EB-5 Process Frequently Asked Questions
What are EB-5 Regional Centers?
Regional Centers are entities designated by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that promote economic development and job creation in a specific geographic location in the US.
What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program and when was it created?
The US Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 as Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Congress created the program to grant eligible foreign nationals the opportunity to become lawful, permanent US Residents while at the same time stimulating economic activity by making investments that create jobs for US workers.
Where can more information on the EB-5 Program be found?
Additional information regarding the EB-5 Investment Program application process, requirements, and benefits can be found at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website: www.uscis.gov/eb-5-investor
How can potential investors apply through CiF?
Potential investors can get in touch with one of our team members by clicking here.
What are considered legitimate sources of funds?
All investors must provide information showing that the funds to be invested have come from a legitimate source. Generally, financial background information is verified with the following documents:
- five years of tax returns
- documentation of the original source (gift, inheritance, bank loan, etc.)
- court records
- salary statements
- real estate documents
- proof of ownership of business
- any applicable business licenses.
Individual cases may vary by complexity and circumstance.
What is the most common reason for rejection of an EB-5 application?
Most commonly, EB-5 applications are rejected because applicants fail to demonstrate that the investment funds were earned or obtained legally.
Do potential investors have to speak English?
No. English language is not a requirement.
Can an investor live anywhere in the US once the Green Card is issued?
Yes. The investor can live anywhere in the country, regardless of where the investment is located.
Is previous business experience required to become an investor?
No. Business experience is not required.
Is a degree or other higher education required to become an investor?
No. A particular educational level is not a requirement.
Can the investor’s family members receive Green Cards as well?
Yes. The investor, spouse, and any unmarried children (including adopted and step children) under the age of 21 can receive a Green Card under the same application.
How many EB-5 Green Cards are available each year?
There are approximately 10,000 visas set aside for EB-5 applicants each year.
What is the difference between “conditional” and “permanent” Green Cards?
The difference is that a conditional Green Card expires two years after it has been issued while a permanent Green Card does not expire. The rights and privileges granted by either a conditional or permanent Green Card are the same.
When can an investor apply for a permanent Green Card?
Within 90 days (3 months) prior to the expiration date of the conditional Green Card, investors can submit an I-829 Petition (petition to remove conditions), which essentially converts the Green Card from temporary to permanent.
What is the difference between a permanent US resident and a US citizen?
The primary differences between being a permanent US resident and a US citizen is that citizens have the right to vote in elections and can hold public office. Two requirements for becoming a US citizen are
being a permanent resident in the US for the past five years; and being physically present in the US for at least half of that five-year period.
Is the immigration process the same if the investor is already in the US?
Yes, the process is largely the same. The only main difference would be that the investor would not go through the consular processing step, but would instead apply for an adjustment of status in the US.