There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the “easiest” visa to obtain a green card in the United States will depend on each individual’s circumstances and qualifications. Some permits, such as the EB-5 immigrant investor visa, may be relatively straightforward pathways to obtaining a green card. Still, they require specific qualifications and are not necessarily “easy” to get.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program is a relatively straightforward pathway to obtaining a green card. It allows foreign investors and their immediate family members to get permanent residency in the United States by investing in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs for U.S. workers and capital investment.
To be eligible for an EB-5 visa, an investor must meet the following requirements:
- All EB-5 investors are required to make an investment in a new commercial enterprise that was founded after November 29, 1990, that was acquired on or before that date, and that was restructured or reorganized to create a new commercial enterprise, or that was expanded through the investment, resulting in at least a 40% increase in net worth or the number of employees
- An EB-5 investor must contribute the necessary funds to a brand-new business venture that will add at least ten qualified full-time jobs. The new business as count must directly produce full-time employees if it does not operate within a regional center. The new company can either directly or indirectly create full-time positions if it is in a regional center.
- Investors who are foreign nationals must demonstrate that they are the rightful owners of the invested funds and that they acquired them legally. In certain situations, capital may also contain their commitment to pay (a promissory note). The capital must be assumed to stay invested for at least two years for petitions submitted on or after March 15, 2022.
- The minimum investment amount by the filing date (on or after March 15, 2022) is $1,050,000, and the targeted employment area investment amount is $800,000 (including infrastructure projects).
Now, here are the general steps to apply for an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa:
Identify a qualifying investment opportunity:
The first step is to identify a qualifying investment opportunity. It may be a new commercial enterprise in the regional center or a restructured troubled business.
The next step is to make the investment, which must be at least $1,050,000 if filed on or after March 15, 2022. The targeted employment area investment amount is $800,000 (including infrastructure projects) if the acquisition occurs in a targeted employment area. The funds must be invested in the commercial enterprise and at risk.
File Form I-526:
After investing, the applicant must file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, a petition to classify the investor as an EB-5 immigrant investor. The filing must be with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in this Form. Accompanying by supporting documentation, including evidence of the investment, the source of funds, and a business plan.
Wait for Form I-526 approval:
The applicant must wait for USCIS to review and approve the petition after filing Form I-526. The processing time can vary but typically takes 12 to 18 months.
Apply for a visa:
Once Form I-526 is approved, the investor can apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. Wait for the decision of the Embassy officer.
Enter the U.S. as a conditional permanent resident:
Once the visa is issued, the investor can enter the United States as a conditional permanent resident. This status is valid for two years.
File Form I-485:
As EB-5 immigrant investors, to be eligible for Green Card, investors must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Note that the investor must be physically present in the country when you submit Form I-485, and you enter the country after being paroled or after being examined and admitted. You must be available immediately from the filing of Form I-485 until the final decision on your application is final.
Receive permanent residency:
If Form I-485 is approved, They will remove the investor’s permanent residency conditions, and they will receive a permanent green card.
Above all, the EB-5 visa program requires a significant capital investment and must create more job opportunities. It can provide a relatively straightforward pathway to obtaining a green card for individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and are willing to make the required investment. However, it’s important to note that the EB-5 program is highly regulated and complex. Hence, we recommend working closely with an experienced immigration attorney and financial advisor to ensure a successful application.
It’s important to note that the EB-5 program can be complex and requires careful planning and attention to detail. Again, working with an experienced immigration attorney and financial advisor can help accomplish all necessary steps to maximize the chances of success.