In 1990, the EB-5 visa program was created to promote foreign direct investment into the US economy. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, foreign investors can gain permanent residency in the US. However, like all immigration processes, the eb-5 investor visa Houston TX process can be complicated.
If you seek to invest in an under developed area with high unemployment (Targeted Employment Areas), your investment minimum is $900,000. This is much lower than the $1.8 million required to invest in areas with low unemployment and greater commercial development. This investment may be held in escrow until your visa is approved and may be returned, less administrative and legal fees, if your application is denied.
You do not have to have a specific level of education or business experience to be granted this visa. In addition, you do not have to speak English.
Who Can Join You
If your EB-5 visa application is approved and you make an investment, you can also bring your spouse and any children under the age of 21. Your family is also granted green cards and can work or attend school within the US. In addition, your children won’t “age out” of the system, so they don’t have to return to their home countries at the age of 21. This is a significant benefit over other investor visas which require that your children leave the country when they turn 21 unless they pursue additional visas.
Length of Residency
An initial acceptance results in a 2-year Green Card. However, if you have made the investment and 10 jobs have been created because of your investment, you can apply for a Green Card renewal. The new Green Card is permanent and does not need to be renewed. However, if you seek citizenship, additional steps will be necessary.
Before your visa is approved, the US government will investigate the origins of your investment. It must have been legally acquired. For example, you may have saved it from legal work income, inherited it or been given the investment funds. Most applications are denied because the applicant could not prove that their investment funds were acquired legally.
Only those whose home countries hold diplomatic treaties with the US can apply and be granted EB-5 visas. However, individuals who have been denied other types of visas may qualify and be approved for EB-5 visa status. A medical and criminal background check will also be required. These requirements are subject to change.
If you want to invest in the US economy, consider consulting with an immigration attorney to learn about the different investment visas that are available.