You may know the general benefits of the eb5 visa, which is often also known as the investor green card. Now that you are aware of what this type of visa can do for you, it is helpful to know the steps to take to get the process started. Though a lawyer should assist you with the process itself, it is nice to know what to expect before you even hire anyone to help you.
The first step is to make sure that you have the money required for this visa, and that you can prove where it came from. If you want to start a new business, or even take over an existing company, you will need $1 million. However, if you are interested in joining a project at a regional center that is located in a targeted employment area, you will only need $500,000. Either way, you will be asked for the source of your money once you apply for the investor green card. Whether it was a gift or you earned the money on your own does not matter, as long as you can show that you obtained it legally, of course.
You then need to decide whether to use a regional center or open your own business. A regional center is cheaper to join, and you typically do not have to live near its location, but you will have fewer choices when it comes to this type of investment. While you may be able to choose from over 100 regional centers in this country, you will not usually get a say in daily operations. On the other hand, opening your own company may offer you more freedom when it comes to the products or services you will provide, but you will also have more expenses and additional responsibility. Consider the pros and cons of each before you choose.
Once you have made this decision, you should consult with a lawyer experienced in issues related to the investor green card. The attorney should help you file the petition for investment visa. The process typically requires a few interviews and at least one medical exam, during which your lawyer can advise you. A good attorney will stay with you throughout the process, and even stay in touch afterward in order to help you become an official citizen.
These are the basic steps for applying for an investor green card. Of course, you will learn more about the process after meeting with a lawyer, but it is helpful to have an idea of what to expect first. This way, you will be prepared for the procedure, which may take about a year to be complete.