The so-called EB-5 "Immigrant Investor Program" is the fifth subcategory of the official employment-based Green Cards. People who invest a certain amount of money in a new US company can, under certain conditions, obtain the coveted immigration visa for the USA.
In contrast to the Green Card categories EB-1 to EB-3, the applicant does not need a US employer to sponsor him. Moreover, the applicant is not required to have exceptional skills or advanced academic degrees.
A national labor market test, the so-called Labor Certification, is not necessary either. The crucial factors are the amount of investment and some economic criteria.
In order to obtain an EB-5 Green Card, the amount of investment and the creation of new US jobs are essential.
Note: The EB-5 visa is often confused with the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa due to its similar name. However, the E-2 only entitles you to a temporary work stay in the USA and is not an immigration visa!
What are the requirements for the EB-5 Green Card?
If an applicant wants to apply for the EB-5 visa in the USA, also known as Investors Green Card, he must meet the following criteria:
Investment of at least 1,800,000 USD in a US company - in rural areas or with a high unemployment rate 900,000 USD may be sufficient
Presentation of a business plan that shows how the US economy will be enriched by the investment
Creation or maintenance of at least ten new full-time jobs
Investor must be actively involved in the company management
The US company must have been founded after 29.11.1990. If it was established before that date, it must have been purchased and restructured to create a new company. However, the business form of the company is irrelevant.
The investor must be actively involved in the management of the US company.
How can I apply for the EB-5 Green Card?
The application for an Investors Green Card involves the following steps:
The applicant must first submit Form I-526 to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At the same time, evidence of the above-mentioned requirements, such as the creation of new jobs, must be provided. In addition, the applicant must prove that the investment capital was acquired legally.
If the application is approved by the USCIS, the second step is to apply for a Green Card using Form I-485. The Green Card issued is conditional for the time being.
After two years, the Investor can file Form I-829 to remove the conditions. Thena new assessment is made to see whether the applicant has fulfilled all the requirements, especially the creation or preservation of jobs. If this applies to all points, the investor receives the unlimited work and residence permit for the USA.