EB-5

EB-5 Investor Green Card

Versfeld & Hugo, LLC

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 established the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Every year 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are available. There is no quota waiting list for EB-5, except for China, unlike H-1B and H-2B nonimmigrant visa classifications, and most EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant classifications where the demand far exceeds the supply.

Almost a third of these 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards (3,000) are set aside for qualifying immigrants who participate in an EB-5 Regional Center program that generally targets high unemployment areas across the United States.

The EB-5 Green Card program has three basic requirements:

  1. The foreign investor must invest in a new U.S. Business or invest in an existing business that was created or restructured after November 19, 1990
  2. The foreign investor must have invested $1 million OR $500,000 when investing in a Regional Center.
  3. The business must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.

To read more about EB-5, begin by reading the Frequently Asked Questions section which may answer some of your initial questions.

To learn more about the EB-5 Green Card program, schedule a free consultation with South African based US Immigration Attorney, Leon Versfeld BLC, LLB (Pret). Your total investment will vary with your investment choice, your due diligence, and other factors.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Eb-5 Green Card

The EB-5 Green Card program is an attractive immigration option for retirees, entrepreneurs, investors, professionals, students and other high net worth individuals who are able to make an investment which creates 10 jobs. An EB-5 investor can get a Green Card as fast as one who marries a U.S. citizen. Other relative petitions take 5-15 years. Employment-based Green Cards can take 3-8 years.

To learn more about the EB-5 Green Card program, schedule a free consultation with South African based US Immigration Attorney, Leon Versfeld BLC, LLB (Pret) about your specific situation. For questions concerning U.S. tax implications, please contact a qualified, international tax attorney.

Here are answers to the most common EB-5 questions we receive.

The Immigration Act of 1990 established the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program to create U.S. jobs by attracting foreign capital to the United States. Every year 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are available. There is no quota waiting list for EB-5, except for China, unlike the H1B nonimmigrant visa classification, and most EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant classifications where the demand far exceeds the supply. A minimum of almost at third of the 3,000 of the 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are set aside for qualifying immigrants who participate in an EB-5 Regional Center program that targets high unemployment or rural areas across the United States. Over 80% of EB5 investors participate in the Regional Center option.

The EB-5 Green Card program has three basic requirements:

  1. The foreign investor must invest in a new U.S. Business or invest in an existing business that was created or restructured after November 19, 1990
  2. The foreign investor must have invested $1 million OR $500,000 when investing in a Regional Center.
  3. The business must create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers.

Qualified EB-5 candidates must be able to invest either $1 million OR $500,000 in a U.S. business, depending on the program selected. Ideal EB-5 prospects include but are not limited to:

  • No educational requirement
  • No age limit
  • Entrepreneurs, including those who don’t qualify for an E-2 visa
  • Investors from non-treaty countries
  • CEO/Managers
  • Doctors
  • F-1 student who wants to remain in the U.S. and don’t want to be limited to a U.S. sponsor or the H1B visa cap
  • Foreign national investors in a U.S. business who do not want to be active in the business
  • Individual owners of a non-U.S. business who want to set up a U.S. business, but who cannot use an L-1 because owner intends to close the foreign business
  • L-1 applicants who are weighing up their US Immigration Options
  • Parents who seek a U.S. education for their children, but do not want to be actively involved in business management

In order for an applicant to qualify under the EB-5 Direct Investment program, the following three basic requirements must be met:

  1. Investment in a new commercial enterprise
  2. Investment of at least $1 million into a business OR $500,000 into a Regional Center is acceptable if the business is situated in a “targeted” employment area (TEA), i.e., one that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 per cent of the national average rate or a rural area.
  3. Creation of employment for at least 10 full-time U.S. workers.

Regional Centers are entities, organizations or agencies that focus on a specific geographic area within the United States in order to promote economic growth there. Most Regional Centers are in targeted employment areas, i.e., areas that have an unemployment rate that is at least 1.5 times higher than the national average. Regional Centers are designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). The Centers do not guarantee profit or the return of an investor’s principal investment.

The USCIS has currently designated over 700 Regional Centers located throughout the country. Regional Center opportunities range from investing in real estate projects to dairy farms. Click here for a full list of approved Regional Centers.

