This article is written for those of Thai Nationality who are researching the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program for the first time.
The EB-5 visa category was created in the 1990s and was designed to provide a travel document to those Immigrants traveling to the United States of America in order to make a substantial investment in an eligible enterprise. The substantial benefit which attaches concurrently with the EB-5 visa is Lawful Permanent Resident status. Lawful Permanent Residence is sometimes referred to as either "Green Card" status or simply "Green Card". Those who meet the eligibility criteria, receive visa approval, and are admitted lawfully to the USA will receive a Green Card which provides legal residence and the right to work in the USA.
Some have asked this author the question: "Is there any type of Citizenship-by-Investment program in the USA?" The short answer to this question: no. There is no program currently operating which allows foreign nationals to receive near instantaneous Citizenship. However, the EB-5 visa program could be called a "Path to Citizenship by Investment". This is due to the fact that those who enter the United States on an EB-5 receive Lawful Permanent residence which is one of the requirements that must be met in order to apply for naturalization to American Citizenship. The US naturalization process could prove to be time consuming and difficult. Furthermore, in order to even be eligible for naturalization to US Citizenship a foreign national must meet the statutory physical presence requirement as set forth under relevant United States Immigration law.
Although obtainment of an EB-5 visa might prove to be a boon for foreign nationals around the world the legal eligibility requirements must be met. Such requirements exist separate from the investment and therefore those wishing to obtain an EB-5 visa are well advised to conduct substantial research before making the decision to invest in the USA. In many cases, the EB-5 visa rules require that the foreign national invest a minimum of 500,000 United States dollars into a targeted investment program in order to meet the investment eligibility criteria. It may also be possible to invest in non-targeted programs, but such an investment usually must be a minimum of 1 million US dollars.
There are some who find that the assistance of an American attorney is advantageous as such a professional can provide expertise regarding the overall EB-5 process and also streamline the compilation and filing of the visa petition and/or application. Those individuals who wish to receive a advice in matters related to EB-5 visas are prudent to scrutinize the credentials of those claiming expertise in American Immigration law since only a licensed attorney from the United States is entitled to provide professional advice and counsel regarding US immigration matters.