I heard that there are educational requirements in order to apply for the EB-5?
This is incorrect. So long as you meet the minimum EB-5 requirements, it doesn’t matter if you are a high school dropout or a highly respected Ph.d.
What about English language requirements?
There is no requirement that the EB-5 applicant must speak English. However, the application forms and the required interview(s) will be in English, so an interpreter may be needed to assist with the process. The cost of the interpreter must be borne by the investor applicant.
Are there any other requirements?
The investor and his/her family must prove that everyone is in good health and do not suffer from any diseases that could harm the public. There are also requirements that hopeful immigrants must have been vaccinated against certain diseases prior to the filing of their petitions/applications. EB-5 hopefuls must also have no criminal convictions. While not all criminal convictions will result in automatic denial, any criminal past will pose significant problems. The remaining long list of things that may make someone ineligible for a visa probably won’t be applicable to most applicants/petitioners as they include such things as involvement in terrorist activities, smuggling, prostitution, human trafficking and participation in radical movements.
Can people apply for an EB-5 visa from any country?
Citizens of any country may apply for a visa so long as the US maintains diplomatic relations with that country. An applicant must also be able to leave his country legally and make the required investment.
What are the most typical reasons for an EB-5 visa to be denied?
Most visa denials are the result of an applicant’s inability to adequately document the sources of the investment funds. Gifted money can be used, but the applicant must still prove that such funds were obtained legally by both the donor and the applicant. Sometimes, it can be difficult to obtain reliable documentation that traces the source of the funds, especially in countries where the banking system is neither reliable nor sophisticated. Another common reason for visa denial is the inability to prove that the investment resulted in the creation of 10 US jobs. Some EB-5 regional center projects are less reliable and diligent with their records keeping and accounting, making it almost impossible for applicants to demonstrate the required job creation. A good and responsible EB-5 regional center project should have this detailed information documented by experts and available for the applicant to submit with his/her application.
So, is the EB-5 investor visa a good idea?
In general, yes. If the applicant has the minimum required funds and can adequately demonstrate the legality of the money, this is a good option for seeking entry and permanent residence in the US. However, there are also many pitfalls. With the rise of EB-5 applications, there has been an equal rise of dishonest developers and lawyers (in both the US and abroad) who are trying to take advantage of the system and the applicants. The required investment is so large that many people see this as an opportunity to take advantage of those desperately seeking to obtain a green card.
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.