A Guide To Permanent Residency Status via EB-5

WRITTEN BY

EB-5 Insider Team

A group of professionals with years of experience helping people immigrate to the US

Note: This article is for informational purposes only. We are not providing legal advice or selling securities. The articles and content on this site are of a general informational nature only and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances.

The EB-5 investor visa program provides permanent resident status for investors who meet a defined range of criteria. Also known as a ‘green card,’ permanent residency allows immigrants to work, live, and travel freely throughout the United States. Formally known as a Permanent Resident Card, a green card is a vital step in the process of permanently living and working in the United States.

EB-5 investor visas were first introduced by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in 1990 to help boost the economy and are one of the most attractive ‘golden visas’ in the world. The EB-5 program enables investors, their spouses, and any unmarried children under the age of 21 to obtain a green card.

We’re exploring the benefits of permanent residency, how to maintain this status, and the option to obtain U.S. citizenship following permanent residency.

What is Permanent Residency?

One of the main benefits of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is that it is one of the fastest ways to obtain permanent residency in the United States. A green card allows immigrants to live or work anywhere in the United States. However, their visa-free or visa-on-arrival access is limited compared to that of U.S. citizens.

After an investor obtains permanent residency, they need to continue to maintain their ‘Legal Permanent Residency’ (LPR) status. They must show evidence of attempting to maintain their permanent residency status by establishing roots in the United States. EB-5 immigration lawyers advise against spending extended periods outside of the United States as it may raise questions about the status and intention of your permanent residency.

Permanent residency is a stepping stone to obtaining U.S. citizenship. Green card holders, including EB-5 investors, must live continuously in the United States for at least five years to obtain citizenship. However, the two years of conditional permanent residency for EB-5 investors count towards this five-year time frame. Applicants must have been physically in the United States for at least 30 months in the immediate five years before filing for citizenship. They must also be able to speak, write, and read basic English and complete a civics test.

The Benefits of Permanent Residency

Obtaining permanent residency comes with a range of benefits for immigrant investors and their families. It’s the key to securing the so-called American Dream. Permanent residency opens the door to profitable business opportunities, the ability to reside anywhere in the United States, and a more streamlined college admission process.

Immigrants who are permanent residents enjoy similar rights to U.S. citizens. They are allowed to vote in local elections where citizenship is not required, protected under U.S. law, allowed to be employed in the United States, and can live permanently in the United States so long as they do not commit any actions that would qualify them for deportation under section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Benefits of a green card/permanent residency include:

  • You cannot be deported to your country of origin in the event of changes to immigration law.
  • You are not required to renounce citizenship from your country of origin.
  • You can sponsor other family members for a green card, who will receive priority. However, this priority is not as high as the family members of U.S. citizens.
  • Live, work, or travel anywhere within the United States.
  • Eligibility to receive federal benefits, including education assistance and social security.
  • Ability to apply for U.S. citizenship after five years of residency in the United States.
  • Can engage in political activities, including making financial contributions or volunteering.

As a permanent resident, you will have to file income tax returns and report your income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You must always carry your green card with you.

Requirements to Maintain Permanent Residency Status

EB-5 investors must maintain their permanent residency status. EB-5 immigration lawyers advise against spending any more than 180 consecutive days outside the United States.

However, if you intend to spend a prolonged period outside of the United States, you should ensure you have a social security number, a property in your name, an active bank account, or a U.S. driving license. You may be required to submit this documentation to USCIS as proof of intent of permanent residency if you spend significant periods out of the country.

You can apply for a re-entry permit to allow you to remain outside of the United States for up to two years without losing your permanent residency status. A form I-131 should be applied for before you leave the United States. This re-entry permit is issued for two years and can be renewed after it expires. After your third renewal, subsequent re-entry permits may be approved on a one- or two-year basis, depending on your application.

Can Permanent Residency Be Renewed?

Under the EB-5 visa program, your permanent resident card is valid for 2 years, making you a conditional resident. Towards the end of this period, you’ll apply for the removal of the conditions of their residency with a form I-829. This application must be filed within 90 days of your conditional permanent residency status expiring.

The conditions of your permanent residency are removed when you can show that your investment has met the EB-5 visa requirements, including creating at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers. You’ll then receive a new Permanent Resident Card that is valid for ten years and can be renewed.

Obtaining U.S. Citizenship After Permanent Residency

Permanent residency is a crucial step towards obtaining U.S. citizenship through investment. After you receive your green card, you should spend at least 180 days per year in the United States for 5-years before applying for U.S. citizenship.

EB-5 Insider simplifies your path to U.S. residency. The EB-5 visa is the fastest route for foreigners seeking U.S. permanent residency and citizenship through investment. You can obtain a permanent U.S. green card for yourself, your spouse, and any unmarried children under 21 years of age for an investment of $800,000.

Start the process of applying for an EB-5 visa today, or contact our team for more information.

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