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Immigration through Investment to the USA – EB5 visa

Citizenship in USA
Immigration to the United States has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of the United States. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behavior. As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than all other countries in the world combined. 1,046,539 persons were naturalized as U.S. citizens in 2008.

The leading emigrating countries to the United States were Mexico, India, and the Philippines. While an influx of new residents from different cultures presents some challenges, “the United States has always been energized by its immigrant populations,” said President Bill Clinton in 1998. “America has constantly drawn strength and spirit from wave after wave of immigrants… They have proved to be the most restless, the most adventurous, the most innovative, the most industrious of people.” Family reunification accounts for approximately two-thirds of legal immigration to the US every year. This article will describe the investment option of immigration to the United States.

Normal immigration procedure for acquiring EB5 visa and Green Card (Permanent Residency) in the United States include the following steps:

  1. Investor fills out Accredited Investor Declaration and Personal Net Worth Statement.
  2. Investor receives from Elma Global an offer and other documentation for consideration.
  3. Investor signs an agreement and forwards a deposit of USD 20,000.
  4. Investor signs subscription agreement and forwards a deposit of USD 40,000 to some approved Investment Foundation (or Regional Center) in the USA.
  5. Investors Immigration attorney and Investment Foundation work together to obtain documentation and prepare I-526.
  6. Investment Foundation sends notification to Investor that I-526 is ready to be filed along with wire transfer instructions. Investor wires USD 500,000 to escrow account.
  7. In case I-526 approved the Investment transaction is closed with Escrow Agent unconditionally releasing funds to Investment Foundation.
  8. Investors Immigration attorney submits immigrant visa application to US consulate or application to adjust status to permanent resident to USCIS.
  9. Investor receives temporary Green Card.

10.  Legal Counsel files an application to remove conditional resident status (Form I829) to the USCIS.

11.  Investor receives permanent Green Card.

12.  After 60 months, investor may choose from one of several investment exit strategies.

So the total cost of the program is USD 560,000 (including USD 60,000 for legal and technical assistance, and refundable investment of USD 500,000).

Eligibility Criteria:

Surprisingly enough, The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program is one of the most efficient and democratic (if you take eligibility criteria) investment programs in the world. There are no requirements as to age, language, or past business experience in order to qualify. Applicants, however, must be accredited investors (net worth more than USD 1,000,000), and their funds must be legally obtained (inheritance of funds can be counted as legal sources).

Normal Timeframe for EB-5 Immigration:

  1. Applicant makes USD 500,000 investment into escrow account,
  2. After 4 or 6 months following investment I-526 is approved by USCIS; funds released from escrow account and go to Regional Center,
  3. After 8 0r 12 months following investment (or after 4 or 6 months following USCIS approval) Investor applies for US Visa at US Consulate abroad (or for Change of Status if the Investor is already in the USA),
  4. In two years after immigration or adjusting status Investor and Regional Center must show that investment is kept and is still at risk, and that 10 direct or indirect jobs have been created. Form I-829 is launched to remove conditions. Investor and his family get Green Cards – Permanent Residency in the USA.

If you have any questions related to immigration through investment to the United States, contact us today Immigration experts of Elma Global will be happy to assist you.

Questions and Answers on EB-5 Immigration:

Question: I have heard that EB5 program will be amended from the October 01, 2015 and the investment amount will be 800,000 USD instead of the current 500,000 USD. Can you comment on that?
Answer: On September 30, 2015, the U.S. Congress approved a short-term law that extends the EB-5 Regional Center Program until December 11, 2015. The effect of this new law is to extend the EB-5 Regional Center visa program without any changes until December 11, 2015. This is a very fortunate development for current EB-5 investors, as the minimum investment amount of 500,000 USD remains the same until December 11, 2015. During the remaining time, proposals to increase capital investment amount will be considered.

Question: Can you inform me about physical residency requirement in the US EB5 program? How many days annually must be spend in the US when the green card is conditional (first two years)? In addition, how many days are required from a holder of permanent green card? My situation is as follows. I am busy in Singapore (run a business here) but I want to do relocation for my wife and kids.
Answer: A husband who is not sure he can send enough time in the U.S. should make his wife the principal applicant. Husband can be dependent green card holder. If he stays out too long – wife (by now a citizen) can sponsor him. This is the common procedure.

Question: What time is considered sufficient for unconditional/unconditional green card holder? 183 + 1 day per year?
Answer: Six months per year is a good start. Wherever if it is clear that a permanent resident has not established his or her permanent residence in the United States a green card can still be challenged. If a person plans to be away from the United States or plans not to have a permanent residence in the United States for a prolonged period say more than six months they can apply for a re-entry permit, which would allow them to return to United States after A long absence as much as two years. This application for re-entry permit should be made before the person departs from the United States. Having a house, spouse, children etc. in the United States is fairly convincing evidence of maintaining a permanent residence in the states. Please, also note that having a green card triggers tax residency in the United States. To obtain a re-entry permit showing at least one year’s paid taxes in the US is extremely useful.


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