The EB5 investment visa program sounds very attractive for a potential foreign investor. And, in many cases, it is the only solution to obtain a green card and further apply for citizenship. Although in its essence the program is not developed on a complicated platform, there are numerous questions related to the EB5 investment visa that only an EB5 attorney could answer. Here are some of the most common examples that will hopefully shed some light over this complex topic:
• What does the acquisition of permanent residency under EB5 involve?
The answer to this question is relatively simple as the entire process is a step by step procedure which includes case evaluation, selection of regional center, preparation and submission of I-526 petition, status adjustment, removal of conditions, and preparation and submission of N-400 form for US citizenship. The EB5 attorney will inform you that the whole purpose of applying for an EB5 visa is to ultimately attain naturalization.
• Who are the potential beneficiaries of an EB5 investment visa?
When a potential foreign investor applies for the EB5 investor visa, he or she, his or her spouse as well as their unmarried children under the age of 21 become eligible for the program.
• What factors may trigger ineligibility of an investor for a US Immigrant Investor Visa?
There are very clear cases which can trigger inadmissibility for an EB5 investment visa including a very serious medical condition, crime conviction, a security threat to the United States, or a violation of the US immigration law.
• How much time must an investor stay in the US after applying for the EB5 visa?
Once the conditional residence is obtained, it is a natural expectation that the investor resides primarily in the United States. Buying a home or getting a driver’s license will only strengthen the evaluator’s opinion that your intent is to reside in the United States.
• How long needs an investor to wait for I-526 approval?
USCIS takes in between four and six months to make a decision on each particular case.
• Can an investor pay more in order to get the petition expedited?
Essentially, the answer is no. The EB5 investment visa is not about money but about the complexity of the requirements. It is not a bought visa; it is an investment visa.
• What does lawful source of funds mean?
As for an EB5 attorney this could be the challenging part of the investor visa. The beneficiary of the program must demonstrate that investment funds were acquired through lawful means. There has to be a history of wealth behind the funds to support the lawfulness of the investment.
• What are the tax consequences of obtaining a US Residency?
Once you’ve obtained US residency, you would be paying tax just like all US citizens who are taxed on their global income. You would also be paying estate and gift taxes according to the US law. Double taxation would be a concern as long as there is a treaty between US and your country of origin.