Getting a green card is the dream of almost every immigrant and nonimmigrant working in the USA. It grants the holder the right to residency and authorization to work here permanently.
While those with work-based immigration may struggle for years to fulﬁll various requirements, even to become eligible for a green card, those with investment-based immigration enjoy better chances of getting their hands on it relatively faster.
So, If you are a foreign investor or an entrepreneur hoping to gain a green card from your real estate investment in the USA, you must know the right kind of visa, process, and requirements to ensure you realize your dream.
In this article, we will help you understand the various investment options, visa requirements, and procedures involved to help you transit from being a foreign investor or entrepreneur to a permanent resident of the states.
Understanding the Invest-Based Immigration
The investor-based immigration system in the United States allows foreign nationals to acquire a green card if they invest in a U.S. business. The minimum investment required is $1 million, although there are some exceptions for investments in certain types of companies or in rural areas.
The investor visa program was created in 1990 to encourage investment in the United States and create jobs. There are two types of investor visas:
- EB-5 visa for those who make a direct investment
- EB-2 Immigrant Worker Program requires a higher investment ($1.8 million) but does not have the job creation requirement.
Of the two, the EB5 visa is the most popular option amongst high-net-worth individuals, as it can get you a green card directly with relatively lesser investment. So let’s learn more about it.
Understanding EB5 Visa
The EB-5 visa allows foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency in the United States by investing a minimum of $1 million in a new commercial enterprise. There are two investment options available:
- By investing $1 million in a new commercial enterprise that creates or preserves at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
- Invest $500,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA), which is deﬁned as a rural area or an area with high unemployment.
- To be eligible for the EB-5 visa, investors must also demonstrate that they have made a lawful investment and are actively involved in the management of the enterprise.
Beneﬁts of EB5 Visa
The EB5 visa is a great way to obtain permanent residency in the United States. There are many beneﬁts to this type of visa,
- Ability to live and work in the country indeﬁnitely.
- Holders of an EB5 visa can apply for citizenship after ﬁve years.
- The investor does not require a job offer from a U.S. employer. It means that holders of this visa can start their own business or invest in an existing one.
- EB5 visa has a relatively low risk compared to other investment visas. It is because the investment is made into a government-approved project, which minimizes the chances of losing the investment.
Challenges of EB5 Visa
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has been incredibly popular since its inception in 1990. Tens of thousands of foreign investors have used the program to obtain green cards for themselves and their families while also buying investment property in the USA, investing in
U.S. businesses, and creating jobs for American workers. However, the program is not without its challenges.
Due to its popularity, the EB-5 visa category has been oversubscribed for many years, leading to long wait times for investors from certain countries. In addition, the program has come under scrutiny recently, with some critics arguing that it should be reformed or even eliminated entirely.
Long Wait Times
One of the biggest challenges facing EB-5 investors is the long wait times for visa availability. Due to the high demand for EB-5 visas, there is currently a backlog of applications. For example, as of November 2019, the wait time for investors from China was approximately 14 years. For investors from other countries, the wait time was around two years.
The EB-5 program has come under increased scrutiny in recent years, with some critics accusing it of being used to exploit foreign investors. The increased scrutiny of the EB-5 program has led to calls for reform. Some lawmakers have proposed changes that would make it more difficult for developers to abuse the program by increasing the minimum investment amount or requiring that all EB-5 projects be located in rural or high-unemployment areas.
How to overcome the challenges of EB5 Visa?
As we all know, the EB5 visa is an excellent option for those who want to invest in the United States and get a green card. However, some challenges come with this type of visa. In this article, we will discuss some solutions to overcome the diﬃculties of EB5 VISA.
The EB5 visa requires a minimum investment of $1 million. For some people, this amount may be too high. However, there are ways to overcome this challenge. One way is to invest in a regional center. A regional center is an organization that the USCIS has designated to promote economic growth in a certain region. Therefore, you can invest a lower amount in a regional center. The minimum investment amount for a regional center is $500,000.
EB5 Visa Requirements
To qualify for an EB5 visa, you must meet speciﬁc requirements. One of the requirements is to create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. This can be a challenging for a few people. However, there are ways to overcome this challenge.
- One way is to invest in a business that already has employees. This will help you meet the job creation requirement.
- Another way to meet the job creation requirement is to invest in a business that will create indirect jobs. Indirect jobs are those that are created as a result of the EB5 investment but are not directly created by the investment.
The EB5 visa has a waiting period of two years. This can be a challenge for some people. However, there are ways to overcome this challenge as well.
- One way is to invest in a regional center. A regional center can help you get your green card faster.
- The other way to overcome the wait time is to invest in an EB-1 visa. The EB-1 visa has a shorter waiting period than the EB5 visa.
There are several ways to get a green card through real estate investment, but the most common and straightforward way is through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program offers foreign investors the opportunity to obtain a green card by investing in an approved U.S. business. However, it will be in your best interest to consult an immigration lawyer before investing in the U.S. real estate to get a green card.