The EB-5 investment program is undoubtedly the best way for foreign nationals to begin a new life in the United States. The program enables foreign nationals to obtain U.S. green cards by investing in qualifying new commercial enterprises (NCEs). After making an EB5 investment that generates or saves at least 10 jobs and uses at-risk, legally sourced funds, foreign nationals will be able to apply for permanent resident status. Becoming a lawful permanent resident of the United States will entitle the investor to many privileges. For instance, they will be allowed to live and work anywhere in the country and benefit from the United States’ federal and state laws.
Even though the U.S. government established the EB-5 program in 1990, it wasn’t until 2008 that EB-5 investments gained their current popularity—the economic crisis that took place that year likely made EB-5 investment capital all the more appealing. Since then, the program’s popularity grew exponentially, and 2018 saw a record number of EB-5 investment applications.
Challenges Faced by the EB-5 Program
Admittedly, the EB-5 industry faces certain challenges, which cast a shadow over the program’s positive impact on the U.S. economy. In 2020, the financial crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic caused several EB-5 projects to be suspended or even canceled altogether. Additionally, EB-5 investment applications have been subject to pitifully slow processing times—even though USCIS has made admirable efforts to speed up the adjudication process, I-526 petitions may still take years to be approved. In fact, Chinese EB5 investment applications have been backlogged since May 2015, so EB-5 investors from China will have to wait far longer to obtain their visas.
Despite these flaws in the EB-5 program, thousands of foreign nationals have made EB-5 investments and successfully relocated to the United States—the advantages of participating in the EB-5 program far outweigh any drawbacks. Three key benefits motivate many foreign nationals to participate in the EB5 investment industry.
Obtaining an EB-5 Visa Can Lead to U.S. Citizenship
Many foreign nationals who make their EB-5 investments are not only interested in securing permanent resident status—after holding their green cards for at least five years, EB-5 investors can file Form N-400 and apply to become citizens of the United States. U.S. citizenship will entitle investors to travel outside the country without restrictions, vote, and obtain U.S. passports.
Investors from Any Country Can Participate
The vast majority of immigration programs have restrictions on what kinds of foreign nationals can apply. In contrast, the EB-5 investment program is truly global and open to foreign nationals from all countries and of any occupation. USCIS is primarily concerned with making sure that each EB-5 investment is legally sourced and generates the 10 required jobs.
Family Members Also Receive Green Cards
The EB-5 program also grants permanent resident status to an EB-5 investor’s immediate family—that is, their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21. This benefit is free and does not require the investor to provide any additional capital.
Since the minimum investment amounts for EB-5 projects were lowered on June 22, 2021, there has never been a better time to make an EB-5 investment and enjoy the above rewards. Contact EB5AN for information on open EB-5 investment opportunities.