One of the fastest and most reliable ways that a foreign national can become a United States citizen is through investment in the country. Becoming a citizen by investment requires an EB-5 green card. Foreign nationals from countries across the world have taken advantage of this very beneficial green card. Through this program, you can receive permanent residence and eventually citizenship with all of the attached rights and privileges.
To become a United States citizen through investment, an applicant must first seek an investor program visa. Under the new EB-5 rules, prospective applicants must invest at least $900,000 or $1.8 million depending on where they are investing. In addition to the monetary investment, the project must also create or preserve at least 10 US jobs for economic growth. Every year, a total of 10,000 EB-5 visas are issued.
In order to apply for an EB-5 visa, you must locate an EB-5 project. The project can either be through an EB-5 regional center project or a direct project. Regional centers are business organizations that help foreign EB-5 investors manage their investments. They operate in different sectors, such as real estate. The minimum investment required will depend on where you make your investment. If your investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), then your investment must be at least $900,000. TEAs are designated based on unemployment rates in the area.
Once you choose a project, you can file a petition for your EB-5 visa. An experienced immigration attorney can ensure that your petition is complete and contains all of the necessary evidence. It can take about 12-18 months for your petition to be processed. Once approved, you can adjust your status from nonimmigrant to immigrant investor. Once that is approved, you will receive conditional permanent residence for two years. During those two years, you must abide by the law and not leave the United States for more than a year. You must also comply with the investment program.
Before the expiration of your conditional resident status, you will need to file a petition to remove the conditions on your green card. It is important for this petition to be complete, so you once again may want an attorney to assist you. It is the most scrutinized stage of the citizenship by investment process. Once the conditions on your green card have been removed, you can then apply for US citizenship.
If you are interested in becoming a citizen by investment, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.