How international students can benefit from a U.S. Green Card: A guide to the EB-5 Visa

Green Card

The EB-5 Visa Program administered by the U.S. Government grants Green Cards to foreign applicants and their immediate family (spouses and children up to the age of 21) when they invest $900,000 for a limited period in a vetted and secure real estate project in the United States.

These green cards are usually processed within a 24-30 month period and upon the return of the investment of $900,000, the overall costs are as low as $85,000.

Since the program was created in 1990, over 78,000 families have applied to receive the benefits of U.S. permanent residency, which include greater educational and professional opportunities.

Challenges International Students Face in the United States and how the EB-5 Visa Can Help

In the competitive landscape and the maze of the U.S. visa system, most international students face significant challenges. The EB-5 Visa can address the following concerns:

a) Limited quotas for international student admission at U.S. universities.

Students applying to study at U.S. universities with a Green Card do not face admissions quotas, and therefore have higher acceptance rates compared to international students needing an F1 visa.

b) Restrictions in the time and conditions under which a student is eligible to study and work in the U.S. through the F1 student visa and the OPT program

EB-5 Visa holders do not need to worry about the constant pressures of the ever-changing legal landscape of the visa rules, and have the freedom to live anywhere in the U.S. and for as long as they would like to.

c) Limitations on pursuing their preferred career path and having access to entrepreneurial opportunities. Difficulty in securing sponsorship after graduation for the H1-B work permit, which is subject to a lottery system, is highly scrutinized and does not allow the permit holder to easily change jobs or get promoted

U.S. permanent residents have the ability to pursue work opportunities, both during their studies and after graduating, across any industry and in any location

With nearly 1.5 million foreign students graduating from U.S. colleges and universities each year, only a very small percentage of them are able to pursue their American Dream without a Green Card.

What Additional Benefits does an EB-5 Visa Offer?

The EB-5 Visa does not only offer greater access to the educational and professional opportunities outlined above. U.S. Permanent Residents also benefit from:

a) Potential savings on tuition:

Green Card holders may be eligible for in-state tuition fees, which are typically lower than those of foreign nationals.

b) Having a path to U.S. Citizenship:

An EB-5 Visa holder can apply for U.S. Citizenship after 5 years of residency, and faces no additional requirements when applying

c) Flexibility to choose which family members get Green Card coverage:

An EB-5 investment can be made on behalf of a child aspiring to study in the U.S., or an entire family including an applicant’s spouse and any children under the age of 21

d) Quicker adjudication time compared to other U.S. Permanent Residency Options:

Some routes to U.S. permanent residency involve frustratingly long waiting times (up to 25 years), while the EB-5 program usually grants a green card within 24-30 months.

The EB-5 Visa Application Timeline:

Evaluation and Decision Stage (3-6 months):

?      Evaluate EB-5 and requirements – Speak with a trusted advisor that has experience working with students to understand the requirements.

?      Prepare an EB-5 application- Work with an EB-5 partner with a strong management team and development partners.

?      Invest your funds in a high quality project – Complete investment contracts and wire investment into an escrow account until USCIS confirms receipt of the application.

Approval of Application (24 – 30 months):

?      Receive your application approval within 24-30 months and schedule a consular interview or an adjustment of status to receive your 2 Year Conditional Green Card.

Conditional Green Card Phase (2 years)

?      During these 2 years, Green Card holders that do not already live in the U.S. must visit at least once every 6 months.

?      Benefits of a Conditional Green Card are the same as a Permanent Green Card.

Permanent Green Card & Return of Investment (60 Months from Application)

?      Upon completion of 2 years of Conditional Permanent Residency, you can apply for your Permanent Green Card.

?      Receive your base investment of $900,000 back.

Option to Apply for U.S. Citizenship

?      You can apply for Citizenship following 5 years of permanent residency (including the Conditional residency phase).

Find out if you are eligible to invest in the EB-5 Investor Visa Program, and then determine whether you’d like to pursue this path for yourself.

Please fill out the form below for additional information on the EB-5 Investor Visa Program