To be considered for the EB-5 Visa program, you need to fulfill certain criteria laid down by the USCIS (United States Citizen and Immigration Services).
The foreign investor has to invest a minimum of US$ 1 million (or US$ 500,000 in a rural area or an area with high unemployment rate) in a commercial enterprise and create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. The foreign investor does not have to be involved in the day-to-day management and operation of the business and this leaves the investor to pursue other interests.
The investor should be able to show proof of the source of investment to help the authorities determine whether the investment is lawful or not.
Once the application for EB-5 Visa is submitted and approved, the foreign investor and immediate family members (spouse and unmarried children under 18 years) get conditional residency for 2 years. On fulfilling the conditions laid down by the USCIS, the applicants can then file for permanent residency, which removes the conditions that were previously imposed.
Preliminary Investor Documents and Requirements
There are several documents that immigrant investors have to submit when applying for EB-5 visa. However, the list of documents varies from investor to investor. Typically, the investor and immediate family members have to submit the following documents.
Here is a list of personal documents that immigrant investor and immediate family members comprising of spouse and unmarried children under 21 years need to submit.
- Personal Biography: The investor and immediate family members have to submit a complete and comprehensive personal biography
- Identification: Identification in the form of passports, driver’s license, birth certificates, national identity cards and Social Security cards of the investor and immediate family members
- Marital Certificate: Investor and spouse have to submit their marriage certificate. If either party was married previously, the divorce or annulment decree or death certificate of the previous spouse too should be submitted
- Employment and Business History: It is mandatory to submit a resume, business registrations, employment history and any business experience that the immigrant investor has
- Educational Qualifications: The USCIS requires an immigrant investor to submit certified copies of education degrees and diplomas
- Other Records: Applicants older than 16 years need to submit a police certificate from the country of their nationality. If the immigrant investor was convicted for a crime, the court and prison records have to be furnished. In case the foreign investor has served in the military in his or her home country, the military records should be furnished
- Photographs: Every member of the family has to submit two color photographs, passport style. The applicants should not cover their heads or wear dark glasses in the photographs
Here are the financial documents and statements that foreign investors have to submit to the USCIS.
- Proof of Capital Funds: The investor should have proof to substantiate that he or she has sufficient wealth and monies to invest in the United States. This provides the proof of the net worth of the prospective investor
- Source of Monies: It is mandatory that the capital investment comes from a lawful source and the investor should be able to prove the same. In case the investor receives a capital investment from an inheritance or gift, proof of the transaction should be provided
- Tax and Ownership Documents: The immigrant investor has to submit five years of personal and business tax returns and proof of ownership of business. If there are licenses involved in the business, be it in the U.S. or abroad, the same too should be submitted to the USCIS
- Other Financial Documents: Investor should be able to provide bank statements, loan and mortgage documents, security agreements, stock certificates and promissory notes if the investor has obtained capital investment by securing assets
Application Forms for EB-5 Visa
Here are the application forms that the immigrant investor and immediate family members have to fill and submit for the EB-5 visa.
- Form I-526: For proof of required investment, which is $1 million for starting a business as an individual or $500,000 for investing in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)
- Form I-485: For investors already living in the United States and wanting to apply for conditional permanent residency
- Form DS-230: For investors outside the United States to apply for conditional permanent residency
- Form I-829: This petition removes the conditions required for EB-5 visa and can be filed after 2 years of entering the United States and meeting the 10 full-time job creation for U.S. citizens. This form has to be submitted 90 days prior to the anniversary date of when the applicant first received their conditional permanent residency