The Investor visa, or EB-5 Visa, is the visa of choice for potential immigrants to the United States that are business owners or entrepreneurs. The EB-5 visa has simple qualifications – the applicant must make a significant investment in a US-based business, providing at least 10 jobs over the course of a pre-designated period of time and they become eligible for permanent residency (a green card) through their investment.
The EB-5 visa currently takes anywhere from eighteen (18) to twenty four (24) months for the application to be processed and approved by USCIS. This average is due to a number of factors, mostly related to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the time it takes for them to review the details of each application and respond to each applicant. Each applicant must prove without a shadow of a doubt that their investment will both be valued at the minimum level allowed for contribution towards a commercial enterprise in the United States and also be invested in such a way as to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers. These two factors can be hard to prove, however, a qualified regional center and immigration lawyers can make the process much smoother. The right immigration lawyer(s) can help applicants prevent delays in the processing time due to missing information or inadequate business proposals and propositions.
If you are investing in a new commercial enterprise (Direct Investment), you must provide evidence of your active involvement through investment in the project and how your investment has expanded this venture. As far as maintaining this enterprise, you must show proof of your ability and willingness to manage the enterprise following your investments.
Between the many legal and business documents needed to prove the applicant has made the minimum investment (currently $500,000 for select countries) and has the ability to create or preserve at least 10 jobs through this investment, it is easy to understand why the process can take upwards of two (2) years. However, many applicants are able to have their applications processed and approved in much less time due to their applications being submitted with all necessary documentation and organized to present all relevant information USCIS will require. Once all documents are in order, an applicant need only calculate processing time in relation to the USCIS rate of processing each application.
Once eligible, you and your dependents could receive permanent resident status in as little as eighteen (18) months. The first step towards your EB-5 visa application should be contacting a reliable, United States government approved regional center. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur interested in immigrating to the United States through the EB-5 visa, contact us to find out how you can begin your application process!