The EB-5 Visa: What Investors Need To Know, Explained By Dr. Gregory Finkelson

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Advice | US Attorneys

Dr. Gregory Finkelson Shares How The EB-5 Visa Provides A Path To U.S. Citizenship

Non-U.S. citizens who want to invest in U.S. businesses may choose to enroll in the EB-5 visa program, which provides a path to U.S. citizenship, according to Dr. Gregory Finkelson. Here, Dr. Finkelson explains how investors can utilize the EB-5 visa to get a green card and become a United States citizen. 

What Is The EB-5 Visa?

The EB-5 visa program was designed by the United States Congress to provide a path to citizenship for people who invest in United States-based businesses. The program was created in 1990 in an effort to encourage foreign citizens to invest in U.S. businesses, providing capital and economic stimulation for the United States. Thus far, the program has helped to boost the U.S. economy and has allowed U.S. companies to create jobs. The program allows investors from other countries to get their green card and United States citizenship after showing commitment to investing in U.S. businesses. 

Dr. Gregory Finkelson Explains EB-5 Visa Requirements

According to Dr. Gregory Finkelson, EB-5 visa requirements include: 

  • $1 million net worth for individuals or married couples, or $200,000 in individual income ($300,000 in joint income) for at least the last two years with an expected comparable income in coming years
  • The investor must invest at least $500,000 in a TEA or $1 million in a United States business. A TEA is a Targeted Employment Area. TEAs include rural areas and areas in which the unemployment rate is 1.5 times the national average (or higher)
  • The investor must provide funds directly to a new business or a Direct Project with at least 10 new employees on W-2s
  • The investment must be maintained for at least two years
  • The investment must create at least ten new, full-time jobs

How Much Does The EB-5 Visa Cost?

In addition to investing in companies in the required amounts, investors who are interested in an EB-5 visa also need to pay application fees and other costs associated with getting a green card and becoming a citizen. According to Dr. Gregory Finkelson, costs include the I-526 petition filing fee ($3,675), the 1-829 fee ($3,750), the I-845 application fee ($1,140), visa administration costs, and lawyer’s fees. It’s important that investors consider all fees required for the EB-5 path to citizenship in addition to their initial investment, according to Dr. Gregory Finkelson. 

What’s The Process Of Getting The EB-5 Visa?

While it’s possible to fill out EB-5 visa forms alone, Dr. Gregory Finkelson recommends working with a lawyer and USA investment expert who can help you ensure that you’re providing all necessary documentation. 

What Documents Are Required For EB-5 Visa Processing?

Investors need to provide many documents for EB-5 visa processing. Documents required for processing fall into three categories: personal, financial, and project. 

Personal documents include passports (scans of both the investor’s passport and scans of any dependent passports), birth certificates, marriage licenses, identification documents (both local and national documents may be required), and copies of any previously filed immigration paperwork. 

Financial documents include proof of the investment related to the EB-5 visa, tax statements (for the previous five years), and proof that the funds for the initial investment were obtained legally.

Project documents include proof that the investment has been made into a company that fits EB-5 visa criteria, proof that the investment has been made in an TEA (if the investor is intending to qualify for an EB-5 by investing in a business in an TEA), business plan, and proof that the business in which the investment is made is new, and various agreements. 

What’s The Future Of The EB-5 Visa?

While the EB-5 visa was approved by Congress since 1990, the current set of rules for the Regional Center EB-5 visa expired on June 30, 2021, and has yet to be renewed by Congress in December of 2021 or later. It’s likely that Congress will approve the Regional Center EB-5 visa again. However, the Direct Investment EB-5 program, which requires direct hire of 10 plus employees on payroll per investor, is still active and no changes have occurred.

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