8 Reasons to Invest in U.S. Permanent Residency through the EB-5 Program
Foreign investors dreaming of a new life in the United States should consider the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program as a possible means of obtaining U.S. permanent resident status for themselves, their spouses, and their unmarried children younger than 21.
Established in 1990, the EB-5 visa program has already enabled thousands of foreign investors from around the world to become lawful permanent residents in the United States in exchange for an investment in a qualifying EB-5 new commercial enterprise. As long as foreign investors satisfy certain requirements—such as providing evidence of the lawful sources of their investment capital and proving that their investment funded the creation of at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. workers—they are eligible for a U.S. green card.
What are the benefits of holding U.S. permanent resident status? Watch the video below to discover how you and your family can benefit from EB 5 visas.
A U.S. green card can benefit an investor and their family in numerous ways. From lucrative business opportunities, to easier admissions and potentially lower tuition at world-renowned U.S. universities, to the freedom to reside anywhere in the United States—indefinitely—an EB-5 visa green card can be a foreign national’s ticket to a brighter, happier, more fulfilling life.
To read more about how you and your family can achieve a better life in the United States with an EB-5 visa, download the EB5AN summary of the benefits of U.S. permanent residence.
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1. U.S. green card holders enjoy unlimited employment opportunities
A foreign national with permanent resident status in the United States has the right to work almost anywhere and for anyone in the country.
Green card holders can seek employment at startups, small businesses, and other organizations unlikely to sponsor foreign nationals for a work visa. Lawful permanent residents may also switch jobs as freely as U.S. citizens and can take on additional jobs or work activities as desired.
If an EB-5 investor applies for U.S. permanent resident status for their children as well, the children may also work freely in the United States, as long as they are old enough to take on employment.
The employment advantages of a U.S. green card make the EB-5 visa program a particularly beneficial option for holders of an H-1B or L1 visa.
- An H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa for highly-educated foreign workers in specialty occupations to temporarily work for a single employer in the United States.
- An L1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for foreign executives or managers to work temporarily for a U.S. branch of their same international company.
Those on such employment visas are constrained to a single employer and are forbidden from engaging in additional work activities, even on a freelance basis. Foreign nationals may be restricted to a particular area and are only authorized for a temporary stay in the United States, meaning they must look for alternative immigration pathways to remain.
Holders of an H-1B or L1 visa may invest in USA for greencard to dramatically expand their employment opportunities and enable them to live permanently in the United States.
2. U.S. green card holders’ children may enroll in a U.S. public school
One of the key benefits of the EB-5 program is the opportunity for investors to apply for U.S. permanent resident status for their spouse and qualifying children.
As long as an EB-5 investor’s child is unmarried and below the age of 21, they qualify for an EB-5 visa.
If an investor’s children are young enough, they may take advantage of the high-quality U.S. public education system, which will prepare them for a life of success in the United States—at no extra cost to the investor.
Children who enroll in the U.S. public education system gain a high-quality, holistic education that helps them hone their strengths and succeed in various areas of life. The U.S. education system doesn’t focus only on academic achievement—it also helps children foster their social skills and encourages the exploration of extracurricular activities, whether creative, athletic, or social. EB-5 investors can ensure their children are immersed in English and U.S. culture, setting them up to succeed in U.S. university and beyond.
3. U.S. green card holders have a higher likelihood of being admitted to U.S. universities
Around the world, international students clamor for the chance to study at world-renowned U.S. post-secondary education institutes. Unfortunately, competition is fierce, and with most U.S. schools placing an unofficial cap on the number of international students they accept, those without U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status are at a disadvantage.
Conversely, an EB-5 visa is extremely beneficial to students:
With U.S. permanent resident status, an applicant is as much as 3.5 times more likely to be admitted, representing a major benefit for EB-5 investors and their children.
Additionally, U.S. green card holders may be eligible for financial aid, scholarships, and in-state tuition savings that are unavailable to international applicants.
4. U.S. green card holders can access state-of-the-art U.S. healthcare services
While the U.S. health insurance system faces global criticism, the health care services themselves are among the best in the world.
As they have the means to pay for high-quality insurance and health care, EB-5 investors can take advantage of the many state-of-the-art health facilities the United States boasts, including 4 of the 10 best hospitals in the world: Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
The United States places a large focus on medical research and innovation, so most EB-5 foreign investors have access to far superior healthcare services in the United States than in their country of origin.
5. U.S. green card holders are free to live and travel anywhere in the United States
The United States is one of the biggest countries in the world, both in population and geography. From the beaches of Florida and Hawaii, to the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico, to the snow-filled landscapes of Minnesota and North Dakota, to the city life of New York, the United States offers the right lifestyle for any foreign investor who makes an EB-5 investment.
With an EB-5 visa, foreign investors can freely choose where in the country to live, and they also retain the right to travel around the country at will.
