EB-5 Visas and Immigrating With Family Members: What To Know

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An EB-5 visa is one of your best options when you are looking for ways to immigrate to the USA. It allows you to come together with your spouse and unmarried children. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the EB-5 program, which allows investors to apply for a green card. 

To apply for the visa, investors must meet specific eligibility requirements. You’ll need to identify a suitable regional center and fulfill capital and employment requirements. Here’s everything you should know about the EB-5 program and visa application.

What Is an EB-5 Investor Visa?

The EB-5 (Employment-based, 5th preference) investor visa is a unique visa designed to attract foreign investors to the USA. The visa grants investors permanent resident stators if they satisfy specific criteria. Approved applicants can immigrate to the US with their spouse and unmarried children below 21 at the time of application. USCIS administers the visa through the immigrant IPO (Investor Program Office).

Who’s Eligible For the EB-5 Visa?

You must meet two basic criteria to receive an EB-5 visa. The first is an investment in a US business, while the second is job creation. Your investment must meet the requirement determined by 8 CFR § 204.6. The business must also create at least ten full-time jobs for US workers.

Here’s more about the eligibility requirements for the EB-5 investor visa:

a)    Capital Investment

You must invest in a for-profit business; corporation, joint venture, business trust, sole proprietorship, holding company, partnership, or other public/private structure. Capital investment can be in the form of cash, inventory, equipment, secured debt, or other property. You can only invest in a new business created after November 29, 1990. 

The investment must be at least $1.5 million unless you invest in a targeted employment area (TEA). Targeted employment areas are either rural areas or regions with high unemployment. The minimum investment for a TEA is $800,000.

b)    Job Creation

Investors can invest in a regional center supporting economic growth or outside a regional center. The business can create jobs directly or indirectly if the investment is inside a regional center. Direct job creation means the company is the employer. Indirect job creation is when jobs emerge due to the newly created business.

You must create ten new jobs directly if the business is outside a regional center. The USCIS also provides allowances for troubled businesses facing economic difficulties. If you invest in a troubled business, the USCIS will look into job maintenance. You must prove that the number of employees will be no less than the pre-investment number for at least two years.

How To Apply For an EB-5 Investor Visa

EB-5 investor visa applications can be split into three main parts: initial petition, green card application, and conditions removal. The initial petition involves filing Form I-526 with relevant evidence of satisfying all eligibility requirements. Once the USCIS approves the form, you can begin your green card application. If you live abroad, you’ll apply through consular processing and need to fill out Form DS-260.

Applicants living in the US will need to fill out Form I-485. If the green card application is approved, you and eligible family members attached to the application will get a conditional green card. The cards are valid for two years.

Investors must also fill out Form I-829 to remove the conditions and receive a permanent green card. Send the form within 90 days of conditional visa expiration. 

Only investors who meet eligibility requirements, follow the due process, and provide accurate information will receive a visa. Investors can also bring their eligible family members, which includes a legally married spouse and unmarried children. The children must be younger than 21 when filing the petition. Investors can also add a derivative family member when removing conditions. As an investor who immigrates to another country, such as France, you can also bring your family members if you observe some legal conditions.

EB-5 Investor Visa

The employment-based fifth preference (EB-5) visa category was unveiled in 1990 to allow investors to immigrate to the US. Approved investors and their families can get a visa, which is a solid foundation for obtaining a permanent green card. If you plan to immigrate to the US as an investor, you can work with an approved regional center. 

A regional center is a USCIS-designated economic unit involved with promoting economic growth. Working with a reputable EB-5 visa regional center can help you find the best projects for quick qualification and approval. The investor and qualifying family members will receive a conditional green card if the petition is approved.

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