- Residency Requirement: 5 years
- Visa free travel: 186 countries, including the UK and 26 countries within Schengen area.
- Investment type: Minimum of USD 500,000 in a commercial enterprise for a minimum of two years.
The United States of America is a federal republic made up of 50 states. At over 9.8 million square kilometres, the country is one of the largest in the world by area. The USA has a population of around 325 million. Its capital is Washington D.C.
Founded in 1776, the USA is now one of the world’s foremost economic powers with a gross domestic product that accounts for almost a quarter of the world’s total. The local currency is the US dollar.
The EB-5 programme is an immigration visa that allows you and your family to live, work and study in the US permanently. The three biggest advantages of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme are:
Gain US green card: The EB-5 is a US green card – allowing you to reside permanently in the US and, within only five years, become eligible for citizenship. This allows you to live, work and travel throughout the USA – home to a unique culture, incredible personal freedoms, and exceptional quality of life.
Short investment period: While the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program does require a sizeable investment, your stake is not held indefinitely. You must meet and maintain a USD 500,000 or USD 1m investment in good faith for the two-year conditional residency period, but once you’re granted permanent residency you can pull your investment should you prefer.
Lenient entry requirements: The requirement to gain the EB-5 visa is primarily financial. If you meet the required investment into the required area, and create the required jobs, there aren’t many other criteria aside from some minor fees, a short interview and standard medical exams.
To qualify for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme, you must first invest a minimum of USD 500,000 into a new commercial enterprise in a target employment area (either a rural district or somewhere with high unemployment) or up to USD 1m elsewhere. You’ll then need to prove that your investment will create at least 10 full-time jobs.
It is important to note that “proof” amounts to good faith. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that investors don’t have to have made the full investment when they first file their application (although applications will be rejected if zero investment is made). Likewise, applicants can meet the job creation requirement as long as ‘it is more likely than not the required jobs will be created’.
Once your application has been approved, you and your family will receive conditional permanent residency for two years.
You can then apply to remove the conditions of your residency within the 90-day period before your two year anniversary of residency. To become a permanent resident without condition you then submit evidence that you’ve met and maintained your investment over those two years.
At this stage, you will be expected to prove your investment did actually create 10 full-time jobs – but there’s no requirement for the jobs to have been maintained. Once the conditions are removed, you’re then a permanent US resident.
After just five years, you are entitled to apply for US citizenship through naturalisation. To go this route you’ll have to meet certain other conditions including English language skills and knowledge of US history and government.