Programa EB-5

EB5 Visa Program Part 1: Process FAQs for Your US Green Card

Welcome to the EB5 Visa Program, your Pathway to US Residency. In this article from BAI Capital you will find answers regarding the EB5 Program Process.

Process Steps

1. What is the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program?

The EB5 Visa Program is an American government project created in 1990 that allows foreigners to obtain the permanent residence of the United States through investment in the country. The investor acquiring the green card also benefits his spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 who can permanently live and work in the United States.

This program, also called the fifth preference work visa is under the administration of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).

The objective of the program is to facilitate and increase foreign investment and US job creation.

 

2. How much is the minimum capital investment required to apply for the EB5 program?

When the investor makes the decision to invest through a Regional Center, such as BAI Capital, the Minimum Capital Requirement is $900,000 USD when selecting a project in a rural area or targeted employment area (TEA). For all other projects, the capital Requirement is US $1.8 million. BAI Capital selects all of its projects within the state-designated TEAs in order to ensure that our immigrant investors receive the most viable investment opportunities.

 

3. How does the EB5 program process work?

As the foreign investor, you must complete the three phases of the application process so that you can become a permanent resident in the USA:

STEP 1: To obtain the status of immigrant investor it is necessary to file an immigrant petition with a completed Foreign Entrepreneur Form (FORM I-526) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) together with supporting documentation that clearly demonstrates that the selected investment meets all the requirements of the EB5 program, along with an audit of the investment funds.

After the approval of the I-526 petition, we proceed to step 2.

STEP 2: If you, as the foreign investor, are residing in the US and have received approval from form I-526, you may obtain conditional resident status by submitting a request to register permanent residency or adjust status (FORM I-485) to USCIS. In the case that you are residing outside the US, it will be necessary to apply for an immigrant visa at a US consulate overseas.

STEP 3: During the period of 90 days before the expiry of the conditional period, you as the investor must complete and submit a petition to remove the conditions (FORM I-829) to USCIS. In this petition, you must demonstrate that the investment was sustained during the conditional period of two years and that the necessary jobs were created.

Upon approval of the I-829 petition, the conditional nature of the Green Card is suspended and the full permanent residence is granted to you, the investor, to your spouse and to family members under 21 years of age.

 

4. Where can I find more information about the laws and regulations of the EB5 program?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Service is your official source for more information regarding the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program. www.uscis.gov

 

5. What is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)?

USCIS, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is the government agency responsible for the implementation and administration of immigration and naturalization laws, as well as the rules, regulations, functions and policies of the associated services.

 

6. What does TEA mean?

The acronym TEA stands for Targeted Employment Area. It is used to define an area with an unemployment rate of at least 50% higher compared to the US national average, or, when an area considered “rural” is mentioned.

This category relates to the data presented by individual states that inform when a zone is TEA or not, according to socio-demographic information and economic development policies. BAI Capital seeks projects located in TEA areas, as these can receive minimum investments of only 900,000 dollars. Areas that are not considered TEA require a minimum investment of 1.8 million dollars.

 

7. What types of business investments are available within the EB5 program?

The EB5 program offers a variety of projects in many areas. The 2 most important considerations are that the project has a real potential for generating jobs, and that there is economic viability for its realization. At BAI Capital we select projects that fulfil these characteristics. Request a meeting with one of our consultants so that you can know our available projects in detail.

 

8. Is the advice to invest in moderate or large size projects?

Each EB5 project is unique and thus suited to a specific type of applicant. Over the years, we have established a permanent and lasting relationship with our investors due to our knowledge of different realities and market interests. It must be said that most of you are investing to achieve the same goal: Obtain the Green Card with a return on investment.

Large-scale projects can offer significant advantages such as the clear ability to generate jobs, one of the requirements of the EB5 program. However, it also has its disadvantages, such as broad execution deadlines, late investment return, rigid exit strategies, and so forth.

At BAI Capital our investment methodology is conservative and focuses on the application of capital in medium-sized projects located in areas of growth that require investments in a 5 to 7 year lifespan. The required jobs for our most of our EB5 projects have already been generated by the time the EB5 applicant invests.

 

9. What is the involvement of investors in the EB5 Program Regional Centers?

According to the rules of the EB5 Program, it is required that the investor be involved with the Regional Center that will operate the investment, albeit in a limited way. Each case has its particularity and needs to be evaluated. BAI Capital can provide you with the necessary details.

 

10. Am I going to need my own immigration lawyer to prepare and organize my I-526 petition and I-829 as an immigrant investor?

No you won’t. The foreign investor who decides to invest with BAI Capital will sign a representation contract with a lawyer of choice of the investor, or recommended by us. BAI Capital has a strong relationship with many highly skilled and experienced members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Counsel will prepare your I-526 petition as a foreign investor and after approval the immigration attorney shall prepare your permanent conditional residency requests. Before the end of your two-year conditional permanent residence, the immigration attorney assigned to your case may prepare the immigrant petition to remove the conditions of your permanent residence and this will be the last step in obtaining your unconditional permanent residence.

 

11. What is the difference between conditional permanent residency and unconditional permanent residency?

When you are approved for the EB5 visa you will receive a conditional Green Card (conditional permanent residence) that will be subject to removal of conditions.

A conditional Green Card is a temporary permanent residency valid for two years. One year and nine months after this issue, a three-month window opens, when you as the investor must submit a new application to USCIS to verify that all funds were definitively invested, and showing that the employment quota was reached. Once these conditions are fulfilled, you will receive the permanent Green Card, that offers unconditional permanent residence.

 

12. How long does the EB5 Visa Program Process take from start to finish?

The 5 steps to the EB5 Visa Program are:
1. Application
2. i-526 Petition and Approval
3. 24 month Conditional Green Card
4. i-829 Approval Process
5. Green Card and Citizenship

1. Application
$900 000usd is invested in escrow in an EB5 qualified project.
BAI Capital helps select the right project for you.
– 1-3 months

2. i-526 Petition and Approval
i-526 review lasts on average 6-9 months. After approval, the invested capital is released from escrow to be pooled with the other capital in the approved EB5 project.
– 6-9 months, depending on country of origin

3. 24 month Conditional Green Card
At this point the Conditional Green Card, valid for 24 months is issued.
– 24 months

4. i-829 Approval Process
Near the end of the Conditional Green Card term, an i-829 form is submitted to remove conditional status and replace it with a Green Card. Also submitted is proof of job creation in the EB5 project.
– 6-9 months

5. Green Card and Citizenship
Once the i-829 is approved, your Green Card is no longer conditional!
After 5 years from first receiving the conditional Green Card, you may apply for Citizenship. Or, every 10 years, you can renew your Green Card to maintain status. Please contact BAI for more details.

EB5 Visa Program

At BAI Capital we have a 100% track record for successful EB5 Visa petitions. We look forward to helping you secure your US Green Card.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Applicant Requirements FAQ