The United States of America is regarded as the land of opportunities. It is one of the best countries for entrepreneurs who want to see their dreams come true. Entrepreneurs who want to start a business or even buy an existing one can explore different options available with the green card program.
Before starting your investment journey, you might require a B-1 business visa to first travel to the US to do some research and plan for your business. During this trip, try to understand the US market and all the regulations that might govern your business.
But before all this, did you know that your innovative business idea could be the fast track to a green card?
Did you also know that you can get a green card through investment? Here is everything you need to know.
Understanding Green Card Through Investment
The term “million dollar green card” is very popular. You might also have heard of people talking about buying a green card. Well, these are just terms. They are used when talking about the EB-5 visa, which is obtained through an Immigration Investor Program.
The program was added to the Immigration Act of 1990. At the time of writing this article, the program was last modified in 2019. Using this program, foreign investors can get a green card, as long as they meet certain investment requirements in the US.
This is one of the best options to get a green card for people who feel that it is the right time to start a business in the US. If you can invest in America, then you will not have to spend a lot of time waiting for your green card application to be approved.
What are the Requirements for the Investor Green Card?
To understand what is required of you to qualify for an investor green card, you can look at the visa projects on eb5visainvestments.com. Even though this green card comes with a host of advantages, it is important to note that the requirements for qualification are also many.
Some of the requirements include;
- Spend at least $1.8 million (or $900,000 if investing in targeted employment locations).
- Buy and restructure an existing business or invest in a new one as long as it was founded after 1990, November 29th.
- Preserve or create new ten or more full-time jobs for Americans.
- Show the source of your investment capital. It should not be acquired illegally.
- Play an important role in the business you are investing in.
- Create a business plan that shows the benefits the US is going to gain from your business.
How to Acquire an Investor Green Card
To qualify for the US investor green card, you should follow the steps discussed below;
1. Get a Business Project
The first step is finding a business project. The project should meet your requirements and those of the location you will be establishing the business.
The location is very important. Please note that you will be required to spend at least $1.8 million or $900,000 if investing in targeted employment locations.
2. File Form I-526
After step one above and meeting the set requirements, you will need to file form I-526. The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) refers to this form as the Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.
During this process, you need to prove that you will be creating at least ten positions in your company for Americans. In addition, as discussed above, you need to show the source of your investment capital. It should be acquired legally.
3. Acquire Conditional Green Card
It will take you not more than six months to go through the application process. When your application is approved, the USCIS will give you a green card known as a conditional green card.
This green card makes you a resident of the United States of America for two years. This is where your investment journey starts.
4. Remove the Two-Year Condition
The good news is that you have already obtained your investors’ green card. However, it is conditional and gives you only two years of residency status. You need to remove this condition from the green card.
To do that, you will be required to file Form I-829, also known as the Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. This process is handled by the USCIS. You can start this process a few months before the expiry of the initial two-year residency status.
However, when filing this form, you should show proof that the business you are running meets all the conditions discussed above. If it does, you will be issued a permanent green card.
In a situation where your petition is not accepted, you can appeal the decision of the USCIS. A second rejection places you in removal proceedings.
As you can see, you do not have to wait for a green card for a long time, especially if you have an innovative business idea. It can be your option for a faster application process.