The EB 5 visa is for people who intend to obtain US residency through investment and entrepreneurship. Applicants for a US investor visa must invest between $ 90,000 and $ 1.8 million and provide employment for at least 10 US citizens. The investment should also be made in specific areas where the unemployment rate is significant.
It is evident that US investment visa applicants do not need to find a US employer or job position. In addition, these people have other benefits, including living permanently in the United States and traveling in and out of the country.
In the following, we will explain issues such as costs, requirements, processing time, minimum investment amount, and types of US investor visas.
What is an EB 5 visa?
The EB5 visa is a type of employment-based immigrant visa issued to foreign investors under certain circumstances. This visa, like other EB visas, is subject to an annual cap. In other words, a limited number of EB5 visas are issued during the year. Statistics show that out of 140,000 EB visas issued annually, only 7.1% is allocated for EB 5 visas.
The purpose of the EB5 visa is to strengthen economic activity in the United States. For this purpose, the areas that need investment are:
- General areas
- Targeted areas with significant unemployment rates and rural areas
- Regional centers
Regional centers have been defined to boost economic growth by increasing expertise, employment, and domestic capital investment. The US government has created the Investor Pilot Program to promote investment in regional centers. General areas and targeted areas can each be regional centers.
The types of US investor visas are:
|USA Investor Visa Types||Description|
|T5 Visa||The T5 visa allows wealthy people to obtain US residency through investment. Applicants for this visa must invest in rural areas and areas where the unemployment rate is significant. This investment must be in a way that has a positive impact on the well-being of the community in that area. Because the annual issuance of this visa is very limited (less than 3,000 visas per year), it is a bit difficult to apply for and obtain, and applicants face significant competitive conditions.|
|C5 Visa||Visa applicants must invest $ 1.8 million in a company in the United States. This investment should increase employment in that company. In this way, C5 visa holders can get their Green Card.|
|R5 Visa||This visa is for those who intend to participate in the Investor Pilot Program. The annual issuance of this visa is also limited, which means that applicants can hardly obtain this visa, and the processing time may be very long.|
|I5 Visa||This permission is for those who intend to invest in regional centers in targeted areas with high unemployment rates as well as rural areas. Only 3,000 I5 visas are issued annually to eligible applicants.|
What are the requirements for a US investment visa?
In order to be eligible for an EB5 visa, a person must consider the following:
- An EB5 visa applicant must invest in a new commercial enterprise established on or before November 29, 1990.
- Investing can be in the form of buying a business, restructuring it into a new business, or developing it. This investment should also increase the number of employees or increase the amount of its net worth up to 40%.
- Due to the investment, it must be possible to employ at least ten employees for two years. These job opportunities must be permanent and full-time.
- Job positions can be direct or indirect. Direct job opportunities are created within the commercial enterprise that an investor has invested in. Indirect job opportunities also refer to jobs created as a result of this investment. Therefore, the employed people who have found a job due to this investment may work in another company.
This circumstance changes if the investor wants to invest in companies that are at risk of bankruptcy. In this condition, the investor can maintain the existing job positions in the company and hire even more employees.
In general, the minimum investment in the US economy is $ 1.8 million, but if the investor chooses to invest in rural areas or targeted areas with high unemployment, the minimum investment will be $ 900,000. Note that the investor can invest from his/her assets and is not allowed to borrow.
The mentioned requirements are for all US investment visas. This table explains the specific requirements for each type of EB5 visa.
|USA Investor Visa Types||Requirements|
|T5 Visa||The T5 investor must invest his money in the Targeted Employment Area. These include rural areas, areas with high unemployment, and areas that need more jobs. The UCIS will explain to the investor which areas are ETA.|
The T5 investor must create at least ten full-time and permanent job positions. These jobs can be direct or indirect.
|C5 Visa||The C5 investor must invest outside of the targeted areas, areas with normal unemployment rates. The minimum capital must be $ 1.8 million, and the capital must be part of the investor’s personal property.|
|R5 Visa||The R5 investor must invest in the regional center that is part of the Investor Pilot Program. These regional centers should not be located in general or targeted areas. In this case, the minimum capital must be $ 1.8 million, and, as mentioned, the capital must be part of the investor’s assets.|
|I5 Visa||The I 5 investor must invest in regional centers defined within the targeted areas. These areas must either be rural or have a high unemployment rate. US economic institutions will provide up-to-date information on the location of regional centers to investors.|
How to apply for the US investment visa?
To obtain all types of EB5 visas, you must first file your petition to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS. Once you have received the necessary approvals, the EB5 visa application process will initiate.
1. File the petition
Before receiving a US investment visa, the USCIS must evaluate your eligibility to invest. To do this, the investor must complete Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and submit it to the USCIS. This organization process and decides on your petition. If your appeal is approved, your file will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). From this point onward, NVC is responsible for following up on your case. NVC will first assign you a case number and then send you instructions explaining how to go through the visa application process. As you know, the annual issuance of EB visas, including the EB 5 visa, is limited. Therefore, NVC will send this package to you if your priority date is current. Otherwise, you have to wait for your turn.
2. Apply for a USA investor visa
Once you receive the NVC package, go to the US Embassy in your home country and follow these steps:
Completion and submission of Form DS-260
This form is available online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website. You can complete it using your case number.
Perform medical examinations and vaccinations
The NVC instructions explain how to perform these examinations. You will need to see a licensed physician to complete some forms and get some vaccines.
Prepare documents and send them to the NVC
You must submit the following documents to the NVC:
- Valid passport
- Your plans for investing
- Confirmation page of Form DS-260
- Bank statement showing that you have the necessary capital to invest
- Two photos
- Resume and academic qualifications
- Criminal records
- Documents related to medical examinations
- Other documents may be required depending on the case
If your documents are complete, NVC will schedule an interview for you at the embassy. On the day of the interview, the consular officer will ask questions about your personal information and the purpose of your trip to the United States. Ultimately, the final decision on whether or not to grant a visa depends on the consular officer’s opinion.
Get another package from the NVC and travel to the US
If your visa application is approved, NVC will send you another package that you should not open under any circumstances. Upon arrival in the United States, immigration officers open the package and allow you to enter the United States.
How much does it cost to apply for an EB 5 visa?
The amount you have to pay depends on the USCIS embassy where you apply for the visa. Therefore, the exact amount you have to pay for a US investment visa cannot be estimated. In any case, you must pay for each of the following services:
- Filing the petition Form I-526
- Processing of Form DS-260
- Performing medical examinations
- Obtaining supporting documents
- Translation of documents into English
How long does it take to evaluate the submitted documents and issue an EB 5 visa?
Because the annual issuance of the EB visas is limited, EB5 visa applicants must wait for a few months to a few years. The number of individuals who have applied before you and the priority dates will lead to a longer processing time.
How to get Lawful Permanent Resident status in the United States?
To receive a US Green Card, you must submit your petition to the USCIS. To do this, you first need to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. The Green Card will be issued to you within a few weeks after your petition is processed and approved.
Can EB 5 visa holders bring their members to the United States?
Yes. You can bring your unmarried children under the age of 21 and your spouse to the United States. Your family members need to go through exactly the same steps as you did.
Your family members can also work in the United States. To do this, they must first obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Then they can work in your company or anywhere else they want.
Let’s sum up…
In this article, we review the US investment visa processing time, requirements, minimum investment amount, and types. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas as well as visas from different countries. If you have experience in getting a visa, share it with other readers and us via the comment section. Conveying your experience is valuable for other readers and us.