Immigrating to the United States is something that a lot of people from different countries in the world want to do. There are a few options which will allow an alien to come to the United States and live there as a permanent resident. One of them is the Eb-5 Visa Program.This option is also called the Immigrant Investor Visa. As it’s name implies, it is a program for investors who actively invest an amount from $500,000 to $1M USD in the American economy. Immigration consultants, lawyers, as well as US consular missions abroad are often asked questions about this program. Here are some of the most common questions, and their answers.
How much do I need to invest?
The minimum amount is $500,000 if the investment is made in a government approved regional center. This is an area which particularly needs funding due to factors such as high unemployment and underdevelopment. Otherwise, the minimum is $1M.
What exactly is an considered as an “investment” under the program?
If you want to receive a Green Card Visa under this program, there are certain rules with regards to the type of investment that you make. Some countries in Latin America or Eastern Europe will grant you residency if you just deposit a sufficient amount in a savings account at a local bank. This is not the case in the United States. Your investment must be made in a business venture that will actively stimulate the local economy and create full-time, permanent employment for people in the US. “Passive” investments, like buying bonds, certificates of deposit, or real estate does not count.
Will this allow me to become an American citizen?
Yes, pursuant to the same rules that apply to other citizenship applicants. The main one being that you must have lived in the United States for five years before you can apply to become a citizen of the United States. It is not a “fast track” or shortcut to citizenship. Furthermore, you are not obliged to become a citizen of the US after five years of continued residence. While citizenship has its advantages, similar to obtaining a US passport and being allowed to vote in federal elections, you can remain a green card visa holder as long as you want.
Is there an English test that I need to pass? Am I required to have specific skills or certifications, such as a degree in business or experience with investments?
No special skills with regards to work experience or education are required. There is no English test either, but it is always a good thing to have a solid understanding of the English language if you are hoping to relocate to the United States, since it is needed to show that you have integrated in the country if you wish to obtain citizenship after residing in the US for 5 years.