How Investments Can Help You Get A Green Card To The United States

Did you know that it is possible to get an American Green Card through investments in the United States? This post explains how, who is eligible and what the requirements are.

The EB-5

In place since 1990, the EB-5 is a government initiative that offers 10,000 Visas and Green cards annually to entrepreneurs and their families (including spouses and unmarried children below 21) who are keen to invest in the United States. The investment is usually in the form of cash ($1,000,000 or $500,000) paid into businesses or commercial enterprises that will employ at least 10 qualified United States workers per investor.

In recent years, this particular investment has become very popular. Back in 1990, during its inception, interest was strong but the bureaucratic hoops to be jumped where too stringent and many interested immigrants failed to qualify. Now, with the more favourable legislation, more companies (especially construction and even fast food companies) are getting interested in this and the renewed confidence in the scheme is resulting in more investors pouring in. In 2010, about 1,885 visas were given out, by 2013 it was 8,564. In  August, 2014 a whole two months before the end of the fiscal year in October, the entire allotment of 10,000 visas had been taken by EB-5 entrepreneurs. In 2015, 10,000 visas were gone by the 1st of May.

As more and more investors indicate interest in this program, opportunities burgeon not only for them, but for their families, especially children. The investment does not simply swap the money for the Green cards, but the investors are able to obtain dividends of at least 1% on the investment while getting the Green cards as an added bonus, ostensibly so they can monitor their investments and the employees they have hired.

Eligibility Requirements

  • The applicant is required to be ordinarily admissible to the United States. The condition of the applicants family does not matter, however, it will affect that particular family member from being granted access as well
  • The applicant has obtained a completed Form I-526, which is the application form for Alien Entrepreneur
  • And finally, there is at least one immigrant visa available.

The Chinese

According to statistical data from the US government, Chinese nationals in Taiwan have taken especially to the idea. Middle class and upper-middle class Chinese are flocking to the United States using this scheme. According to a report published in the New York Times, up to 80% of the applicants annually are from China. In many of the cases, the patriarch of the family applies but continues staying in China, while the family makes the most use of the Green cards given to them. This had led to the assumption that for most of the families applying, the biggest benefit is not the investment dividend, but the opportunity for their children to gain permanent residency in the United States.

According to government released figure, investments through the Alien Entrepreneur Visa program totaled over $379 million in 2013, for the state of New York alone, a figure which accounts for only 19% of the total revenue accrued from the venture.