The USCIS offers about 140,000 employment-based (EB) immigration visas every fiscal year. Notably, these EB visas are further divided into five unique categories.
However, for foreign investors, there are primarily two ways to apply for US citizenship – an EB-5 Visa, aka million-dollar green card, and a green card lottery.
This article will discuss how you can apply for US citizenship status as a foreign investor.
EB-5 Visa (Million Dollar Green Card)
Citizenship by investment is one of the fastest ways to secure legal citizenship status in the US. The USCIS offers a total of 10,000 EB-5 visas every year.
As already mentioned, the EB-5 visa program is also known as a million-dollar green card program. It means, to earn a US citizenship status, you would be required to invest about or more than 1 million US dollars in the trade sector.
Since November 21, 2019, the investment norms have been revised. Earlier, the investors were required to invest at least $500,000 in high-unemployment sectors and $1,000,000 in any other industry. But, now the investors are required to invest at least $900,000 and $1,800,000, respectively.
Besides, to qualify for the EB-5 visa, the investment must create at least ten full-time jobs for US citizens. And that too within two years of the investment.
Also, you would be required to fill out Form I-526 (immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur) with the USCIS. The USCIS must approve the Form I-526 petition before applying for an immigrant visa, mainly if you’re applying for one outside the US.
Diversity Visa (Green Card Lottery)
Every fiscal year, the US government grants about 55,000 diversity visas to foreign nationals and immigrants. Almost everyone is eligible to participate in the lottery program. However, there are some qualifying criteria that applicants need to fulfill.
For example, the lottery grant is preferably offered to foreign nationals from countries whose populations are underrepresented in the United States. Besides, as the experts at usa-green-card.com explain, there are some education or work experience requirements too. But, there are no age limitations for participating in the green card lottery program.
As such, the diversity visa program will not get you a green card. Instead, winning the lottery would mean that you’ll be granted a conditional immigration visa to the US. In other words, you can enter the US and work over there.
The lottery route is particularly suitable for foreign investors who cannot afford the million-dollar visa. The immigration visa that you’d receive upon winning the lottery would entitle you to work full-time in the US as a legal resident of the country.
However, it is also noteworthy that you’d need to complete some other paperwork and immigration formalities when you win the lottery. For instance, if you’re already living in the US, you’d need to fill out form I-485 for a change of status. And if you’re living outside the US, you’d need to go for a consulate interview.
Other Conditions You’d Need To Fulfill
Whether you apply for an EB-5 visa or receive an immigrant visa through the green card lottery, there are some immigration conditions you’d need to fulfill. These conditions are primarily to ensure that your immigration would mutually benefit the state and you as an individual.
Your Moral Character
The USCIS prefers immigrants who show an excellent moral character, regardless of their nationality. In other words, the USCIS would ensure that you don’t have any criminal or civil offenses history. Though civil offenses are less likely to make a difference, some civil offense charges can still bar your entry into the US.
Your Financial Status
Another thing that USCIS would indeed check is your financial status. Since you’re entering the US as a foreign investor or an entrepreneur, the state ensures that you can survive without burdening the nation’s economy. In other words, you should be capable enough to self-sustain daily expenses for you and your dependents.
Your Education Or Professional Experience
The USCIS ensures that you are comfortably fluent in spoken and written English. It should guarantee that you won’t face any difficulty in your day-to-day life. Besides, your education level and professional experience also ensure the value you’d add to the country’s economy.
According to a news report, the United States is ranked 4th most preferable in 2021 for foreign investors. The growing economy with a GDP per capita of over $65,000 promises good returns on investment. Besides, offering a better life quality to its citizens.
So, if you’re thinking of setting up your business in the US, then this is the right time.