The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is undoubtedly the best way for foreign nationals to relocate to the United States. Since 1990, the EB-5 program has enabled thousands of foreign nationals to gain permanent resident status and enjoy a new life in the United States. In addition, the minimum EB-5 investment requirements were lowered on June 22, 2021. Now, EB-5 investments can be made at only $500,000 for targeted employment area (TEA) projects and $1,000,000 for projects outside TEAs.
Interested foreign nationals may wonder whether the EB-5 program offers any provisions for investors’ family members. The answer is yes—an EB-5 investor’s family members (that is, their spouse and unmarried children under 21) are also entitled to receive U.S. green cards.
Benefits for Families
Families with children that relocate to the United States will gain access to a world-class education system. In fact, university students who hold permanent resident status are entitled to in-state tuition fees and certain scholarships and grants. Moreover, the college acceptance rate for green card holders is much higher than that of international students, and green card holders can work without restrictions before, during, and after their studies. Obtaining U.S. permanent resident status will make the college admissions process smoother and more economical—it will also make it easier to start a successful career in the United States.
There are countless other advantages to relocating to the United States. For instance, families will be able to enjoy the country’s diverse culture, safety, and wide-ranging options for entertainment and recreation. In addition, the United States possesses the world’s largest economy, enjoys relative political stability, and boasts a strong and reliable infrastructure. These factors make it a safe haven for foreign nationals.
The EB-5 Visa Process
Potential EB-5 investors who would like to relocate to the United States with their families should become familiar with the EB-5 visa process before making an investment. The first step is to submit Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor. Form I-526 must prove that the foreign national has made an EB-5 investment in a qualifying business using legally sourced funds.
Then, the EB-5 investor must wait for USCIS to approve their I-526 petition. Once USCIS reviews and approves Form I-526, the investor and their family are allowed to apply for conditional permanent resident status. Since these green cards are conditional, they only last for two years. During this period, the investor and their family are entitled to virtually all the rights enjoyed by permanent residents—they can live, work, and travel anywhere in the United States without restrictions.
After the two-year conditional residence period ends, the EB-5 investor will then have to take action to remove the conditions from their visa. The investor must submit Form I-829 within 90 days after their conditional permanent residence expires. I-829 petitions should provide ample evidence that the EB-5 investment was successful and complied with all USCIS requirements, such as creating or preserving a minimum of 10 jobs and remaining at risk. If USCIS approves Form I-829, then the investor and their family will receive permanent resident status, which does not expire. After five years, they will even be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Factors That Families Should Consider
Interested foreign nationals may wonder which family member should make the EB-5 investment and file the visa petitions. This will depend on their situation, but generally the petitioner should be a family member who plans on relocating to the United States permanently.
It is also important to keep the EB-5 program’s regulations in mind. As mentioned previously, an investor’s children must be unmarried and under 21 to receive EB-5 visas. Adult or married children are ineligible for these benefits. However, if parents are primarily interested in enabling one of their children to relocate to the United States, they may simply gift the child the necessary funds to make an EB-5 investment. Then, the child could make the EB5 investment themselves and begin the journey toward permanent resident status.
Evidently, foreign nationals and their families have much to gain from participating in the EB5 investment program. The United States’ strong economy, delightful culture, and political safety make it a true safe haven. Interested foreign nationals should act quickly to identify available EB-5 projects.