Tired of waiting forever for your family or employment-based priority date to become current? Concerned that your sponsoring employer will lay you off and leave you and your family in an immigration fiasco? If so, you’re not alone. The US immigration system is quite a mess at the moment. However, if you can afford it, a little-used option is available and, some would argue, it’s a great deal considering what US Permanent Residence, that eventually leads to citizenship, is worth: It’s the EB-5 Investor Program through a Regional Center.
How Can I Obtain an EB-5 Green Card Through Investment in a Regional Center?
In essence, an EB-5-based immigrant visa can be obtained by a foreign national investing $500,000 USD with a USCIS-designated Regional Center located in a targeted employment area (which most of them are). Upon investment and filing the appropriate form with the USCIS along with evidence of the legitimate source of the funds, a conditional green card is granted to the investor and his/her dependents for a two-year period after which the foreign-national applies to remove the condition and have a permanent green card. The foreign-national’s family can reside anywhere in the US. The obligations to invest the funds to comply with the statutory requirements for condition removal rest with the Regional Center. Therefore, selection of a reputable Center is key.
Will I Get My Money Back?
The law requires that the capital invested must be placed “at risk.” This means that there is no guarantee that you will get your money back at the end of the investment period, which is usually at least five years after the initial investment. Some Regional Centers may offer options to mitigate the risk or to insure against it within the legal boundaries. This and all aspects of selecting an appropriate Regional Center should be discussed with knowledgeable business counsel. It is also crucial to examine the track record of a Center prior to making one’s selection. Many Regional Centers will tell you that you can expect to get your money back with a nominal return at the end of the investment period.
Of course, in addition to the statutory investment requirement of $500,000 there are the Regional Center’s administrative, and the investor’s legal and USCIS filing fees which are generally not refundable.
Am I Guaranteed to Get My Green Card?
There are never any guarantees when it comes to a government agency adjudicating a case nor when a Regional Center has control over how the pooled funds will be invested. However, by investing with a reputable Regional Center and otherwise being qualified to adjust status, it is a good bet that qualified investors and their families under the program will be granted permanent residence status.
PLEASE NOTE THAT NOTHING IN THIS POST OR ON THIS WEBSITE SHOULD BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. PLEASE CONSULT A QUALIFIED IMMIGRATION LAWYER TO DISCUSS YOUR INDIVIDUAL SITUATION.