With the long delay in the processing of family-based and 3rd
preference employment-based visas, a viable option for investors
who want to immigrate to the U.S. fast is the EB-5 category.
Under this category, the investor can invest $500,000 and he and
his family may obtain their conditional green cards in less than
a year. The money must have been obtained through lawful means
such as gift, loan, investment, sale of property or inheritance.
The EB-5 category was created in 1990 for those who could invest $1 million (or $500,000 under certain circumstances) in a new commercial enterprise that create at least 10 full-time jobs. 10,000 visas are allotted annually.I
nitially, only a few availed of the benefit because of the
restrictive requirements. In 1993, a pilot program was established
which allowed more flexibility in complying with the requirements.
This attracted more applicants.
The pilot program designated “regional centers” that
could participate in the immigrant investor visa
program. These regional centers are allotted 5,000 of
the 10,000 EB-5 visas available. This program expires on
September 30, 2008.
The regional centers currently approved by the USCIS to
participate in the program are located in Pennsylvania,
California, South Dakota, Washington, Louisiana,
Vermont, Texas, Wisconsin, Iowa and Alabama.
“Regional centers” can satisfy the job creation requirement by
counting not only the direct jobs created as a result of the
investor’s investment but also indirect jobs created in related
industries. This means that the investor does not have to hire 10
The investor is not required to manage his investment on a daily
basis as he can be just a limited partner. As a limited partner, he
will only be required to get involved in policy activities. There is
also no requirement as to business training and experience or
To obtain the green card, the investor has to file Form I-526,
Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur and once it is approved, he
is interviewed by a U.S. Consul abroad. If he is in the U.S. he may
file for adjustment of status.
Upon passing the consular interview or the adjustment of status
interview, the investor is granted a conditional green card for 2
years. To remove the condition, he must submit Form I-829, Petition
by Entrepreneur to Remove Condition about 3 months prior to the
expiration of his green card. He will have to demonstrate that he
has satisfied all the requirements of the investor program.
REUBEN S. SEGURITAN
has been practicing law for over 30 years and is included in the Marquis Who’s Who in American Law. A former law editor and professor, he is also the author of a book on immigrant experiences. He has spoken in international and national conventions and has been interviewed on radio and television, including the ABC Nightly News. He has participated in meetings with White House staff and the Immigration Commissioner to discuss immigration reforms. For his community service and advocacy, he has received numerous awards in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, you may log on to his website at www.seguritan.com or call (212) 695-5281