An EB-5 investment visa is one of many options available to immigrants to gain lawful status to live and work in the United States. This type of visa is aimed at foreign investors in American businesses. To obtain an EB-5 visa, investors must invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000 (depending on location) into an American business and work with that business over the next two years to create or retain 10 jobs. While it does require a significant investment, it can allow an investor, his spouse, and eligible children to pursue a quicker, more efficient path to citizenship and the opportunities that the American dream embodies. Over the past few years, the popularity of this type of visas has grown. In each of the last two years, the government has issued nearly the full 10,000 EB-5 investment visas allotted. While many of these investors have come from China, investors from all over the world have taken advantage of the program. For both those investors wishing to live and work in the U.S. and Americans at home, the EB-5 investment visa program offers a number of distinct advantages.
Advantages of an EB-5 Visa for Foreign Investors
For many immigrants wishing to move to the United States, following a lawful immigration path can be time consuming and tedious. An EB-5 visa offers a number of benefits to immigrants, including:
Lawful status in the U.S.
Obviously this is the main goal of the majority of foreign investors who apply for an EB-5 visa. The visa allows the investor, and their spouses and qualifying children, a legal path to live, work, and study in the U.S.
Quicker path to permanent residence and citizenship.
In many cases, the EB-5 visa can facilitate the path to permanent residence faster than other types of visas and green cards. The initial conditions of the visa can be removed after two years. Additionally, immigrants with an EB-5 visa may be eligible for citizenship in as little as 5 years after achieving permanent resident status.
No visa sponsorship requirement.
An EB-5 visa investor essentially acts as his own sponsor. There are no requirements outside the investment in an American business. They do not have to be sponsored by any American and group.
Monetary return on investment.
Though many of the investments serve only to help the investor gain entry into the U.S., the right investment can lead to profits and further income for the investor. The initial investment can pay off in more than U.S. status.
Freedom to live and work anywhere in the U.S.
Though this is not true for all those with an EB-5 visa, many investors have the option to live and work wherever they want. Other types of visas have much more strict requirements, which visa holders must follow or lose status.
Education and employment opportunities for children.
The EB-5 investment visa allows the children of the foreign investors to enroll in school, with access to the same education and higher education that citizens enjoy. This includes access to public and private high schools, college, and graduate schools (including medical school or law school). After their education is completed, children have access to the same professional opportunities as any other child in the U.S.
EB-5 Visas Also Benefit the United States and its Citizens
While there are obvious benefits for the foreign investors, granting EB-5 investor visas is also good for those already living and working as U.S. citizens. The EB-5 visa program was started in the early 1990s to help stimulate the economy, and it has since grown and added significant value to the U.S. immigration program. Some benefits for the general population include:
Economic growth was the founding principle of the EB-5 investment visa opportunity, and it continues to be the most significant aspect of the program. Foreign investors infuse capital into the economy, both through their investment and once they begin their day-today lives in the U.S. They shop in stores, send their children to U.S. schools, buy homes and houses, and much more.
The EB-5 visa program requires that each investment create at least 10 new jobs (or in some cases retain 10 jobs). These jobs create more opportunities for Americans to find work.
Improvement to underserved locations.
Some investors choose to take advantage of an aspect of the program that targets specific domestic locations and populations that are especially in need of jobs or economic growth. Known as Target Employment Areas, or TEAs, these locations are identified by the government and are typically in rural areas or areas with high unemployment.
Though the EB-5 visa requires a significant investment, it is an excellent option for a faster, more effective path to citizenship for an investor and his family.
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