United States of America
The United States is the world’s most sought-after destination for immigrants from across the globe and is often hailed as the ‘land of opportunity’. It offers a world-class education system from elementary level to higher education, boasting some of the globe’s leading universities, as well as an outstanding healthcare system. With an active investment community and strong and stable economy, the U.S. offers endless opportunities for foreign skilled workers, investors and entrepreneurs alike.
There are several routes to obtaining U.S. residency, depending on whether you are looking work and live temporarily, or are interested in achieving the American dream by becoming a permanent resident (Green Card holder) and ultimately a U.S. citizen.
EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of AG Mena’s citizenship & residency division’s flagship immigration programs, being one of the quickest routes for foreign individuals and their families to obtain U.S. Permanent Residency (‘Green Card’ status) via investment.
- Invest at least USD $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise (for-profit business) or USD $900,000 if the business is located in ‘targeted’ high unemployment or rural area.
- The business must further create at least 10 ‘direct’ full-time jobs for U.S. workers, which is the core focus of the program.
- The applicant investor must be actively involved in the day-to-day management of the business or in policy-making.
Regional Center Program Investment
- Passive investment of at least USD $900,000 in a Regional Center (an economic entity pre-approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services which manages the applicant’s investment in a U.S. business located in targeted high employment or rural area).
- The business must create at least 10 full-time jobs (direct or indirect) for U.S. workers.
- The applicant investor is not required to be active in the day-to-day operations of the business.
- The visa is initially granted for a 2 year period, and can then be extended if the holder can show evidence that 10 jobs have been created or maintained for a reasonable period. Once permanent residence has been maintained for 5 or more years, you can apply for full citizenship.
Applicant Eligibility for the EB-5 Program
In order to qualify for the US EB-5 visa, principal applicants must:
- Be over 21 years of age
- Prove the lawful source of the investment funds
Applicant investors are further not required to speak English, nor have a minimum level of work experience or education.
EB-5 Visa Benefits
- Freedom to live, work, travel or retire anywhere in the United States without restriction.
- Fast permanent residency status for the investor, their spouse, and any children under 21 years of age, all under one investment.
- No visa sponsor requirements.
- Access to a world-class US education system for your children, with added benefit of not paying any international student tuition fees.
- The option of filing for US citizenship after 5 years of permanent residence
- No day-to-day business management (if EB5 investment made via Regional Centre route).
EB-5 Process and Timeline
AG Mena has a highly qualified team of U.S. immigration attorneys, who are well versed with the dynamics involved in the EB-5 program and can help you
navigate through each step of the process with the utmost diligence:
- The first step in the EB-5 process is to find a qualifying investment. This should be in either new commercial enterprise or a ‘regional center’ project.
- The second step is allocating sufficient capital investment, filling in an I-526 Petition, and making the required capital investment to your chosen project.
- The third step is becoming a two year conditional resident of the US for the purpose of implementing the project you have funded. This process can take between 6-18 months.
- The fourth and final step is to become a permanent resident by removing your ‘two year conditional’ status. You must submit form I-829 to the USCIS 90 days before the end of the two year conditional status. Once you have proven that you met all the conditions, permanent resident status will usually be granted.
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