualifying investment a Targeted Employment Area (or “TEA”) project, $500,000.
What is a TEA?
The USCIS recognizes two types of TEAs:
- Rural areas
- Areas of high unemployment
A rural area is defined as a geographic location that is designated by the Office of Management and Budget as outside of a metropolitan statistical area and outside a city’s or town’s outer boundary (if that city or town has a population of 20,000 or more).
An area of high unemployment is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). If the BLS records unemployment in an area at a minimum of 150% of the national average, the area can be designated as an area of high unemployment. State agencies may also maintain their own standards for identifying TEAs and what criteria are used to define unemployment. The USCIS defers to the states in determining the area, but retains the right to review the criteria each state uses. In some cases, there are also private sources of information that may be used.
In all cases, an investor must be able to identify that the source of income used for the investment was acquired through legal means.
In addition to the amount of the investment, investors should be aware of the fees associated with the EB-5 process. All EB-5 investors will be required to pay one fee or another, such as USCIS fees and fees charged to cover administrative costs. In most cases, fees are non-refundable.
EB-5 Administration Fees
Typically regional centers charge an administration fee for the EB-5 visa investment to cover the costs of related to the issuance. Although total fees may vary for this service, you should expect to pay approximately $50,000 above the amount of the EB-5 investment.
EB-5 Application Fees
The USCIS charges an I-526 filing fee of $3,675 that may be paid with a cashier’s check, a personal check or a money order.
In addition to the I-526 filing fee, there are other USCIS fees that will be payable throughout the process. The most common additional fees are:
- The I-485 Application Fee- The I-485 application filing fee is $1,140. You will need to file the I-485 upon approval of your I-526 petition. This application is required if you are residing in the United States and require an “adjustment of status” application for a conditional green card.
- The I-829 Application Fee – The I-829 application filing fee is $3,750. You will need to file the I-829 two years after your conditional green card is issued. Once this filing is approved by the USCIS, you will be an unconditional permanent resident of the United States and will have completed the EB-5 process.
Of course, USCIS fees are subject to change over time, so you should consult with your immigration attorney to ensure that you are aware of the current USCIS costs.
EB-5 Immigration Attorney Fees
You will need the expertise of an immigration attorney for many aspects of the EB-5 visa process. Fees may vary for this service, but you can expect to pay in the range of $15,000 to $25,000 for this assistance. Services that an immigration attorney may help you with include the following:
- Verification of documentation for investment capital
- Ensuring timely filing of documents with the USCIS
- Helping investors find the best options for an expedited visa process
- Reducing the costs and fees associated with the EB-5 process
- Reviewing the terms of the EB-5 investment and offering
Immigration attorneys’ costs will vary, sometimes widely, depending upon the attorney. It is always recommended to perform your due diligence and research any attorney involved in your EB-5 process.
EB-5 Regional Centers
Investing through a Regional Center sponsored project is often a viable option for foreign investors who want a more hands-off approach to investing in America. Below are some of the benefits of working with a Regional Center.
- The ability to pool investments with other investors
- The ability to count indirect jobs as a part of the investor jobs requirement
- Lesser involvement in business operations
Total EB-5 Green Card Cost
Your EB-5 visa cost will vary on a case-by-case basis, since each application process is different. Make sure to avail yourself of experienced service providers to reduce the costs involved and time spent in the process.