Who Can Get an Investment-Based (EB-5) Green Card?

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Who Can Get an Investment-Based (EB-5) Green Card?

U.S. immigration law allows foreigners to enter, live and work in the U.S. for various periods of time, temporarily or permanently. For those who immigrate on a permanent basis, namely, with a green card, most of them are either through family relationships with U.S. citizens and permanent residents or through employment. However, there are several other ways one can obtain a green card, and one of those is known as the EB-5 visa. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, we have experienced EB-5 green card attorneys who regularly help clients in the Chicago area obtain this visa. We are based in Chicago, but we also handle cases in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Eligibility Criteria in Visa Category EB-5

An investment-based green card is obtained under Fifth Preference or EB-5 employment-based immigration. An applicant who seeks a green card under this category must:

  • Invest the required minimum amount of money in a U.S. business, and
  • Be an active participant in that business, but it is not necessary to control the business; the business can be under the control of someone else, and that’s okay.

When the EB-5 law was initially passed, the minimum amount required to invest to qualify for the EB-5 green card was normally $1 million normally, or $500,000 in economically distressed areas otherwise referred to as “targeted economic areas” or TEAs). However, Congress increased these amounts to $1.05 million and $800,000, respectively. To qualify, one must leave the money tied up with the business invested in for several years. There is no going around this because if you meet the requirements and are issued the EB-5 green card, the card is issued on a conditional basis, meaning you will have to go back to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and apply to remove the conditional status after two years. 

However, you do not have to wait for the two years to lapse before applying to remove the conditions. Rather, you can apply to remove the conditions 90 days before the expiration of the two-year period. To do this, you will need to file USCIS Form I-829 Petition to Remove Conditions. The petition must be accompanied by evidence to show that you have invested the required amount and created at least ten jobs. 

A requirement that usually trips and often leads to denial of EB-5 green card applications is the inability of the applicant to show that they obtained the money legally. This is a requirement designed to prevent money laundering, and even an innocent person who has accumulated wealth over the years will be denied the EB-5 green card application if they cannot document how they obtained the money.

Contact an EB-5 Immigration Lawyer

The EB-5 green card category is one of the most complicated and difficult categories from which one can obtain a green card. It is also the most expensive, especially if one does not know how the green card is applied for and obtained. In other words, to minimize costs and make sure your EB-5 petition stands a good chance of being approved, you need the services of an experienced EB-5 immigration lawyer from Kriezelman Burton & Associates. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.