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EB-5 Investor Visa Lawyer in Tampa

Providing Valuable Legal Services to Foreign Investors

Entrepreneurs and immigrants built the United States of America. Combining big ideas with strategy, extraordinary ability, and a significant amount of capital can pave the way to the American dream and lawful permanent residence in the US.

Administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 investor visa program allows foreign investors the chance to invest in and conduct business in the United States while qualifying for green cards for themselves and their family members. While the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program offers a pathway to a green card and US citizenship for foreign nationals, several requirements must be met in order for visa applicants to immigrate to the United States as investors successfully.

Visa attorneys like Ernesto Buitrago of Tampa, Florida, are uniquely qualified to help foreign nationals immigrate to the US for work, investments, business, and other reasons. Our law firm has extensive experience representing clients in pursuit of EB-5 investor visas. To discuss your immigration matters in more detail, schedule a free, confidential consultation with our South Florida law firm today.

What is the EB-5 Visa?

Congress created the EB-5 visa program in 1990 to help boost foreign investment in US industries and, therefore, create jobs for the US workforce. This federal program also provides foreign nationals with a pathway to becoming U.S. citizens via their substantial trade and investments.

In order to qualify for the EB-5 investor visa, foreign investors must make substantial capital investments in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that creates a minimum of ten jobs for U.S. citizens. The minimum investment amount for qualifying for the EB-5 immigration process is $1,050,000. That investment amount may be reduced to $800,000 if the money is invested into a targeted employment area (TEA).

Immigration laws in our country are complex. For legal assistance with your visa application, we highly encourage you to contact our law firm to discuss your immigration goals in more detail.

What Are the Requirements for EB-5 Investor Visas?

In order to qualify for the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program, there are five criteria that must be met.

The main criteria include the following:

  • The applicant must invest (or actively be in the process of investing) the required amount. The required investment varies depending on whether they are investing in rural areas or high-unemployment areas.
  • The entire investment must be at risk.
  • The foreign investment must create or preserve ten full-time jobs for U.S. citizens.
  • The funds for the investment must come from a legitimate source.
  • The investment must either be in a new commercial enterprise or investing in an existing business enterprise.

A commercial enterprise is defined as any profit-based entity formed to facilitate the conduct of ongoing legal business. Examples include corporations, partnerships, holding companies, sole proprietorships, business trusts, joint ventures, and other publicly or privately owned entities.

In addition to the immigration law conditions, foreign investors must meet other basic eligibility requirements. The visa applicant must be legally admissible to the United States, be at least 18 years old, intend to take up legal permanent residence in the US, and meet the legal definition of an accredited investor.

What is a Targeted Employment Area (TEA)?

Targeted employment areas are geographic areas with an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average at the time of the application and investment. The vast majority of targeted employment areas are considered TEAs because of high unemployment. Once the investor proves the high unemployment standard, they may qualify for a smaller investment, according to immigration law. High unemployment rates can be gathered either through public records or by getting a letter from a qualified state government agency.

Another way to classify a TEA is if it is considered a rural area. Under the law, rural areas are defined as any area not within a metropolitan statistical area or on the outer boundary of any city or town with a population of at least 20,000 people.

What Are EB-5 Regional Centers?

An EB-5 regional center is a public or private economic entity that promotes growth for the US economy, increased capital investment, job creation, and improved regional productivity. Regional centers must be approved by USCIS.

What Are the Benefits of EB-5 Investor Visas?

Foreign nationals who go through the EB-5 visa immigration system do not need to complete the standard labor certification process. Labor certifications can slow down the immigration process, making things more difficult for immigrants. Additionally, unlike the L-1 visa, the EB-5 visa does not require maintaining a business in your home country as an investor in a US commercial enterprise.

Dependent family members, such as spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21, can accompany EB-5 visa holders in the United States.

Additionally, there are no visa limits based on your home country in the EB-5 visa program.

Other visas will force you to go through additional steps in order to obtain a green card and become a U.S. citizen. The EB-5 visa program, on the other hand, is a fairly straightforward path to US citizenship.

How Long Does It Take Foreign Investors to Obtain EB-5 Visas?

The processing time for investor visas varies from case to case. In general, it takes approximately six months or more to obtain an EB-5 investor visa.

It is vitally important that applications be filled out correctly for hopeful visa applicants to successfully go through the process without any delays. It’s recommended that you work with experienced visa lawyers, such as highly skilled attorney Ernesto Buitrago, for legal assistance.

Can EB-5 Visa Holders Obtain Lawful Permanent Resident Status?

If you meet all of the requirements for the EB-5 investor program, you may be eligible to apply for a green card (lawful permanent resident card). You will receive a conditional residence green card at first, and then you will need to prove to the government that you have upheld your end of the bargain with your investment and petition for the government to remove conditions so that you can obtain a permanent green card.

If you so choose, after you’ve obtained your green card, you may later apply for naturalization and become a U.S. citizen.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

Attorney Ernesto Buitrago is a member of the Florida Bar and the American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA). The attorney and his legal staff have extensive experience in business-based, employment-based, and investment-based legal immigration.

To discuss the immigrant investor program in more detail, we encourage you to contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation today. You may reach us at 866-519-3545.