Can you buy your way to become a US citizen? Technically yes, and it isn’t hard to see why. Most countries will welcome anyone who invests in the economy, so if you have enough assets, you may qualify for a Green Card. Here’s how you can move to America using your cash flow.
What is an Investment Green Card?
An “Investment Green Card,” also known as the “Million Dollar Green Card,” is a Green Card you can “buy.” By using the Immigrant Investor Program, foreigners can earn their way up to an EB-5 visa. This makes it possible for foreign entrepreneurs to get to the US in a short period.
Understanding How the EB-5 Visa Works
Established as part of the Immigration Act of 1990, obtaining the EB-5 visa is one of the fastest ways to live and work permanently in the United States. Here’s how the program works.
The Investment Amount
Foreigners who wish to apply for the EB-5 visa must provide evidence that they’ve disposed of an investment sum of $1.8 million. In cases where the foreigner deposited their investments in a targeted employment area, this threshold is lowered to $900,000 (or half of $1.8 million).
According to the Department of Homeland Security, targeted employment areas are located in rural settings (or less developed sections of the economy). These rural or underdeveloped settings must have an unemployment rate that’s 150% higher than the national average,
Investment capital can be provided in equipment, certificates of deposits, inventory, loans, and treasury bills. If multiple parties invest in the same business, they each earn a Green Card.
The Business Type
A regular citizen can’t invest in property and call themselves an entrepreneur, but they typically go hand in hand. To qualify for an EB-5 visa and its subsequent Green Card, the business must be a new commercial enterprise established before the 29th of November in the year 1990.
If a business owner wishes to invest in a business made before November 29th, 1990, it must be restructured or purchased by another entity. You could qualify for a Green Card if your company increases its net value or number of employees by at least 40% in a short period.
You don’t have to be a part of an LLC to qualify. As long as you aren’t a non-profit organization and actively involved in a business, a sole proprietor or independent contractor could apply.
How to Obtain Your Investment Green Card
The hardest part of earning your way to an investment Green Card is finding enough pocket change to get it. After saving your millions, you can get your Green Card in 4 simple steps.
Step 1: Investing in a Business Project
It’s easier to earn your Green Card by investing in a targeted employment area, as you only have to spend $900,000, but it will be harder to profit from your investment. Consider if spending the full $1.8 million is worth it to facilitate business growth or consistent profits.
Step 2: Completing Form I-526
The Form I-526 is a 13-page form that requires your personal information, business address, information about your investments, new commercial enterprise, and family status. To fill out this form successfully, you need evidence that you can create ten full-time jobs for US citizens.
Step 3: Getting a Conditional Green Card
Even if your business currently meets the requirements to receive a permanent Green Card, the US will only issue you a conditional one. Keep in mind that the US Citizen and Immigration Services take 4-6 months to approve your application, but you can stay in the US for two years.
Step 4: Getting a Permanent Green Card
Three months before your conditional Green Card expires, you must fill out a Form I-829 to remove the conditions on said card. To do this, you must prove your business meets the requirements for the EB-5 visa program. Once it’s approved, you’ll receive a permanent card.
Step 5 (Optional): US Citizenship
An investment Green Card also allows you to “buy your way” to citizenship. However, if you aren’t interested in paying US taxes, it isn’t recommended. Still, if it’s something you want to do, your investment Green Card will make you eligible to apply for citizenship in five years.