The EB5 Visa program grants green cards to foreign investors who invest a specific amount of capital in American businesses and create or preserve a set number of jobs in the United States. This program offers a pathway to permanent residency for those willing to make significant investments.
EB5 Visa Program
Eligibility Criteria for Conditional Green Card
To be eligible for a conditional green card, an investor must invest a specific amount of capital, usually around Rs 8.6 crore or Rs 6.4 crore, in a targeted employment area (TEA) and meet the job creation or preservation requirements.
USCIS Application Process and Required Forms
The USCIS application process for the EB5 Visa program involves several forms, including Forms I-526, DS-260 or Form I-485, and Form I-829. Each of these forms is to be completed at various stages of the EB5 application process.
USCIS Form I-526E for Regional Center Program Participants
USCIS Form I-526E is used by investors who have pooled their investment with qualified immigrants participating in the Regional Center Program. It allows them to petition USCIS for immigrant status under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
In March 2022, significant changes were made to the EB-5 program, including the introduction of visa-set-aside categories for foreign investors. These categories target investments in rural Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), infrastructure projects, and areas with high unemployment.
Visa Set-Aside Categories and Benefits
The new legislation designates 32% of the annual visa allocation for investors in projects falling within the special categories. This includes 20% of visas for investors in rural areas, 10% for high unemployment areas, and 2% for infrastructure projects.
EB5 BRICS celebrates the success of one of its clients who obtained USCIS Form I-526E approval in a record time of 11 months. The client’s investment in a rural area project allowed them to access the 20% visa set-aside and enjoy priority processing.
Investors using Form I-526E may report amendments required to establish ongoing eligibility if the regional center, new commercial enterprise, or job-creating entity they have invested in is terminated or barred from participation in the Regional Center Program.
Advantages of Investing in Rural Projects after March 15th, 2022
New EB-5 investors who file their I-526E petitions after March 15th, 2022, and invest in rural projects gain access to the 20% annual visa set-aside and benefit from priority processing, reducing approval times to 12 to 18 months as estimated by experts in the EB-5 industry.
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