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Published On: Wed, Sep 20th, 2017

Top 4 Myths About the Investment Green Card (EB5 Visa)

Each year, thousands of non-U.S. entrepreneurs who want to live and work in the U.S. — and bring their spouse and children to join them — apply for an Investment Green Card, which is formally known as an EB5 visa. And unfortunately, each year the vast majority of these applications are rejected for being incomplete, invalid or unconvincing.

public domain pic from May 4 1916

Obviously, it is beyond the scope of this (or any other) article to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to obtain an Investment Green Card. However, with this being said, there are some pervasive myths that can be debunked, which could help save you time, money and a great deal of stress and worry as well.

Myth #1: You can invest in a property instead of a business.

Fact: To be eligible for an Investment Green Card, you must either invest $500,000 in a rural area or area of high unemployment, or $1,000,000 anywhere else in the U.S. This investment must be in a business. Investments in property do not count towards the $500,000 or $1,000,000 investment threshold.

Myth #2: The background security check is less invasive compared to other visa categories.

Fact: This is categorically untrue. You and all other petitioners will be subject to multiple extensive background checks. This is in addition to security checks conducted by banks that facilitate the transfer of investment funds through escrow.

Myth #3: You can target your investment to a business that is financially struggling vs. launching a new business, or investing in a regional center project.

Fact: There is actually some truth to this, but not in the way that many people are led to believe. Yes, there is a program that allows foreign investors to invest in a struggling business. However, USCIS is very selective about which businesses are designated as “struggling.” For example, the business must have experienced net losses of 20 percent over the last two years, and must be at-risk of layoffs — but nevertheless must still be solvent and have the capacity to operate (and avoid layoffs) for at least the next few years.

Myth #4: Your spouse and children automatically receive residency permits if your Investment Green Card petition is approved.

Fact: Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age must apply separately to join you in the U.S. Your spouse can also apply for a temporary work visa to earn income.

The Bottom Line

The web is full of useful information — but it’s also littered with everything from half-truths, to outright falsehoods. Unfortunately, the amount of unreliable (or just plain wrong) information on Investment Green Cards is vast. Hopefully the above will help set the record straight on general facts. To get the specific and detailed answers you need, contact a lawyer who specializes in EB5 visas.

Author: Chans Weber

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