International students at American Universities often use F-1 visas to work and study in the US. But have you heard about the EB-5 visas? According to experts, EB -5 visas can not only be a good investment for yourself, but they can also help to secure your child’s future. It is not just an immigration program but also a program to secure a job and get a green card. Read on to know more about it.
All you need to know about the EB-5 program
Established in the year 1990, the EB-5 program’s purpose is to contribute to the US economy and create more jobs. The rules are much less stringent for procuring this visa. In exchange for your investment, you will be getting a two-year green card on a conditional basis. It provides you with an opportunity to get permanent residency in the country for yourself and your entire family.
The EB-5 visa group comprises international students who enter the US on an F-1 visa. The parents of such students often send the investment money as a gift. It is an entirely legal and valid source of investment. In 2018-19, around 8258 people from foreign countries invested in the EB-program. The minimum amount of investment required for the program is about $900,000.
The investment fund can come from various sources –gifts, sale of property, inheritance, loan, or income. However, it is not just limited to the categories mentioned above. You need to submit relevant, probative, and credible proof to show that it is a ‘lawful’ source of funds.
Requirements for the EB-program
As an EB-5 investor, you need to follow the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These requirements are:
- You need to have the minimum amount required to become an EB investor. You need to invest $90000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) or $1.8 million for a non-TEA. The former are the areas where the unemployment rate is high. It can also be a rural area.
- You need to prove that the source of funds is not illegal. This is to tackle the concerns of the USCIS about the security of the nation and money laundering issues. As a potential EB- program investor, you need to provide valid documents that meet their standards. In case you cannot produce all the documentation, you will have to submit a declaration on the reason for not submitting the required document(s). Although, it is better to avoid doing so as your chances of acceptance get lowered.
- Your investment should ensure the creation or preservation of ten full-time US worker jobs. If the jobs are to be created, they should be done within two years of getting the conditional green card.
- You can either choose a direct or indirect investment. If you choose the former option, you need to be responsible for the active management of ‘direct’ jobs only. However, with a regional center investment, you will generate direct, induced, and indirect jobs. You will only have to take part in the passive management of such jobs.
- You need to file Form I-526 to be a part of the EB-5 program. After it is approved, you need to file form I-485, which is the adjustment status form. It will help you change your child’s citizenship from ‘immigrant’ to ‘permanent resident.’
Benefits that you get
You might question why one should invest a lot of money to get their child an EB-5 visa. You and your child can enjoy tons of benefits if you decide to become an investor.
An EB-5 visa will ensure that your child gets a conditional two-year green card, after which he/she can file for permanent residency. In case your child is yet to apply for any university in the US, having an EB-5 visa will increase their acceptance chances. Your child might even get to study at some of the top American Universities at a subsidized rate. As an international student, your child will be able to have access to more scholarships and financial aid programs.
With an F-1, J-1, or M-1 visa, there are several restrictions that an international student faces in their field of education. They also have to adhere to several work restrictions. Getting an EB-5 visa will solve all these issues, as your child will get to enjoy the benefits of a green card for at least two years. As international students, they can travel all over the country and not worry about updating their visas.
As an international student in the US, it can be a daunting task to find a country job. Employers often look for the ones who have unconditional authorization when it comes to working in the country. It will help your child to get an excellent job despite the competitive job market in the US.
Future of EB-5 program
The EB-5 program is an excellent way through which international students can become permanent residents of the US. However, it is going to get expired by 30th June 2021. This indicates that American President Joe Biden needs to renew it again.
Previously, it was renewed automatically whenever an omnibus bill that approved the country’s new budget was introduced. However, under Trump’s administration, the EB-5 was removed from automatic approvals, and it now stands alone.
However, many want this program to stay. Many of the supporters belong to the hotel industry, real estate industry, local and national chambers of commerce, mayors across 19 states in the country, and organizations contributing to economic development. One can only wait and watch what happens in June 2021. If the Grassley and Leahy Bill gets approved, it will ensure that the EB-5 program will be secured till September 2024. It will make the lives of several international students easier. It will increase their employment opportunities and allow them to bring their entire family into the US.