The EB-5 visa is an excellent option for wealthy Chinese individuals hoping to immigrate to the United States. Currently there are no quotas or waiting lists for this visa category, which means EB-5 investors and their immediate family can obtain permanent US resident status (green cards) more quickly than through most other options.
The EB-5 program’s primary requirement is an investment in a US-based project or enterprise. The investment must be at least $500,000, and in some circumstances a minimum of $1 million. The lower, $500,000 figure applies when the investment is in a high-unemployment or rural area. To qualify under the EB-5 program, the investment, regardless of dollar amount, must also create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers.
There are two types of EB-5 investments. One is a “regional center” investment, where the investor places funds in a project pre-approved as meeting the EB-5 program’s criteria. The other type is a “direct investment”: the investor places funds in a project the government has not pre-approved. Commonly a direct investment is in the intending immigrant’s own commercial enterprise.
Most investors choose a regional center over direct investment. This is because of the considerable favor given to regional centers over direct investment by USCIS—the government body that decides whether to approve or deny a requested visa.
Another reason investors choose regional centers over direct investment: regional center investments typically give the intending immigrant more flexibility in choosing where to live and what to do within the United States.
Applying for an EB-5 visa is complicated, and the monetary risk undeniably high. It is critical to conduct due diligence before the investor selects a project. It is also very important that the investor document the lawful source of investment funds.
Our team of Chinese and US-trained immigration attorneys offers you skillful, step by step guidance through the entire process, from pre-application to permanent resident status—and even US citizenship if desired.
The services we provide:
- First, our immigration attorneys will evaluate your situation and advise whether EB-5 or a different visa would be the best option for you;
- Instead of having just one attorney working on your EB-5 case, you will always have our immigration practice team working together on your case, at no extra charge to you;
- If EB-5 presents the best option, our immigration attorneys will work closely with you to conduct due diligence on one or more potential investment projects. For regional centers, the due diligence typically includes inquiry into approval rate, and may also include a referral for an independent economic analysis of the project’s financial viability;
- After you decide on a project, we will assist you in tracing your funds and otherwise documenting your eligibility. Moreover we will review and organize all necessary application materials;
- Once all the supporting documents are ready, our attorneys will draft the petition letter, complete petition forms, and submit a petition package to the proper USCIS service center;
- While the case is pending, we will review USCIS’s status reports. In the event USCIS requests additional evidence, our attorneys will work with you to prepare and submit appropriate responsive documents;
- If USCIS approves your case, we will assist with the consular processing or adjustment of status application, depending whether you are in China or the United States;
- Finally, approximately 21 months after obtaining your conditional permanent resident status, we will assist with removing the “condition” on your green card (often referred to as obtaining a permanent greed card).