However, it is important to keep in mind that EB-5 green cards are only conditional and initially expire after two years. In order to avoid cancellation, the business you invested in must accomplish specific goals within two years. The good news is that as long as you have the money to invest and can show that you are in the process of doing so through a for-profit business, you do not need to have the experience necessary to accomplish the business’s specific goals.
Investor visas are certainly desirable options for those who have the capital necessary to obtain one, but the process is no walk in the park. It will help to have a knowledgeable lawyer on your side like Ameneh Maghzi if obtaining an investor visa is your goal.
From a business perspective, there are specific economic requirements that need to be met for this visa to be approved. Those applying for a green card in the U.S. based on an investment must invest a significant amount of money in a national business and must play an active role in that business.
Some of the benefits of having an investor visa include:
- Obtaining lawful status in the U.S - This is the main benefit for the majority of those who seek an investor visa. It allows the investor, their spouses, and qualifying children a legal way to work, live, and study in the U.S.
- Quicker path to permanent residence and citizenship - The EB-5 can be a great way to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. and can make that process easier. It can even be faster than alternative types of visas and green cards. After two years, you can remove the initial conditions of the visa, and you can be eligible for citizenship in as little as five years after receiving permanent resident status.
- Financial return on investment - The main purpose of the investment will be to help the investor enter the U.S., but making a wise investment in a solid business can lead to substantial returns on those finances down the line, so there is a good opportunity to create a mutually beneficial situation.
- No visa sponsorship requirement - Other types of green cards require sponsors, but an EB-5 visa investor serves as their own sponsor and does not need to be sponsored by a citizen or another group.
- Ability to live and work anywhere in the U.S. (oftentimes) - Those who have investor visas are often able to live and work wherever they see fit for their needs in the U.S. This is not the case for other types of visas that often have stricter requirements.
- Greater education and employment opportunities for families and children - The children of those with investor visas are able to enroll in school and have access to the same level of education and higher education that U.S. citizens have. It gives them access to public and private high schools, college, and graduate schools, including medical school and law school. Furthermore, this gives children of those with investor visas access to the same professional opportunities as other children in the U.S.
How Investor Visas Serve the Greater Interest of the U.S. Economy
An investor visa provides many benefits not only to those who obtain them, but also to the citizens of the U.S. That is why Ameneh Maghzi is honored to help hopeful U.S. residents obtain their visa and seek out the opportunities that the U.S. has to offer.
We will petition on your behalf and communicate the ways your investment will have a ripple effect on the economy. For every investor visa that the U.S. obtains, the country is able to reap the following benefits:
- Economic stimulation - The very nature of the investor visa ties in with economic stimulation. In fact, economic growth is the reason that the EB-5 was created in the first place. When foreign investors contribute funds to the economy, through their actual investment and as they carry out their day-to-day lives in the U.S., they help the country function properly and keep our essential systems running as they should.
- Job creation - The investor visa does not simply create jobs by chance. In fact, it is a requirement of the visa. The EB-5 visa requires that each investment help create or retain at least ten new jobs in the U.S. This gives Americans more opportunities to become employed, support their families, and contribute to the growth of the country.
How to Obtain an Investor Visa
Ameneh Maghzi of Maghzi Law Firm is an immigrant herself, which puts her in a unique position to help immigrants navigate what can otherwise be a complex process. She is well-versed in immigration procedures and will help make sure you and your family only take steps in the right direction.
If you and your family have the resources to obtain an investor visa, it can be a great route to permanent residency and eventually, citizenship.
At your consultation, Ameneh Maghzi will walk you through your various immigration options based on your needs and resources. We will guide you in the direction that will make your immigration process as smooth as possible. If we determine that an investor visa is right for you and your family, we will go through the rest of the process with the following steps:
Locating an EB-5 project
With any investment, before you can begin, it is necessary to find the right avenues to invest in. Investments for an EB-5 visa are no different. If you do not have an applicable business in mind, we will help you find a suitable business project to invest in. Typical examples of suitable projects are new commercial enterprises or regional center projects. During this step, we will also make sure you meet the income requirements needed to continue.
Making a capital investment and filing a I-526 petition
After we find a suitable project to invest in, you will need to make the required capital investment. The standard minimum investment has increased to $1.8 million. However, if the project is situated in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum investment is $900,000. TEAs are either rural areas or areas with high unemployment. To qualify as a rural area, the location must be outside of a town or city that has a population of 20,000 residents. If the area does not qualify as rural, it must be located in an area with an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the U.S. national average.
If you would like to invest in a TEA area and lower your investment costs, we can help determine what areas would qualify and help you make the best move. After this, we will help you provide proof of your investment by walking you through the I-526 petition process, which is the petition for investors who wish to move to the U.S. We will then file this petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Within 31 to 52 months, the organization will inform us of the acceptance status of the petition.
Obtaining two-year conditional permanent residency
As previously mentioned, if your petition is accepted, you will become a two-year conditional resident of the U.S., which will allow enough time for the business to utilize the funds from the investment. Once the two-year mark hits, we will be required to prove that the investment has met the conditions and allowed the required number of employees to be hired. If you are in the country when the I-526 is approved, the next step would be to file a change of status petition, or I-485. If you were out of the country at the time, we would need to file the necessary documents so that a green card can be processed at a Consulate.
It is important to remember that during the two-year conditional residency period, the investor is not permitted to remain outside of the U.S. for more than one year without obtaining a re-entry permit. Our team will walk you through all of these expectations in a comprehensive way so that you do not experience additional road bumps on your path to residency or citizenship.
Obtaining an unconditional permanent residency through the I-829 petition
The purpose of the I-829 petition is to allow immigrant investors to remove the conditions of their permanent resident status as well as the conditions for applicable family members or dependents. If accepted, this petition will allow those going through this process to live and work in the U.S. permanently. We will submit this petition to the USCIS 90 days before the second anniversary of the date that the conditional residency was received. It will prove that the investor has met all the requirements of the program. Typically, the USCIS will issue a permanent green card 22 to 45 months after the I-829 is submitted. It will also provide the option to become a U.S. citizen after a five-year period from the date of the initial conditional residency.
To find out if an investor visa might be the right path for you, or to learn more about other immigration options, call Maghzi Law Firm at (843) 800-2750 or contact us online today!
Given the amount of skill and experience this team has, we pledge to leave no stone unturned and going above and beyond to provide the best immigration services tailored to your needs.
With a large team on hand and English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Farsi language-speaking services available, we aim to provide all the resources you need to make the immigration process easier.
As an immigrant herself, founding attorney Ameneh Maghzi understands the difficulties of immigration and she has made it her mission to make the process as smooth as possible for her clients.
With our sole focus on immigration law, our firm is well equipped to handle a wide range of immigration services.