USA EB5 Investor Visa
The EB-5 visa gives permanent U.S. residency to those investing into government-approved projects across the United States of America. The USA EB5 investment visa can be beneficial as it grants access to the U.S. education system, the right to live, retire, work and study in the USA, the ability to receive investment back upon the completion of the project and residency for the investor, any children (under 21) and their spouse. The main applicant must reside in the USA for 6 months per year.
USA E2 investor visa
Certain countries such as China, India and Vietnam now face lengthy retrogression delays through EB5. An effective alternative to the EB5 is the E2 visa. Investment must be “substantial” but in practice is far less than the EB5. The E2 can only be obtained by citizens of countries holding an E2 treaty with the USA. This includes options such as Grenada and Turkey. Investment for citizenship in these countries entitles the holder to apply for an E2 visa, providing they reside in the treaty country first, for a minimum of three years. The route to residency can be faster and cheaper than EB5 in some cases, although a key difference with the E2 is that it is a non-immigrant visa meaning unlike the EB5 it cannot lead to a Green Card.
EB5 Regional Center
A new Regional Center Program for EB5 was signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022. The program will be in effect for over five years through to September, 2027. The new legislation is under consideration by USCIS and we hope to have guidance and importantly new EB5 Regional Center investments for client by mid 2022. The EB5 investment amount will start from $800,000.
As with the previous Regional Centre Program, proof of the funds being legally acquired must be given, the investment must be “at risk” and the investor must have no prior criminal record. A key advantage of the EB5 Regional Centre Program was the pooling of a number of applications into an infrastructure or real estate project that allowed investors to take a passive investment with the Regional Centre managing the necessary requirement such as job creation.
E2 Treaty Countries
The E2 visa remains an effective alternative to EB5 and can be obtained in a two step process by first obtaining citizenship in an E2 treaty country, residing in that country for three years, then applying for an E2 visa through investment in the USA. La Vida can facilitate both steps for our clients. The timescale can sometimes be quicker than the EB5 route for countries facing retrogression (typically China, India and Vietnam) and the investment is typically around $500,000 covering both the second citizenship and the US residency.
Green Card Investment
The EB5 visa is essentially a green card through investment. Investors are rewarded with a green card (after two years), although these are limited to 10,000 applicants per year with 5,000 of this total reserved for regional centres. Success rates for the Eb-5 can vary and will depend on the investment type, personal situation, legal representation, regional centre and other factors. The E2 visa offers residency through substantial investment in a business.
US Citizenship by Investment
Neither the EB5 nor E2 are themselves a citizenship by investment programme. However after obtaining a Green Card via the EB5 route applicants can apply for USA citizenship after a period of five years of Permanent Residency. A process known as Naturalization.
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