The EB-5 visa program can sometimes be portrayed as a long and complicated process. It is not unusual for prospective EB-5 investors to become confused by all the information they see during their due diligence and fact finding stage. In fact, many EB-5 investors have a hard time separating myth from fact when it comes to all the requirements they need to meet in order to successfully obtain their permanent green card under the EB-5 visa program.
To help you get an accurate description and a better understanding of the EB-5 visa program, here are six myths exposed.
Fact: EB-5 is an investment visa program. Its primary goal is to stimulate economic development in the United States through job creation and the introduction of capital from foreign investors.
The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) has strict requirements in place for foreign investors that need to be met before they are eligible to receive a Green Card (permanent residency) under the EB-5 program. This includes making an “at-risk” investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time American jobs.
The requirement to invest in a new commercial enterprise and create jobs for qualified U.S. workers means that participants in the EB-5 program are not buying green cards, but instead investing in the U.S. economy in exchange for an immigration benefit opportunity.
Fact: Every visa program for residency in the United States has an adjudication period and a set number of visas that can be given to petitioners under that visa category each year. (For the current adjudication timeframes for the I-526 and I-829 petitions under the EB-5 program, please click here . Under the EB-5 program, only 10,000 visas are available each year to be issued to eligible EB-5 investors, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21. If demand from an individual country exceeds the allocated number of visas for that country, a visa backlog—commonly referred to as retrogression—can occur, resulting in delays before a visa can be issued. Although the EB-5 visa may not be as “fast” as some other visa categories, what sets it apart is that it provides for permanent residency for the investor, their spouse, and unmarried children under 21.
Fact: A regional center is a USCIS approved entity that sponsors capital investment projects under the EB-5 visa program that is authorized to operate in a certain geographic area. As each immigration petition is adjudicated individually by the USCIS, previously approved petitions associated with any specific regional center do not guarantee future petitions associated with the same regional center will be approved. However, while past success is not a guarantee of future success, a regional center’s track record and longevity can be an important consideration for anyone considering the EB-5 Visa as their route to a new life in the USA.