The EB-5 Visa Program has a reputation of being a cash for green card business. Some view it as a system where wealthy individuals essentially buy their way into the United States. However, this misconception of the EB-5 program is inaccurate and has often led to negative press regarding the visa.
While it is true that foreign nationals who invest through the EB-5 visa must furnish at minimum around $550,000 ($500,000 investment plus regional center administration fees and legal fees), not all of the investors come from extreme wealth. Many investors work hard to save the money over years, take out a loan (secured on assets) or inherit the money from family. These investors make sacrifices in their lives because they still believe in the “American Dream,” and understand that this country still has much to offer.
The EB-5 Visa Program is beneficial to both the foreign investor and the US economy. Apart from creating ten jobs for US Citizens or Permanent Residents (A requirement for obtaining the EB-5 visa), these foreign nationals invest in real estate, contribute to the local economy, and enroll their children in university programs. Compared to other paths of obtaining permanent residency, the EB-5 visa comes with positive advantages for US citizens and our economy.
A growing trend among potential EB-5 candidates is their discovery of the program through their student child. F-1 Student Visas are on the rise, and today more than ever, foreign students are coming to the US to take advantage of our educational programs. Often, when the student is finished studying their program they have no legal status to remain in the United States. Unless they secure a job that is willing to sponsor them, they must eventually return to their home country.
Many students are doing their own research on the EB-5 Program, and encouraging their parents to make the investment on their behalf. It is important to note that unmarried children under the age of 21 may be included on their parents’ petition. For children 21 years and older, they must file their own EB-5 petition.
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The Information contained in this blog is for information purposes only, and should not be considered legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information provided is not a substitute for consultation with an attorney. No attorney/client relationship is created by the information contained herein.
Kyle Barella, Esq.