The United States of America—the name alone conjures up images of wealth and freedom in the minds of people worldwide. Immigration is not easy, however, and with people all over the world clamoring at the chance for a life in the United States, most cannot realize their dream. If you’re a foreign investor, an EB-5 visa investment may be the best way to secure a life in the United States for yourself and your family.
For an investment of $900,000 or $1.8 million, depending on whether your chosen EB-5 project is in a targeted employment area (TEA), the EB-5 program can provide you with permanent resident status in the United States for yourself, your spouse, and your unmarried children below the age of 21. Your EB-5 visa investment will have been successful if it funds the creation of a minimum of 10 new full-time jobs filled by legal U.S. residents. It will typically take at least two years, and sometimes more than five years, depending on your country of origin, to obtain conditional permanent resident status, but the EB-5 program remains one of the easiest ways for foreign investors to obtain a U.S. green card.
U.S. permanent resident status offers countless benefits. Here are a few examples.
Live, Work, Study, and Travel Anywhere in the United States
Once you make an EB-5 investment and become a U.S. permanent resident, the entire country is open to you. You are free to live anywhere in any of the 50 states and may travel freely between them anytime you desire. You can work at a company anywhere in the United States without needing to be sponsored, and you have access to the many top-quality education institutes all across the United States.
You may take advantage of this freedom even before you have removed the conditions from your permanent resident status by filing an I-829 petition. If you invest through a regional center, you will not be bound to the physical location of your EB-5 project, so you can seek out projects with minimal financial and immigration risk without restricting yourself to a particular state. You can invest in an EB-5 project in Florida but live in California—that’s just a taste of the American freedom you’ll enjoy as a permanent resident.
Secure a High-Quality Education for Your Children
One of the things the United States is renowned for is its prestigious post-secondary education institutes. All across the country are phenomenal schools that can provide your child with a life-changing education, but obtaining admission as an international student can be difficult, not to mention pricy. A benefit of EB-5 visa investment that attracts families worldwide to the program is facilitated access to U.S. colleges and universities, which can help propel your child toward professional success.
The educational benefits of an EB-5 visa investment start even before college, too. If your children are grade-school aged, they can significantly benefit from a U.S. public school education. Not only will they receive a high-quality, well-rounded education that helps them hone their talents and prepares them for the U.S. post-secondary environment, but they’ll also learn English to a level otherwise unattainable for most non-native speakers, be immersed in U.S. culture, and develop valuable friendships with locals. The value of a U.S. public education is multifaceted and cannot be overstated.
Become a U.S. Citizen
The only thing better than being a U.S. permanent resident is being a U.S. citizen. While permanent residents must adhere to certain guidelines regarding stays abroad, U.S. citizens may spend as much time abroad as they wish without fear of their citizenship being revoked. Additionally, U.S. citizens may vote and obtain U.S. passports, which are among the strongest in the world.
A foreign national may apply for U.S. citizenship after five years of permanent residence, including conditional permanent residence. That means you may be able to apply for naturalization just four or five years after your initial EB-5 investment, depending on your country of origin.
U.S. law does not require foreign nationals to renounce their citizenship when they become U.S. citizens, which means you may be a dual citizen of the United States and your country of origin, if your country recognizes dual citizenship. This is particularly useful if you would like to continue spending significant time in your birth country but want a safe haven to escape to in case war, civil unrest, disease, or another threat to your wellbeing in your birth country breaks out. U.S. citizenship is perhaps the most valuable return you can earn on your EB-5 visa investment.