All about the US EB-5 Program

All about the US EB-5 Program


Skilled professionals seeking permanent residency in the United States need look no further. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, the U.S. golden visa equivalent, is a viable option allowing skilled professionals to live and work in the U.S. while on a stable path to secure U.S. citizenship and passports.

What Is the EB-5 Program?

The EB-5 program is a U.S. government immigration program that allows foreign nationals to obtain a Green Card (permanent residency) by investing in a government pre-approved real estate project in the United States. To qualify for the program, an individual must invest a minimum of $800,000 in a new commercial enterprise, which will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. persons. The investment amount of $800,000 is eligible for return to the investor after approximately five years from the initial date of investment.

The EB-5 program offers a relatively straightforward path to permanent residency in the U.S. for qualified applicants, without the need for an employer sponsor or a family member to petition on their behalf. Additionally, the program does not require a specific educational or professional background, making it a suitable option for individuals with diverse backgrounds and skills.

Difference between EB-5 and H-1B

Many skilled professionals working in the U.S. do so on an H-1B visa, which is a temporary work visa that is subject to annual quotas and employer sponsorship. These limitations restrict an individual’s ability to remain in the United States long-term because their immigration status is effectively at the mercy of their employer and a loss of their job results in a loss of immigration status.

By contrast, the EB-5 program offers a pathway to permanent residency that does not require employer sponsorship or a job offer. An EB-5 petitioner’s immigration status is not linked to their employment meaning that their Green Card is not at risk of being stripped away if their employment in the U.S. is jeopardized. “By participating in the EB-5 program, H-1B visa holders have greater flexibility and control over their immigration status, as well as the ability to pursue entrepreneurial ventures or invest in a business that aligns with their personal and professional goals,” says Shai Zamanian, Legal Director of The American Legal Center, a top EB-5 consultancy with their headquarters based out of Dubai.

Furthermore, the EB-5 program allows investors to obtain Green Cards for their immediate family members, including spouses and children under the age of 21. This can provide H-1B visa holders with a more stable and secure immigration status for themselves and their loved ones. With a Green Card in hand, the entire family can freely live, work, and travel in the United States.

The EB-5 program is especially attractive to H-1B holders during the current climate of tech layoffs in Silicon Valley. The number of tech layoffs experienced a dramatic increase in recent months, leaving H-1B visa holders with a 60-day grace period to find new employment or leave the homes they’ve built in the United States.

Apply now and immediately live and work in the United States

With reforms to the EB-5 program by virtue of passage of a new law called the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) in March 2022, the EB-5 program is now a more suitable option for H-1B visa holders given the option of concurrent filing. Concurrent filing allows families to live and work in the U.S. while they await the adjudication of their EB-5 applications. It is the process of filing the investor’s I-526E petition and their I-485 application for adjustment of status at the same time.

The I-526E petition is the first step in the EB-5 process, where the investor must demonstrate that they have invested the required capital in a qualified U.S. business and that the investment has created or will create at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. persons.

Once the I-526E petition is approved, the investor can then file an I-485 application for adjustment of status, which is the next step in the EB-5 process. The adjustment of status application allows the investor to adjust their status from a nonimmigrant to an immigrant and obtain their Green Card, allowing them to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Concurrent filing of the I-526E and I-485 applications can help expedite the EB-5 process and minimize the amount of time that the investor needs to wait to obtain their Green Card.

Additionally, concurrent filing can provide the investor with greater flexibility and certainty, as they can begin living and working in the United States while their I-485 application is being processed. With concurrent filing, investors can receive both employment authorization and a travel permit while they are waiting for their EB-5 application to be processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Contact The American Legal Center to learn more

The American Legal Center is the leading EB-5 consultant in the GCC region, having filed the most EB-5 applications out of the region. Under the guidance of their Legal Director, Shai Zamanian, this team of U.S. licensed lawyers and professionals have assisted hundreds of families out of the Middle East in pursuing their immigration goals to the United States through the EB-5 program. If you are interested in learning more about the EB-5 program and how you and your family can benefit, you may reach out to The American Legal Center for a complimentary initial consultation.

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