The U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor programme is an immigration option for those wanting to gain permanent resident status in the U.S. via investment. Once all the stages of the process are complete- you, your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 will be permanent U.S. residents. When five years of permanent resident status have passed, and if you have spent 2.5 out of the five years in the U.S. itself, you may also apply to become citizens.
Let’s take a look at the stages of the EB-5.
EB-5 investors are required to find a suitable business project for their investment. With an investment agent such as Step Global, you’ll receive the help you need to find an appropriate project from our list of projects on which due diligence has been completed.
Financial checks will also be made to see you meet the accredited investor income requirement as set out by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Service).
Prior to making your investment, your legal and consultation team will put together your documentation which includes civil documentation and those documents which will prove your source of funds. Where the money has come from, and whether it is from a legitimate source is of utmost importance in an EB-5 application and will also be the information on which USCIS will base its approval.
Once your documentation has been compiled, and your application is ready, it will be time to make your investment.The attorney will take proof of this investment (transfer receipts and a letter from the project itself evidencing the receipt of funds), and add it to your application. Your I-526 application will then be filed with USCIS.
The application will take at a minimum 24 months to process. Until date, Step Global has never received a rejection on an EB-5 application. However, if your application is denied, your investment is refundable.
Upon receiving your I-526 approval, your file will be transferred to NVC (National Visa Center). At this stage, you will have the opportunity to submit any updated civil documentation. You will also pay a fee bill (the amount will be dependant on if you choose to do a Consular interview, or if you choose adjustment of your status from within the U.S.). Should you choose an interview, which is the most commonly chosen route, the Embassy closest to your place of residence will schedule an interview time for you.
The interview is merely a formality, where the officers want to fact check and confirm that the same person in the application is the same person sitting in front of them to receive the visa stamp.
The time has come to move to the U.S., under a two-year conditional resident status. During this 2 year period, you must assure that your investment stays in the project and that there is no criminal activity while in the U.S. on your record.
As a conditional resident, your rights and benefits are exactly the same as those of a permanent resident with a non-expiring green card. You may live in any state, work, or attend school with resident tuition rates.
Five years from the date of this conditional resident status marks the date you can apply for Citizenship if you have already spent 2.5 (non-continuous) out of 5 years within the U.S.
The final step to becoming an unconditional permanent resident is to remove the conditional status. Your attorney will submit the required I-829 petition to USCIS ninety days before your conditional status is expiring. At this stage, USCIS confirms that you have kept your money in the investment for this period of time and that there has been no criminal activity while in the U.S.
Only once this petition has been processed and accepted, will you become unconditional permanent residents, meaning your residence status as no expiry. This stage usually takes between 22 and 45 months. While the I-829 is pending, your conditional status may be renewed so that your life in the U.S. is not interrupted.