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EB-5 Investor Visas- A great way of getting a Green Card

Posted by attorney Jason Lorenzon
Filed under: Immigration Green cards

Eb-5: The Investor Possibility to a Green Card

One of the most fascinating but highly underutilized program for attaining Lawful Permanent Resident Status is the Eb-5 Program. This is an investor type manner in which a person can attain lawful permanent resident status in the United States. It is also a way that attracts and promotes new economic growth within the United States.

It is underutilized since only 10000 visas are allotted each year. However, an encouraging trend is developing in the United States. A quick look at simple statistics demonstrates that this program is becoming more popular amongst immigrants. It is an “Employment Creation Visa." The EB-5 program was resurrected for fiscal year 2005 and has existed in roughly its current incarnation since that time. The number of these investor visas given out each year is capped at 10,000, but USCIS has rarely given out more than half that number. However, in the first quarter of FY2012, USCIS announced that it had issued 2,364. What is encouraging that at this rate, USCIS may issue EB-5 visas around the quota number by the end of the fiscal year which will be the first time in US immigration history.

The program allows conditional residency for persons who invest more than $1000000 or in certain instances $500000 (normally through a regional center) in a new commercial enterprise that employs at least 10 United States Citizens or authorized non-United States Citizen workers. These 10 employees must be employed full time and engage in the business through day to day management. The business entity includes a broad range of commercial and business relationships.

The idea behind this program is to promote economic growth for the United States and to attract that capital to promote that much needed growth. In return, the immigrant investor receives lawful permanent residence, a win-win situation.

On possibility of the Eb-5 program requires that the investment be made in a targeted employment area which is either a rural area or an area of high unemployment. In this case, the minimum investment is $500000.00 A rural area is one that is outside of a metropolitan statistical area and outside of a city or town having a population of 20000 or more.

The amount of money invested must be at risk. That is the investment must be the property of the alien wishing to become a lawful permanent resident. The money must come from outside of the United States. The public policy idea here is that new money will be infused into the US economy thereby stimulating and attracting new opportunities for all involved.

There is also the Regional Center approach to EB-5. This permits immigrant investors to invest through a local vehicle called a regional center. A regional center by definition is one that is any economic unit, public or private, engaged in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment. The regional center has a clearly identified geographical area, a detailed description of how the capital investment within the geographic area will create direct or indirect jobs. The regional center must also show that it impact household earning, business services and other ancillary business entities in the geographic area. Some of these Regional Centers that immigrants can invest in include various real estate projects such as condominium developments, commercial developments such as local shopping malls, wineries, technological companies and other unique enterprises.

If you are interested in this program, I always advise an immigrant to first discuss options with a qualified immigration attorney who can best advise a person of their possibilities and determine an appropriate course of action. Do some research on the internet and see what Eb-5 programs are available. There are many new enterprises all competing for investors and the Eb-5 program is a worthwhile program that enables a person to receive a green card, receive a potential return on investment and stimulating the economy in the United States.

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