Have you heard of Green Card Through Investment in Real Estate? There are various avenues to secure permanent residency in the United States. You can go through the family sponsorship if you have a family member or relative who is a US citizen or permanent resident, there is also the employment-based pathway, Refugee or Asylum status, Special Immigrant Categories, etc.
One lesser-known but highly effective path is through investment in real estate which is under the EB-5 program. The program allows foreign investors to obtain U.S. permanent residency by making a qualifying investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates or preserves jobs for U.S. workers. This guide looks at how you can get a green card through investment in real estate.
The EB-5 Program
The Employment-Based Fifth Preference (EB-5) program is designed for foreign investors seeking to reside in the U.S. If you are a foreign investor and you wish to become a permanent resident of the United States, this program is for you.
To qualify, you must meet all the qualifying criteria. They include investing a minimum amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise. You can invest in real estate; it is a popular avenue for EB-5 investments.
Minimum Investment Requirements
The first step you need to take if you are pursuing a green card through real estate investment is to meet the minimum investment requirements. As of January 2022, the standard minimum investment is $1.8 million.
However, if the investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is an area with high unemployment or a rural region, the minimum investment is reduced to $900,000. Before you invest, make sure you verify the current figures as they can change anytime.
Choosing the right regional center
You can choose to invest directly in your projects or through a USCIS-designated regional center. Regional centers are entities approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that facilitate job creation and economic growth in a specific geographic area.
Investing in a regional centre offers you certain advantages, such as indirect job creation counting towards the job creation requirement. It helps you meet the job creation requirements faster.
Meeting job creation requirements
One of the key requirements for obtaining a green card through the EB-5 program is the creation of jobs. As an investor, you must demonstrate that your investment directly or indirectly creates or preserves at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of your admission to the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident.
If you do not meet this requirement (demonstrate the ability of your investment to create jobs), your application will not be approved.
Conditional green card
If you have gone through the application process and your EB-5 petition is approved, you and your eligible family members (spouse and unmarried children under 21) will be granted conditional permanent residency in the U.S. This status is valid for two years.
Getting a permanent green card
To move from a conditional green card to a permanent green card, you must file a petition to remove the conditions within 90 days before the expiration of your conditional green card.
Benefits of the EB-5 Program
Permanent Residency for you and your family members
Once your application is successful, you and your spouses and unmarried children under 21, will obtain permanent residency in the United States.
No sponsorship required
Unlike many other immigration programs, the EB-5 program does not require employer sponsorship or family sponsorship. You as an investor are the primary applicant.
Flexibility in location and business type
You can choose to invest in a variety of business types, including real estate, provided it meets the program’s requirements. You can also choose to invest in any location.
Education and Healthcare Benefits
As an EB-5 investor, you and your families enjoy access to education and healthcare benefits similar to those available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
Path to U.S. citizenship
After maintaining permanent residency for a certain period, you can apply for U.S. citizenship if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Considerations and challenges of the EB-5 program
Complex application process
The EB-5 application process involves multiple steps, including detailed documentation of the investment project and job creation. You may also need legal assistance.
The EB-5 program has a cap on the number of visas issued annually. As a result, there might be waiting times for visa availability, particularly for investors from countries with high demand.
Investments in new commercial enterprises carry inherent risks. Before you invest in any business, you should thoroughly research and assess the viability of the project to mitigate potential financial risks.
The EB-5 program has undergone legislative changes, and regulatory updates can impact program requirements. To be on the good side, ensure you stay updated about the latest developments concerning the program.
Investing in real estate to obtain a green card is a viable and rewarding option for those seeking permanent residency in the U.S. It allows you to grow your business as well as enjoy the benefits of being a green card holder in the United States. If you have the financial capacity to invest in a qualifying business, it’s a great option.
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