There are currently two prominent Regional Centers that we have worked with to help fellow South Africans who opted to use the EB5 program:

    1. Great Texas Regional Center, LLC (Regional Center ID: ID1034250068)

For more information about this Regional Center go to: www.greattexaseb5.com

and

    1. Gold Coast Florida Regional Center (Regional Center ID: ID1031910179)

For more information about this Regional Center go to: www.gcfrc.com/

Every year, a minimum of almost at third of the 3,000 EB-5 Green Cards are set aside for immigrants who are willing to make an investment in an approved Regional Center. Benefits include:

  • Generally less up-front investment capital is needed ($500,000 versus $1 million USD)
  • No day-to-day management required
  • The 10 jobs created from the investment can be direct or indirect
  • The investor can live and work anywhere in the U.S.
  • The investor can be retired
  • No education/age requirement.
  • No point system like in other countries

There are currently over 700 Regional Centers available for selection. South African based US Immigration Attorney, Leon Versfeld BLC, LLB (Pret)is available to discuss the different centers when you schedule a free consultation

The first part (getting you initial EB-5 Green card approval) takes between 12-17 months. The entire Immigration process generally takes about 2 years, depending on where the Green Card processing occurs. Prior to filing the I-526 petition, time is required for the client to conduct a due diligence, obtain source of funds documentation, and make the investment. I-526 adjudication currently takes about 12-17 months.

Generally, after the I-526 is approved, if an individual is in lawful status in the U.S., he/she can apply for Adjustment of Status (I-485) to Conditional Permanent Residence which currently takes about 16-24 months. If out of the United States, will apply for an Immigrant Visa at a home country Embassy or Consulate, which typically takes about 4-8 months or longer depending on the country. Times may vary depending on the facts of each case.

For more details and an overview flowchart regarding processing times.

Schedule a free consultation with immigration attorney Leon Versfeld BLC, LLB (Pret)

The general investment amount of $1 million for the EB-5 program. Alternatively, $500,000 is acceptable if the business is situated in a specially designated high unemployment or rural area/Regional Center. The money can be the investor’s own funds or in the form of a loan or gift, which would allow a parent to gift funds to a son or daughter.

Schedule a free consultation

Schedule a free consultation with immigration attorney Leon Versfeld BLC, LLB (Pret) to discuss the following steps in achieving your immigration goals.

  1. Confirm the source of funds available for your EB-5 business investment.
  2. Complete our questionnaire to pre-qualify you
  3. Conduct your own due diligence on your preferred business investment and or Regional Center of your choice.
  4. Once you approve the selected business or Regional Center of your choice, we will advise you regarding your capital investment as it pertains to the EB-5 program requirements.
  5. Now you are ready to file your petition as a foreign investor with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). We help you petition the CIS to certify your eligibility for EB-5 status.
  6. Once you are approved, we help you file for an Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa.
  7. When you are granted conditional resident status, a wait period of 21-24 months commences to verify that the full investment has been made and 10 jobs created.
  8. We help you file an application (Form I-829) to remove conditional resident status at the specified time.
  9. A full Green Card is granted for indefinite permanent resident status and work permission in the U.S. once conditional resident status is removed.
  10. Versfeld & Hugo will assist you throughout the entire EB-5 application process. Schedule a free consultation to start today.

Every year 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are available. There is no quota waiting list for EB-5, unlike H-2B nonimmigrant visa classification, and most EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant classifications where the demand far exceeds the supply.

A minimum of almost a third of the 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards (3,000) are set aside for qualifying immigrants who participate in an EB-5 Regional Center program that primarily targets designated high unemployment areas across the United States.

Don’t delay. Congress is contemplating changing this program which could affect your chances to establish permanent U.S. residency.

The EB-5 and Business Immigration law firm of Versfeld & Hugo has helped many immigrants establish U.S. permanent residency through EB-5 investments Schedule a free consultation with immigration attorney Leon Versfeld BLC, LLB (Pret) or contact us to learn more.

Overview Flowchart

EB-5 Visa Investor Questionnaire

On behalf of Versfeld & Hugo, LLC, we thank you for you interest in EB-5 investment immigration to the US. Investment immigration legislation was passed in the United States in 1990 and has become a strong fixture in our immigration landscape. For potential immigrants who do not already have family ties in the US, or who do not want to wait for the much longer process of family-related or work-related immigration to take its course, investment immigration is a good choice.

To qualify for investment immigration, you must comply with US immigration laws and also with US investment laws. The following questionnaire will allow Versfeld& Hugo, LLC to perform a preliminary check on your qualifications to get you Pre-Approved.

This questionnaire is confidential and for internal use only to help determine your qualifications for investment immigration.

Once you have completed the questionnaire you can scan it back to us along with a copy of your passport to info@versfeldlaw.co.za

Click here to download EB-5 Visa Investor Questionnaire

EB-5 Visa Investor Questionnaire