How to secure the ‘Golden Visa’
The primary goal of many Indians has been to secure US Green Cards. However, visas to the US have been notoriously difficult to acquire and this is only becoming more challenging. The ‘Golden Visa’ has come to the rescue of many individuals, enabling them to fulfill their dream. The EB-5visa is an immigrant investor programme created by the US Congress in 1990. The purpose of the EB-5 visa is to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors at no cost to the US taxpayer. It has recently gained popularity as the safest and fastest route to securing a US Green Card. The steps are:
Meet the eligibility criterion: The foreign investor must provide proof that they (and, if applicable, their immediate family) are not a convicted criminal, have no history of financial fraud and have not previously violated US immigration laws.The investor must clearly document that the required funds ($500K, plus any Administration Fee) are from a lawful source. The acceptable options for the source of funds include:
Gifts from family members
Sale of real estate
Loans, properly collateralized
Direct investment vs regional centres: There are two ways for a foreign investor to make an investment in a US commercial project. First, a foreign investor to personally oversee the creation of an enterprise in the US, which creates a minimum of 10 American jobs through a direct investment that must be maintained over a period of five years. Second, a preferred option, is investment through a Regional Center authorised by the US government. An EB-5 Regional Center is an organization designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)to sponsor capital investment projects by EB-5 investors. The USCIS maintains a list of approved EB-5 Regional Centers by state.
File an application: To begin your EB-5 visa journey, the first step is to file the I-526 application. The immigrant petition approval form, to be filed under a US attorney, grants two-year conditional residency in the US. To file an application, the investor must accumulate the source of funds for the investment being made. The investor’s immigration attorney will assist them with all the documents required to file the application.
Conditional green card: If the USCIS approves the I-526 petition, the EB-5 investor is then given a two-year conditional residency in the US. Members of the applicant’s immediate family (including unmarried children under 21)are also qualified to obtain conditional US green cards.
Permanent US Residency: Lastly, in order to gain permanent unconditional residency, the investor must file the I-829 petition after three months before the end of their two years of conditional residency. If the investment made has fulfilled all of the EB-5 requirements, then the conditions on the visa will be removed and the applicant will receive unconditional green card status.
The writer is Suresh Ranjan, CEO, LCR Capital Partners