What is the EB5 visa?
The EB5 Visa is the fifth preference for employment-based green card categories. With an EB5 Visa, foreign investors with capital may invest in a new or existing commercial enterprise, that is aimed at creating at least 10 US jobs a year, and in return, they will be able to obtain a green card. The EB5 Visa currently has a cap of 10,000 approved applicants each year.
EB5 visa holders can sponsor their immediate family members (spouse and dependent children) to move from Canada with them and live lawfully as lawful permanent residents within the US.
Applicants for the EB5 Visa can either be independent, or they can work as part of a group of investors who are approved as a third-party intermediary
There are four different tears of the EB5 Visa, and they are as follows:
- C5 Visa – this is for investment outside of the target areas
- T5 Visa – this is for investment in areas with a high unemployment rate
- T5 Visa – this is for participants of an Investor Pilot Program, but not engaged in target areas
- I5 Visa – this is for investors who work in specific regions under an Investor Pilot Program
What is the EB5 immigrant investor program?
The EB5 immigrant investor program was created in 1990 in order to bring foreign investment into the US to stimulate economic growth in the country through job creation. The EB5 program was designed to develop rural areas within the US that typically have a higher-than-average unemployment rate.
If an EB5 project is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) (which is usually typically high in unemployment), there is a minimum investment of $500,000 required. For a non-TEA project, $1,000,000 is needed to obtain a green card. If you do not have this kind of funding and wish to invest a smaller amount, you may be eligible for the E2 Visa instead.
Benefits for investors on an EB5 Visa
There are several benefits for an investor that is in the US on an EB5 Visa, and they are as follows:
- As the investor, yourself, your spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of 21 can obtain a green card
- You will have the freedom to live, work, and travel wherever you wish inside the US
- As a permanent lawful resident, you will be able to leave and re-enter the US as you wish
- You can start a business in the US without business immigration control
- You will be on a quicker path to US citizenship
Your children will be able to study in the US public school system
- There will be employment opportunities for your children
- You are not required to be sponsored by a US employer or petitioner
- You will be eligible for a return on investment if the business investment is successful
- In some circumstances, the EB5 Visa can be one of the fastest ways to obtain a green card as compared with other routes, such as the EB1 Visa, EB2 Visa, and EB3 Visa.
EB5 Visa requirements
The main EB5 Visa requirements are as follows:
- You will need to invest in a new business that was established after 29 November 1990
- You are able to invest in older commercial enterprises if your contribution leads to a significant increase in the net worth of the company
- You need to make an at-risk capital investment of $1 million
- The minimum investment amount can be reduced to $500,000 if you invest in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). TEA areas are regions with a higher level (150%) of unemployment stats as compared with the national average.
To be eligible for the EB5 Visa, you will also need to be able to create new jobs, as follows:
- Your investment must result in at least 10 full-time jobs being created for US workers
- These jobs must be created and the goal having been achieved within two years of your EB5 Visa having been approved
EB5 document requirements
When you are applying for an EB5 Visa, you will need to submit supporting documents as follows:
- Evidence that your business has been established in a TEA area (if relevant)
- Evidence that you have invested in a designated Regional Center according to the approved regional center business plan (if relevant)
- Substantial evidence to prove that your investment will definitely create at least 10 direct or indirect full-time jobs
- A copy of a valid passport
- A copy of the passport of any of your family members who are also applying within the same visa
- Evidence that proves that funds being invested have been obtained legally, and are entirely yours to control and manage
- Evidence that proves that you have, or are in the process of investing the necessary amount of either $500,000-$1,000,000
- A copy of any previous immigration applications (if applicable)
- Certified copies of any judgment or legal actions, either civil or criminal, against yourself from any US or foreign court within the past 15 years (if applicable)
- Copies of your business license (where appropriate
- Evidence of other capital sources
- Financial statements for each business
- Proof of business ownership
- Your tax returns for the business over the last five years
- Your bank statements for the business over the last five years
All documents must be submitted in English, and if not, they must be translated into English by a certified translator.
EB5 Visa application process
To begin your EB5 Visa application, you will need to submit Form I-526 (Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur). You do not require a US sponsor, and can self-petition, as you are investing your own capital.
Once you receive approval for your EB5 petition, you will then have to wait for your priority date to become current, before submitting your visa application. Once you have submitted Form DS-260, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) may ask for medical documents from you.
During the visa interview, you will need to be able to show your supporting documentation and provide evidence that your application, investment, and business project fulfill the EB5 Visa criteria.
What happens if your EB5 Visa is rejected?
It can be disheartening to have any visa rejected, but there are still some options available if your EB5 Visa has been denied.
Some of the most common reasons for an EB5 Visa petition and application being denied are as follows:
- There was missing information in the petition
- There was an issue with the payment of the fee
- There were missing documents within the application
- Some information was found to be inaccurate
- The investment funds required were not met
- There was a lack of evidence to prove that the funds are yours to control
- There was a lack of evidence that the job creation requirement was going to be achieved
If your EB5 Visa is denied, there are several courses of action that you can take, depending on the reason for the denial, which will be provided to you within the decision letter. This will also state what options you can now take, for example, whether you are permitted to appeal the decision or not. Some of the options can include:
- Filing a legal motion
- Appealing for denial
- Refining the application and providing missing documentation
There may be other, more beneficial immigration options for you other than the three aforementioned options. Due to the complicated immigration rules, criteria, and options that need to be considered, it is highly recommended that you contact our professional immigration lawyers to find out the best way to move forward if your visa gets denied. Not only will this save you time, but it could also protect you from any potential further rejection.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
Depending on your country of origin, the processing time for an EB5 visa will vary greatly. The process from beginning to end can take between a few months to several years. You’ll be able to check the status of your EB5 petition, and the number of available permits for Canada on the EB5 Visa Bulletin.
Hiring the services of specialized immigration lawyers when it comes to moving to the US from Canada has the potential to save you a lot of time and money. Understanding all the ins and outs of US immigration law can be a challenge, and can lead to delays or rejection of your visa application.
Total Law immigration lawyers can ensure your EB5 Visa petition and application are watertight and contain everything you need to maximize your chances of success.
The team at Total Law understands that there is much at stake with an EB5 Visa application, and your future and livelihood may depend on an approved application. We will work with you at every stage of the process including the following:
- Assisting you with the petition stage
- Making sure that all of your supporting documentation is comprehensive, valid, and required
- We will submit your EB5 application on your behalf
- We will help you liaise with any Regional Center
- We will assist with your family joining you in the US under the same visa
- We will keep you updated throughout the entire process, making sure that you are always aware of the status of your application.
You can contact us seven days a week, either on the phone at +1 844 290 6312 or by using the online chat function to speak with one of our client care agents.