The EB-5 Process
The EB-5 Visa Application Process
The EB-5 visa process involves a minimum investment of $1,000,000 (or $500,000 if the investment is made within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) - a rural area or one with high unemployment). This qualified investment must be made into a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. If a qualifying investment is made, the EB-5 investor, spouse and unmarried minor children may apply for a conditional green card, may later apply for a permanent green card and eventually, U.S. citizenship.
EB-5 Processing Time
At minimum, an investor can expect the EB-5 processing time to take a year before he or she can enter the United States. For many investors, depending on the country of origin, the EB-5 visa processing time may be considerably longer. Your immigration attorney can advise you as to the expected processing time for applicants from your country.
The EB-5 Process Flow Chart
This EB-5 process flow chart gives you the basics in getting started toward the EB-5 green card process:
Determine EB-5 Eligibility
The capital requirements for an EB-5 investment are significant. Make sure you have the ability to invest $500,000 in an EB-5 Project (or $1,000,000 in the case of an investment not within a TEA). In addition, there will be attorneys’ fees and other administrative fees involved. As part of the immigration process, you will need to provide evidence that the funds for your EB-5 investment were obtain legally. The investment amount may also be sourced from gifts, and it is not uncommon for a child of a high net worth individual to be gifted the source of funds for the EB-5 investment.
Select A Project
Expect to take one to three months to choose the right project. Whether you are a direct investor or want to invest in a Regional Center project, it is important that you conduct thorough due diligence before ultimately picking the project. For example, you may want to consider the past performance of the developer, the type of regional center, how many jobs will be created, and the project size and location.
Once a project is selected, the investor will sign the subscription agreement and wire the EB-5 funds.
File I-526 Application
The I-526 Application is the first application filed with USCIS in the EB-5 application process. This application demonstrates to USCIS that the funds the investor has used, or plans on using, for the EB-5 investment are legally sourced. It typically requires an investor’s attorney approximately a month to prepare the needed documentation and file the I-526 application with the USCIS. Expect it to take at least a year to find out whether the USCIS approves your application.
I-526 Approval and Interview
Upon approval of the I-526 application, you will be required to go through consular processing by interviewing with the US embassy or a consulate in your jurisdiction. The consulate interview or the Adjustment of Status Form I-485 filing takes between four and nine months. Much will depend on your country of origin and the current USCIS backlog. Once this stage is completed, you will receive a conditional green card and can enter the U.S. This conditional green card is valid for two years.
90 days before your conditional green card expires, you must file your Form I-829, which is a petition to have the conditions removed on your temporary green card so that you can receive your permanent green card. In order to be approved, you must demonstrate that your investment was sustained throughout the two year conditional residence period and the investment created at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. Once your I-829 is approved, you are eligible to receive a permanent green card. Five years after receiving your green card and moving to the United States, you can apply for U.S. citizenship.
How Lightstone EB-5 Can Help
One of the largest privately held real estate companies in the country, Lightstone has over $6 billion in assets under management and development. We have raised over $400 million in EB-5 investments across six closed projects and two ongoing projects, with a 99.9%+ investor approval history with USCIS to date. We can help you on the path to achieving a green card for you, your spouse and minor children. Please fill out the contact form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.