The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one of the many green card granting immigration programs overseen by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Although for the first 20 years since its conception in 1990, the EB-5 investment program saw little international interest, the program witnessed an upsurge in demand from foreign nationals starting in the 2010s. At first, most of these EB5 investment program applicants came from China; however, in recent years, the EB-5 investment program diversified significantly, with investors coming from all over the globe. In explaining this phenomenon are the four primary reasons why the EB5 investment program is so attractive to those wanting to gain U.S. permanent residency.
- The EB-5 investment program is incredibly simple and fast
Compared to virtually all other immigration programs from USCIS—most of which take years and years to process—the EB-5 program is extremely easy to apply to. To initiate their EB-5 investment journey, foreign nationals need to file Form I-526. Then, upon USCIS approval of this application, investors who reside outside of the United States can schedule an interview at their local U.S. consulate or embassy. Those who are already residing in the United States can file Form I-485 to adjust their immigration status. In recent years, foreign nationals applying to the EB5 investment program from China have faced backlogs; however, given the recent change in U.S. presidential administration and the possible passage of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, immigrants can expect the EB-5 investment program application process to go much smoother. In fact, as of June 2021, foreign nationals applying from outside of China can expect their I-526 application forms to be approved in just months.
- The EB5 investment program keeps families together by granting green cards to all family members
Unlike many other USCIS immigration programs, the EB5 investment program keeps families together by giving children and spouse of EB-5 applicants green cards alongside the immigrants themselves. As an even more special feature, there are no limits as to how many children an investor can bring the United States through the EB5 investment program. Even better, the number of family members one brings does not change the required EB-5 investment amount of $500,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA) and $1,000,000 in a non-TEA project. This means that foreign nationals can bring their entire family with them—regardless of how big the family is—while not having to worry about making a larger EB-5 investment.
- The EB-5 program offers a uniquely bright future for the children of EB-5 investors
The U.S education system is the envy of the world, and millions of people from all over the globe vie to come to the United States to study every year. By investing through the EB-5 immigration program and gaining U.S. green cards, children of investors can attend high-quality U.S. public schools, where they can not only learn English but also develop themselves in crucial ways. Children living in the United States can not only access internationally acclaimed schools but also grow up in one of the world’s most high-tech and prosperous countries. They have access to quality health care, stable political and economic institutions, and overall a hospitable living environment. Even better, when children reach college age, students holding permanent residency status are at an advantage compared to their international student counterparts—not only do they have access to an easier admissions process but also the potential of lower tuition fees.
- The United States embodies a fast-growing and vibrant economic atmosphere
The United States has remained the world’s largest economy for decades, leading the global economic market and attracting talent from all over the globe. As such, having a U.S green card, especially one through the EB5 investment program, means having access to one of the world’s most vibrant job market, making it easier than ever to gain employment and earn passive income (in fact, many EB-5 investors do earn income on the side). Despite the COVID-19 setback, the United States is on track to bounce back and become stronger than ever before—a further testament to the strength and resilience of the American economy. Therefore, immigrating to the United States through the EB5 investment program means gaining access to an ever-growing economy for not only the investors themselves but for their families as well, especially considering EB-5 investors can live and work anywhere across the United States upon receiving their two-year conditional green card.