U.S. green card holders can also travel abroad easily without facing issues upon re-entering the United States.
Permanent residents are granted re-entry almost as easily as citizens, although they must be wary of spending too much time abroad, lest United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revoke their permanent resident status.
The ability to travel to some countries visa-free as a U.S. permanent resident is also a major benefit to EB-5 investors from countries with weak passports.
6. U.S. green card holders qualify for support after retirement
Just like U.S. citizens, EB-5 visa holders may receive pension support following retirement. They are eligible to receive the pension funds they worked toward in their country of origin as well as in the United States.
Furthermore, U.S. permanent residents may take advantage of Medicare and other social welfare programs in the United States, if necessary.
7. U.S. green card holders can easily set up a life and future in the United States with their family
EB-5 investors only need to invest $1.05 million—or a minimum investment of $800,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA) commercial enterprise—to apply for EB-5 visas for themselves, their spouse, and their children, as long as they’re unmarried and younger than 21.
If they invest through an EB-5 regional center, they don’t even have to engage in the day-to-day management of the new commercial enterprise (NCE).
Then, with the U.S. permanent resident status this EB5 investment grants them, an EB-5 investor can more easily secure a mortgage, health insurance, and life insurance in the United States, establishing the foundation for a long, happy, secure life in the United States.
8. U.S. green card holders can enjoy the political and economic security of the United States
Across the world, people face government corruption, out-of-control inflation, crumbling infrastructure, and other major hindrances to a happy and successful life. They may lack access to quality education or health care, severely impacting their quality of life.
Fortunately for U.S. green card holders, the United States is a safe haven, offering high-quality education and health care services alongside a strong, stable, democratic political system that tries to ensure justice and fairness for all who reside in the nation.
The United States also boasts the strongest economy in the world, offering security to EB-5 green card holders and their hard-earned money.
Some U.S. permanent residents may still wish to spend long periods of time in their home country due to the familial, social, or business ties they have to the region, but one downside of permanent resident status is some restrictions on the amount of time a permanent resident may spend abroad.
However, after five years of permanent residency, EB-5 investors can apply for U.S. citizenship, which eliminates the travel restrictions entirely.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a lawful means of immigration into the U.S. for foreign investors and their eligible family members in exchange for one qualifying job-creating investment in a NCE in the United States.
The program is administered by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
How do you apply for an EB-5 visa?
Before applying to USCIS, foreign investors must first invest the required minimum investment in a qualifying NCE that creates 10 permanent U.S. jobs that last a minimum of two years. This investment in the NCE can be made directly or through an EB-5 regional center.
When the investment is made, foreign investors and their eligible family members fill out Form I-526– or I-526E if they invested through a regional center– to prove their eligibility for an EB 5 visa.
Once approved, investors and their eligible family members will be granted two-year conditional permanent residency in the United States. In the final three months of the two-year conditional residency, investors file Form I-829 to prove they have satisfied all requirements of the EB 5 visa program.
Once approved, foreign investors and their family members will be given green cards, granting them full permanent resident status in the United States.
What is the regional center program?
EB-5 regional centers are commercial businesses that act as “agencies”, pooling EB 5 capital from multiple foreign investors to fund larger EB 5 projects and lower risk.
Regional centers must be approved by USCIS to participate in the EB 5 visa program, with geographic coverage granted over specific U.S. states or areas.
Investing through an EB-5 regional center allows investors to include indirect and induced jobs toward the job creation requirement, as well as direct employees of the NCE, making it vastly easier to meet the EB 5 visa program’s job creation requirement.
This, and other benefits– like regional centers’ vast EB-5 experience– are why nearly all foreign investors invest through the regional center program. In fact, according to a 2021 study, regional center investors accounted for 93% of all EB 5 visas awarded.
What is a qualifying EB-5 project?
An EB-5 project is the actual real estate development being managed by the investor’s chosen NCE or regional center.
For instance, a foreign investor invests their EB-5 capital in an LLC (the NCE) and the LLC uses the investor’s funds towards the construction of a new hotel (the EB-5 project).
A NCE must be a legal, for-profit domestic business in the United States formed after November 29th, 1990. The NCE must be able to clearly demonstrate through their business plan and other supporting evidence that the foreign investor’s EB-5 capital will create or preserve 10 full-time (minimum 35 hours per week) U.S. jobs.
Where to Get Started
Regardless of their goals for a life in the United States, foreign investors and their families are likely to benefit from an EB-5 visa.
With the most advanced healthcare in the world, the largest and safest economy, world-renowned education, and opportunities everywhere from tax-free sunny beachfront cities to snowy glacial retreats, permanent residence in the United States offers remarkable benefits to investors and their families.
Reach out to EB5AN today to learn more about the process and determine the best path forward for you.