EB-5 IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM
STREAMLINED GREEN CARD PROCESS
The EB-5 Visa Program is an option for foreign investors to obtain Legal Permanent Residency (LPR, or "Green Card") status. The investment of at least $500,000 must be "at risk" and must create a new commercial enterprise that supports at least 10 full-time jobs.
The program began in the early 1990s when GMLG Managing Member William P. Cook was the General Counsel of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)--the predecessor to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
The popular program has grown in recent years, contributing over $3 billion to U.S. GDP and supporting the creation of more than 42,000 jobs in FY 2014.
NEW PROPOSED FILING FEES FROM USICIS
DIRECT INVESTMENT VS. REGIONAL CENTER
The investment can be made two ways:
Direct -- Under the Direct Investment Option, an investor (or group of investors) create a new commercial enterprise through a project that they believe will have sufficient "direct" job creation to produce 10 new jobs per EB-5 investor.
Regional Center -- Under the Regional Center Option, each project must be organized through a USCIS-approved entity. These regional centers organize EB-5 transactions within specific geographic areas detailed by their USCIS approval. Regional center transactions are larger than stand-alone projects because they pool together multiple investors (often from several countries). Additionally, when utilizing the regional center option, an investor may benefit from "indirect" job creation.
NO JOB, EDUCATION, OR SPONSOR REQUIREMENTS
The other permanent residency visas--EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3--have various job and education requirements that many intending immigrants cannot meet. The EB-5 visa is a good alternative that allows immigrants to invest in either an active or relatively passive role. Under EB-5 there are no restrictions on where you live and what you do once your petitions is approved.
The EB-5 visa is an ideal option for students in F-1 or OPT status who cannot risk non-selection is the H-1B lottery and cannot find a sponsor or do not qualify for the E or L employment visa categories.
TWO YEAR REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS
Once an EB-5 investor's petition is approved, he or she will receive a conditional Green Card for two years. Just prior to the end of those two years, the investor must petition USCIS to remove the conditions on the Green Card (Form I-829).
The condition removal process is arguably more difficult than the initial petition, because the investor must prove that the funds were in fact invest and the jobs were in fact created (or at least that nothing occurred to contradict the fundamentals of the economic analysis and the business plane that supported the approved regional center project.
IMPORTANCE OF YOUR OWN EB-5 LEGAL COUNSEL
The EB-5 program is both complex and demanding. So choosing legal counsel to advise you on EB-5 transactional and immigration issues is a crucial personal decision.
As investing immigrants, you have both your money and your family's immigration status at stake. So, you want your lawyer to be both of your own choosing and having as their first and only priority, protecting your rights as clients.
If your lawyer is "supplied" to you by a regional center or finder, or paid for by anyone other than yourself; or if the regional center is paying your lawyer an undisclosed finder's fee for sending you to them in the first place; then whose interest is that lawyer actually concerned about?
Whether you are investing with a regional center or organizing your own business, GMLG has only your interests in mind. We have no compensation relationships with regional centers, finders, or developers; and we never accept financial compensation for placing a client into a deal.
We provide you advice on both the transactional and immigration aspects of your case, to make sure that you are fully advised on both, and we work tirelessly on your behalf to make sure you are never taken advantage of by anyone involved in the EB-5 process.