The EB-5 immigrant investor visa program presents foreign investors with the opportunity to obtain a U.S. green card in exchange for investing $1 million in regional center projects, unless the project is located in a “Targeted Employment Area”, which allows a reduced investment of $500,000.
Locating an EB-5 project by Investor
The EB-5 investment must be "at risk" capital invested into a "new business" venture: either a new commercial enterprise or regional center project. It is often deposited into an escrow account. Each qualified EB-5 investment must create full-time employment for at least ten qualifying U.S. citizen or immigrant workers.
Capital Investment and I-526 Petition
After investing $500,000-$1 million, an immigration attorney provides proof of this investment by filing an I-526 petition with the USCIS. Typically within 12 to 14 months, USCIS informs applicants whether or not their I-526 petition has been accepted.
Two year conditional permanent residency
EB-5 investors are eligible to become conditional U.S. residents once their I-526 petition has been approved by USCIS. Green Card can be attained in one of two ways: by filing I-485 (in investor is in the US), or DS-230 (if investor is abroad). During the two year conditional residency period, the investor is required to fulfill physical presence requirements, and cannot remain outside of the United States for more than one year without obtaining a re-entry permit. Additionally, the EB-5 investment must be able to confirm the creation of 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
Unconditional permanent residency and the I-829 petition
The I-829 petition is submitted to USCIS 90 days prior to the anniversary of the date that the applicant first received their conditional residency. This application proves that the investor has met all requirements of the EB-5 visa program. USCIS most often issues a permanent green card within 6 to 8 months after the I-829 has been submitted.
U.S. Green Card & Citizenship
The investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21 can then permanently live and work in the United States. They can become U.S. citizens by Naturalization after 5 years from the date they received their initial conditional residency.
My article about EB-5 visas and USCIS requirements for EB-5 visas