What is the EB-5 Visa Program
It is no secret that, annually, there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who strive to gain legal entry into the United States. For most of these people, the aim is to study, work, and live in the land of numerous opportunities. While there are lots of channels that interested individuals can utilize to make way into the USA, most of these options are too crowded. As a result, lots of people are seeking alternative and more suitable options that don’t attract too many applicants. At a time when the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have become more stringent in evaluating those who get into the nation, there is no easy path. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for those who are genuine about their intentions. The only catch is one must be ready to go through the demanding channels.
For wealthy foreigners, there is a raised platform for avoiding going through other channels and working your way into American citizenship through investments. Created in 1990, the EB-5 visa program allows qualified investors to gain a Green Card after making a substantial investment in the country. This program was designed to stimulate the American economy by attracting alternative sources of funds while creating jobs for locals. Since this program was launched, it has become an avenue through which high-net individuals have made significant contributions to the nation. The program has been made better by the fact that lots of financed projects have become successful across most states.
The new face of the EB-5 visa in 2020
When the EB-5 visa program was introduced, investors were required to make a minimum investment of $500,000 or $1 million. The $500,000 investment was for financing projects to be carried out in designated targeted employment areas (TEA), which had low employment rates. On the other hand, for projects in non-TEA regions, investors were required to make an investment of $1 million. The investment projects were meant to create a minimum of ten permanent jobs for Americans. These conditions remained unchanged over the years until the Obama-era when there were calls and initiatives by the congress to revise it. However, it is not until Trump took office that significant changes to investor’s program were made.
The long-awaited reforms were introduced early in 2019 with the changes taking place from November 21st. The highlight of these changes has been the fact that the EB-5 green card cost has risen and investors must now dig deeper into their pockets. For TEA investments, applicants must be ready to part with $900,000 up from the initial $500,000. On the other hand, for non-TEA investments, the minimum investment amount is $1.8 million. According to congress reports, these changes have been necessitated by the need to keep up with inflation. The USCIS has further been mandated to review the investment amounts after every five years to keep up with the latest economic conditions.
Why is the EB-5 visa still the go-for option for high-net individuals?
While it has become costly to participate in the EB-5 visa program, the benefits have not been eroded. Wealthy foreigners who want to a channel that can be professionally managed to allow them to become American citizens will find it fulfilling. Among the core reasons why the investor visa is practical in 2020 are;
- Once you find the right investment partner and a lawyer, you can have everything under control. It is vital to conduct due diligence before investing your money in any project with the hope of attaining American citizenship. There have been lots of scam investor projects that have been used to defraud millions from foreigners looking to acquire citizenship. As such, before taking any initiative, applicants must find a competent and trustworthy immigration attorney to provide them with guidance. This must then be complemented by choosing an investment partner with an outstanding record to manage your hard-earned money.
- Once you acquire the Green Card, you will have rights as any other American citizen. After investing the required amount and meeting all other conditions specified under the EB-5 Visa program, one will receive a conditional Green Card. This opens the door for starting a new chapter with your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. The best part is that you do not have to live near your investment as you have similar rights to other US residents.