In the basic program, the investor is active in building renovation and operations, and the business located at the property. The requirements to qualify include an EB-5 investment amount of $1 million in an enterprise located in the United States. This investment must create at least 10 jobs in the United States. It is best that these jobs are technical or professional in nature rather than laborer type jobs. Blue collar jobs with some advance skilled workers are perfect candidates.
Buy a U.S Property to start EB-5 Enterprise
To get a green card through a real estate investment using the EB-5, the investor can buy a U.S property to begin their EB-5 Enterprise. To meet the requirement of creating 10 full-time jobs in the U.S, the best route to take would be to buy a building for the new enterprise or to invest in a preexisting business that owns the real estate.
The bulk of the investment for the purchase of the building is usually a good portion of required investment. Money left over can be used to invest in an existing business or a new start-up by the investor. For example, a real estate purchase of $700,000 combined with $300,000 investment to purchase a business or launch a new one would provide the necessary total investment of $1 million.
To save a considerable amount of money on an EB-5 investment, investors often buy distressed properties. These properties are commonly purchased at a low cost so that investors can use their funds to begin invest in the property and their new enterprise. As long as the total minimum amount is invested and the investor complies with the USCIS requirements, this can be viable path for the investor. It is recommended that before taking this route, that the investor speaks to an immigration attorney.
Unique Benefits of Real Estate Investment
The following are some listed benefits that an investor and their family may receive:
- Green Card for Investor and the Investor’s Family
- The biggest attraction of the EB-5 program is the acquisition of the Green Card. Once every requirement for the EB-5 is fulfilled, then the ability to apply for a Green Card is enabled. The spouse and children under the age of 21 of the investor will also be able to apply for U.S residency.
- Another benefit of a Green Card through real estate investment is the ROI, return on investment through real estate. This can be from property improvements, increased value of the real estate in the area, and rental income from the property. There is a good chance that the investor’s net worth will increase from real estate in “up and coming” markets. Additionally, if they acquire a business in the property, the business can also produce a revenue stream and equity in the business that can increase in value.
- Affordable Education
- Having a Green Card can allow the investor’s children an opportunity to receive education in the U.S. As they become residents, the children are considered eligible noncitizens and are granted access to the U.S federal and state financial aid, along with loans and grants.
- Getting a Green Card through a real estate investment can help provide the investor with citizenship in the United States. After the investment is made, and 5 years of being law-abiding residents, the investor and the investor’s family will qualify to become citizens in the U.S.
How To Process Green Card Through Real Estate Investment
To obtain a Green Card through real estate, the process is as follows:
- Finding an EB-5 approved real estate project to invest in
- Creating a business plan which must reflect the EB-5 investor program requirements
- Preparing supporting documents
- Investing $1 million into the project; and
- Filing the I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
Once the I-526 petition is approved, the investor will be given a conditional permanent residency card that will be valid for two years. During this two-year time period, the investor is expected to generate 10 jobs in the U.S and invest the promised capital if they have not already invested prior to application. After the two-year period, the investor will be eligible to file an I-829 to remove the conditions on their status and receive an unconditional Green Card which is valid for 10 years.
Filing Fees for Green Card Via Real Estate Investment
The fees for a Green Card through real estate investment can vary depending on the type of investment and the location. A few examples of different fees that may occur include and are not limited to:
- $1 million initial investment amount
- 3,675 for the I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
- $1,140 for the I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence
- $85 for the USCIS biometric fee
- $3,750 for the I-829, Petition to Remove Condition (This is not a part of the initial process, but will occur after the conditional green card expires after two years. This will lead to the issuance of the unconditional permanent residence status which can be renewed after 10 years)
- Immigration Attorney Fee ~$25,00 – $50,000