Frequently Asked Questions
- I want to invest in the USA and get a green card, is the EB-5 visa suitable for me?
The EB-5 visa program is suitable for most people: professionals, business people, persons wanting to facilitate their children’s education and attend U.S. colleges and universities. Investors just seeking a new or better life in the United States, or wanting to retire in the United States also utilize the EB-5 program. The EB-5 visa permits employment in the U.S. for you (the investor) and your family. The EB-5 visa gives you the opportunity and flexibility to do what you want in the USA. If you don’t want to actively manage your business, you should consider a Regional Center EB-5 investment.
- What is the process to obtain lawful permanent residency through investment?
Obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident status is a three-part process.
First you must file an I-526 petition, in which you, as the investor, must show that you have the required funds; that the funds were obtained from a lawful source; that the funds have been (or are in the process of being) invested; and that the investment meets U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services requirements.
Once the I-526 is approved, you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa at your nearest U.S. consulate (if you are outside of the U.S.) or for adjustment of status (if you are already in the U.S.). If approved, you are given conditional lawful permanent residency for two years.
Finally, ninety (90) days before the end of the two-year period of conditional residency, you must file Form I-829, to remove the conditional status by demonstrating that the required jobs have been created by your investment. If your I-829 application is approved, you are granted unconditional lawful permanent resident status, and are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship five years after the initial grant of conditional permanent residence.
- What if already in the U.S on another visa status?
You may file an I-526 petition whether you live abroad or are already in the U.S. The process for the I-526 petition remains the same. However, if you are already in the U.S., after the I-526 is approved, you may then file an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident, as opposed to filing for an immigrant visa (green card) with your local U.S. consulate. Of course, if you are not yet in the U.S., you must file for an immigrant visa with your local U.S. consulate. We can advise you more specifically on the process in a direct consultation.
- What information and documentation are required?
Professional Background: You must prepare complete biographical information for each applicant and the principal applicant must prove the source of the investment funds. A résumé with copies of college diplomas and other educational certificates, if applicable, should be included. Any memberships in professional organizations should be documented. Unless the investor inherited the funds, the investor should be presented as a successful professional or businessperson with a business, financial or family history that explains the accumulation of financial net worth that is presented in the financial information. Provide as much documentation as possible that pertains to the career and achievements of the Investor.
Source of Funds: Funds for the investment must come from a lawful source. Lawful sources of funds include: profits from the sales of a property, stocks or bonds, profits from business, business transactions, gifts, and inheritances. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires five years of tax returns, five years of bank records, proof of ownership in any businesses, financial statements for each business and business licenses. The idea is to present a track record of an honest course of dealing. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as sale of a house, inheritance or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred, by providing an official document, such as a closing statement or contract or other official documents. This is not an exhaustive list of documents. Other documents may be required and vary on a case-by-case basis.
All foreign language documents included in the application must be translated into English, with the English translation certified by the translator. You must sign the English version of all agreements, government forms, and applications.
- Can I travel?
A conditional or permanent resident is entitled to travel freely for less than 6 months at a time outside of the United States. If you need to be outside of the U.S. for more than six months, you may apply (up to three times) for a re-entry permit, that is, generally speaking, good for 2 years. This re-entry permit prevents the Department of Homeland Security from cancelling your permanent residence based solely on a determination that you have been absent from the United States for an extended period of time. Time spent outside of U.S., however, is counted against the 30-month physical presence requirement for citizenship.
A qualifying immigrant investor is eligible to sponsor his/her immediate family, which includes a spouse and all children under the age of 21 years. All members of the immediate family are granted conditional permanent residency upon approval of the I-526 and adjustment of status or immigrant visa applications, if processing abroad, and all are eligible to apply to remove the conditions after two years.
- Can I sponsor my child if he or she is older than 21?
While a child who is 21 years old, or more, cannot apply for residency under the parent’s immigrant investment application, a parent may gift that child the required investment funds in order for the child to apply individually as an immigrant investor.
- What are the fees associated with applying for an investment visa?
There are filing/application fees, legal fees and investment management fees if an immigrant invests in a regional center. (The fees below are provided for reference. Please visit the USCIS website for the most updated fee schedule.):
– I-526 Application: $1500
– I-485 Adjustment of Status: $1070 (includes biometrics) per individual (if already in the US) ($985 for applicants under 14 years of age)
– Visa Application fees: $720 + $70 fingerprinting/biometrics per individual (if outside the U.S.)I-829 Application to remove conditional status after 2 years: $3835 for primary applicant only + $80 biometric fee for each dependent
– Legal fees are generally based on family size
– Please contact GGG for a full description of fees and costs associated.
- Is EB-5 a truly passive investment?
The EB-5 regulations require involvement in management or policy making. The regulations deem a limited partner to be sufficiently engaged in management or policy making if he or she has invested in a limited partnership, which is properly structured and that conforms to the Uniform Limited Partnership Act.
- Where can I find a copy of the relevant EB-5 law and regulations to review?
Please visit to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services web site: http://www.uscis.gov
- Will my children be able to remain in school in the United States if I leave the United States?
Yes, they can.
- What can disqualify me from participating?
There are very few disqualifying or exclusionary events under the law. A criminal record involving one or more convictions for crimes of moral turpitude is usually disqualifying, though there are exceptions. A few major medical problems, including some communicable diseases, might also exclude you, but this ground of disqualification can often be avoided if you can prove that you will have adequate medical insurance or will be supported by others and therefore avoid having to seek government medical assistance. You should seek the advice of your legal counsel to determine which waivers might be available to overcome grounds for disqualification.
- What is a Designated Regional Center?
Regional Center is defined as any economic unit, public or private, that is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. In more simple terms, a Regional Center is an area designated by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services as eligible to receive immigrant investor capital. A Regional Center obtains its designation by submitting a detailed application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Please visit the official USCIS website for a full description.
- What is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)?
USCIS is a division of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is a government agency responsible for the implementation, administration of immigration and naturalization laws, rules and regulations, functions and policies in the provision of services.
- Do I need my own immigration lawyer to prepare and file my immigrant investor (I-526 and I-829) petitions?
No. Every Foreign Investor who invests with Golden Gate Global shall enter into a separate representation agreement with an attorney of their choice or with an attorney recommended by GGG. We are familiar with many highly qualified and experienced members
- What are the processing procedures?
The foreign investor must complete three phases of the application process become a permanent US resident.
- What is the difference between “conditional” and “unconditional” green cards?
Under the regulations, an investor who is approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card, which must be reissued after two years, subject to removal of conditions. Otherwise, the two cards offer the same rights and privileges. A conditional Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application with the USCIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested and the required employment has been created. When the conditional resident status has been lifted, full resident status is granted and a permanent Green Card is issued.
- Can I apply if I have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for an L-1, E-2, B, or other visa?
Rejection in the past does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reasons relate to immigration fraud or other grounds of inadmissibility or removability. It is most important that all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration history problems be disclosed to the limited partnership and legal counsel in advance of application.
- Is it required that I have previous business experience or education?
No, you do not need any prior business experience or have to demonstrate any minimum level of education. The only requirement is that you have the investment capital as required by the Regional Center and proof that the source and path of funds are legal.
- Do I need to speak English to become a permanent resident of the U.S.?