Investors with EB-5 visas are allowed to immigrate to the US along with their spouses, children, and stepchildren. Your family members must meet specific conditions to be eligible for green cards under the EB-5 visa category.
EB-5 Visa: Who Is Eligible?
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) created a new immigrant visa category for investors in 1990. The INA formed the EB-5 visa to allow foreign investors to launch their startups in the US. Applicants must be willing to invest a specified amount in creating full-time jobs for American citizens.
Initially, the amount was set at $1,050,000 but was later reduced to $800,000 for investments made in rural areas and Target Employment Areas (TEAs). The immigration department issues thousands of green cards annually through the EB-5 program. In this category, visas are available to an investor who can then immigrate with an eligible spouse, child, and other dependents.
EB-5 visa applicants must invest the minimum amount required in a new or developing commercial enterprise. If you invest in a region designated as rural or TEA, you qualify for a reduced investment minimum. The funds must be “at risk,” and the new venture must create at least ten full-time jobs for US workers. Other requirements include:
- An I-526 petition
- Proof of lawfully obtained investment funds
- Investment in a commercial enterprise established after November 29, 1990
- Managerial engagement in the new or developing enterprise
Green Cards for Family Members
If you qualify for an EB-5 visa, you can get green cards for your legally married spouse and any unmarried children below the age of 21. Since the visa application process may take several months, any children in the application must be below 21 by the time you file the I-526 petition. USCIS doesn’t limit how many family members you can bring as long as they meet the green card requirements.
What’s an I-526 Petition?
Investors looking to qualify for a visa through the EB-5 program begin their journey by choosing an investment project. The next step is filing an I-526 petition (Immigration Petition by Alien Investor). An I-526 petition is the first application EB-5 investors file to demonstrate their investment and fulfillment of EB-5 visa application requirements. In the petition, investors must list family members they intend to bring as beneficiaries.
Family Members You Can Bring
The EB-5 visa allows investors to immigrate with family members who meet INA requirements. Investors can get green cards for spouses married before filing the I-526 petition. You can also bring children and stepchildren you share with your spouse. Children must be younger than 21 years to qualify for a green card under your EB 5 visa. You must have adopted any stepchildren before they turned 18 years old.
How to Get Green Cards for Your Family
If you plan to qualify for a green card via the EB-5 program, contact an expert to guide you through the process. You’ll need an immigration attorney to help you with the paperwork and legal requirements. The EB-5 visa application involves selecting an investment and investment area, investing funds, filing the I-526 or I-526E petition, and receiving a conditional green card. I-526 is for standalone investors, while I-526E is for regional center investors.
Once you get your EB-5 visa, you can work on getting green cards for your family. You’ll need specific proofs, such as a marriage certificate for your spouse and birth and adoption certificates for your children and stepchildren. Each family member you intend to immigrate with will need their unique green card application forms. You can also adjust your status by filing form I-829 to become a permanent green card holder and later apply for US citizenship.
EB 5 Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Investors
The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has precise requirements for how to apply for an EB 5 visa. Only qualified investors and family members will receive green cards. You can use trusted regional centers to determine if you or your family qualify for visas and green cards under the program. Only work with EB-5 regional centers certified by the USCIS.
Green card holders can also qualify for status adjustment if they meet added conditions during their temporary stay. Speaking with an expert in EB-5 visas is the best way to have a smooth and successful application process.