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Foreign Investors and EB-5 Visas (Greencard)

Couple of months ago, I gave few business presentations in India on investing in USA Real Estate! The most common question I encountered was ‘Can I get a GreenCard by investing?’

Many foreigners and non-US residents wanting a GreenCard may benefit from EB-5 information. Please feel free to share.

Few facts:

  • The total foreign sales dollar volume is estimated at $104 billion, approximately 8 percent of total Existing Home Sales dollar volume.
  • Five countries accounted for 51 percent of purchases by foreigners: Canada, China, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom.
  • While many people have never heard of the EB-5 program, it does exist. While it is open for investors around the world, 80% of investors come from China.

What is the EB-5 Program?

Under the EB-5 program, by investing a minimum $500,000 in a project that creates at least 10 jobs, a foreigner can apply for a green card. Typically, legal residency takes up to 26 months to acquire but compared to other programs for visas that take years, this is an extremely short wait period.

The Program was first established in 1990. Since 2011, popularity of the EB-5 program has skyrocketed. In 2011, only 1,885 visas were issued but by fiscal year end in 2013, that number had jumped to 8,564, a 354 percent increase. In 2014, the 10,000 allotment annual was already claimed by mid-year. For this year, all 10,000 visas were spoken for by May 1.

According to the rules of the EB-5 program, the investor’s family, which includes dependents under the age of 21, has the opportunity to apply for a green card with each member of the family being counted toward the quota. Because the majority of investors apply as a family or couple, supply goes fast.

Real Estate investment is a very popular option for EB5.

Of course, I have just scratched the surface. There is much to add and understand. If you know of a non-US resident who can spend at least $ 500,000 and wants to become a US Greencard holder, feel free to direct them to me. I will be more than happy to assist them.

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