Business investment-based US green card program is popular with Indian and Chinese investors to bypass the long queues for their countries in employment and family-based categories.
Under the EB-5 program, you can apply for US green card directly if you make the necessary investment in a business in the United States.
EB5 Investment Rules
#1 Investment Amount
- Rural Area or targeted employment areas: Investment of $900k required.
- Urban Area: $1.8 milion investment is required to be eligible for EB5 Green card.
The Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor (Form I-526) petition form is required to file your application.
#2 Priority Date Retention
If you have multiple approved EB5 petitions, then you can use the earliest priority date, which is the date on which the petition was properly filed.
Example: If you have filed a new EB5 application due to circumstances beyond your control (for instance, DHS might have terminated a regional center associated with the original petition), or might choose to do so for other reasons.
#3 TEA (Targeted Employment Areas)
Only cities and towns with a population of 20,000 or more outside of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) may qualify as a TEA.
The DHS has the authority to decide which areas can be termed as TEA. The state does not have much say in designating certain geographic and political subdivisions as high unemployment areas.
#3 Family Members Green Card Conditions
The derivative family members must file their own petitions to remove conditions on their permanent residence when they are not included in a petition to remove conditions filed by the primary EB5 investor.
#4 Green Card Interview Location Flexible
A green card Interview can be scheduled at the USCIS office having jurisdiction over either the EB5’s office, residence, or the location where the Form I829 petition is being processed.
Green Card Eligibility
#1 Managerial Control
You should be working in your company as a manager who has control over policy formulation.
#2 Full time jobs for 10 workers
Your company should create 10+ full-time jobs in the USA for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (Green card holders), or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States like H1B or L workers.
You cannot count yourself, your spouse, or your sons or daughters to satisfy this 10 employee requirement.
Chinese EB5 Processing Time
People born in China face an extremely long wait time for EB5 investment green card than any other country nationals. At this time, a Chinese native has a waiting of 16 years.
A court case has been pending in the US court challenging the way USCIS counts family members as part of the total green card numbers.
With an average family size of 3, the total number of EB5 quota gets reduced by 1/3. This is one of the main reasons behind the huge backlogs.
If you are working on H1B in the USA and have the money to sponsor yourself for the EB5 business investor program, you can apply for an EB5 visa.
I know many people working on H1B and L visa in the USA from India and are actively thinking about investing to get the green card faster than their PERM based employment green card.
If you have the money for investment, I strongly suggest filing it instead of relying on the bills to remove country based Green card limits.
USCIS does not allow porting the H1B EB2 priority date to EB5 green card applications.
Unfortunately, you will have to start fresh in the EB5 queue based on your country of birth.
Yes, you can file both and have both EB3 and EB5 applications pending at the same time.