There are many different visa programs to help people immigrate to the United States, each of which can apply to different personal and career situations. Many people are familiar with the HB-1 visa, which allows for skilled workers to enter the United States. Others are also aware of the L group of visas, which help those with existing work relationships with a company to transfer to the United States.
However, exceptional professional careers do not always result in employment. Sometimes, the most exceptional professionals are actually job creators, as opposed to individuals accepting jobs from others. For many years, individuals who were job creators and not employees had a difficult time gaining legal entrance into the United States for work.
Thankfully, the United States government has recognized since 1990 the importance of foreign investors in the United States economy and has changed and updated the program several times since then. Individuals who hope to invest in a business and create jobs in the United States may find themselves eligible for an EB-5 visa with the right documentation.
What is an EB-5 visa?
Unlike many other visas, the EB-5 visa is not contingent upon an offer of employment or an existing job with a company that operates in, or hopes to expand to, the United States. Instead, the EB-5 visa is known as the Immigrant Investor Program, because it offers legal residency options to those who want to start a business or expand an existing business into the United States.
Professionals from other countries who hope to develop a business interest in the United States can apply for an EB-5 visa, which will grant them a conditional green card if the application receives approval. An EB-5 visa will usually result in two years of permanent residence in the United States, at which time they can apply to have the conditions removed. Upon the removal of the conditional status, the green card becomes permanent.
The individual applying can usually also request similar documentation for their spouse and unmarried children. These other family members will have the ability to secure permanent green cards at the same time as the investor holding the EB-5 visa.
How do you qualify for an EB-5 visa?
Typically, the minimum investment required to qualify for an EB-5 visa is $1,000,000, although investments in certain targeted employment areas may qualify with half of that much capital. Individuals who have invested or intend to invest a qualifying amount of money will need to fill out specific forms. They must provide documentation of their investment, their foreign business registration, financial history and criminal background.
Typically, in order to qualify for an EB-5 visa, the individual applying must be able to demonstrate that their investment will create 10 or more full-time positions here in the United States. The right help with your EB-5 visa application can streamline the process and reduce the risk of mistakes on the application.