Established in 1990, the EB-5 program allows foreign nationals to obtain U.S. green cards by investing in new commercial enterprises (NCEs). The program experienced a boom in 2008 when the financial crisis sparked an increased interest in EB-5 investment capital. Even though the program’s renewed success coincided with some factors that delayed processing times, the EB-5 visa’s many benefits have helped it remain popular.
How Does the EB-5 Investment Program Work?
EB-5 visas are contingent upon a foreign national’s investment in a qualifying NCE that creates at least 10 jobs per investor. It is also important to use legally sourced, at-risk funding.
Once they have successfully met all applicable requirements, investors (and their qualifying family members) become eligible for permanent resident status and can live and work anywhere in the United States. This makes the EB-5 industry very appealing for foreign nationals seeking the benefits associated with living in the United States. Still, the EB-5 program faces certain challenges.
Challenges in the EB-5 Industry
Slow processing times for visa petitions have long been a staple of the EB-5 industry. Chinese nationals with pending visas have been especially subject to long wait times. Moreover, the EB-5 investment program has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting financial crisis—several EB-5 projects have been canceled or delayed. Still, the advantages of making an EB5 investment far outweigh these challenges.
Benefits for EB-5 Participants
The following are three compelling advantages of participating in the EB5 investment program:
- Program flexibility
- Green card eligibility for family members
- A path to U.S. citizenship
The EB-5 investment program has much more flexible policies when compared to other immigration-by-investment programs. For example, USCIS accepts applications from every country, and foreign nationals are eligible regardless of their occupation. In addition, EB-5 capital can come from virtually any source as long as it is legal.
Green Card Eligibility Extends to Spouses and Children
An EB-5 investor’s immediate family members (their spouse and unmarried children under 21) are also eligible for green cards, and no additional capital is required.
A Path to U.S. Citizenship
Perhaps the most appealing long-term benefit the EB-5 investment program offers is the potential for U.S. citizenship. Once an EB-5 investor and their family have held permanent U.S. green cards for five years, they can apply for citizenship.
Thousands of foreign nationals have reaped the benefits of making an EB-5 investment. For more information about participating in the EB-5 program, interested foreign nationals can contact EB5 Affiliate Network.