Through the EB-5 Program, foreign investors and their families can obtain permanent residency or green card status in the U.S.
First, EB-5 investors receive conditional permanent residency upon USCIS approval of their I-526 petition. This approval gives them two years to live in the U.S. and oversee their EB-5 investment. At the end of the two years, the EB-5 investor must prove that they met the requirements of the program. If they have and their I-829 petition is approved, they will become lawful permanent residents. The I-829 petition removes the investor's visa conditions. The investor, their spouse, and their unmarried children under the age of 21 all also become lawful permanent residents. Additionally, after five years, an EB-5 investor may apply for full U.S. citizenship.
The EB-5 Program increases in popularity year after year as more foreigners discover this path to U.S. permanent residency.
Benefits to becoming a U.S. permanent resident:
- The EB-5 investor's family qualifies for permanent residency under their application.
- Permanent residents have no limitations on where they can live in the United States. They can live in the state of their choice.
- They do not have any limitations on where they have to work in the U.S. They can work for any employer and work in any position. They can manage and operate their own business. Or they do not have to work at all; they can retire. They do not have manage the day to day activities of their investment business if they invest in the Regional Center Program.
- They have no limitations on their ability to travel between the U.S. and other countries. They can leave and return at various intervals without being constrained by visas.
- They are protected by the U.S. laws.
- They full access to all U.S. colleges and universities. Depending on how long they've lived in the U.S. and what their status is, they may qualify for reduced in-state tuition. They may also qualify for scholarships.
- They have access to U.S. medical care.
- After five years, they can apply for U.S. citizenship.
Responsibilities of U.S. permanent residents:
- They must have a residency established in the U.S. and must be present in the U.S. for at least 180 days out of the year, unless they apply for a permit for re-entry.
- Permanent residents must pay taxes and they must declare their worldwide income.
- Men between the ages of 18-25 must register for the Selective Service.
Differences between permanent residency and citizenship:
- Benefits of citizenship that are not available to permanent residents:
- U.S. citizens may acquire a U.S. passport, permanent residents cannot.
- U.S. citizens can access federal benefits while permanent residents cannot.
- U.S. citizens can run for elected office positions, while permanent residents usually cannot.