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A Brief Look at the EB5 Immigrant Investor Program

29th December 2010
By Stanley Hermosillo in Immigration Law
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Thousands of immigrants flock to the United States every year. There are many different reasons they come, but one thing they all share in common is the need for a green card. This article will examine one popular route to earning a green card: the EB5 investor visa program.

Immigrants coming to the United States to start a new company may be able to benefit from the EB5 investor program. This Immigrant Investor Visa allows immigrants to earn their Green Card Visa by investing in American businesses.

Filling out USCIS form I-526 starts the process. Once the form has been filled out, it must be mailed to the USCIS center where the business enterprise will open. Approval is by no means automatic, and you must qualify to gain authorization. Your business must create at least ten full-time jobs, and your enterprise must add value to the United States. Be prepared to invest a minimum of $1,000,000 should you open your business in an area of high unemployment, or at least $500,000 in other areas. The USCIS investigates all petitions so it is important that all information be current and correct.

Approved applicants are given what is called a conditional status to open their business, allowing them to reside in the United States legally for two years. At a minimum of 90 days before the two years is up, the individual must fill out USCIS form I-829. It is vital that the USCIS time frames be adhered to, as not doing so may place your petition and proposed business venture in jeopardy, as well as your legal status to remain in the United States.

Obviously, not all Eb5 Visa Program applications are approved. If your petition is denied there are different routes you can take to try and reverse the decision. You can fill out USCIS form I-292 to start the appeal course of action. With this form you can include a statement to help clarify any ambiguous information that may have been present in the original EB5 petition.

In addition to filing an appeal, you can also launch a motion to reopen your case. With this motion, new evidence that was not in your original EB5 application must accompany the motion. You may also file a motion to reconsider with the USCIS. It is up to you to prove that your application was denied because of inaccurate information, or that a miscorrect application of the law was applied to your E5 petition.

As mentioned, adhering to USCIS time frames is vital to a successful conclusion of any proceedings. Should the appeal process result in your EB5 petition being denied, this decision is final-- no further appeals can be made, and no additional motions can be filed. This is one reason that it is so important to fill out all forms accurately and in a timely fashion.
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