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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a U.S. green card (permanent resident status) through investment in the U.S.?

Yes. 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise. This visa is commonly referred to as the EB-5 Investor visa.

There are two ways to invest in the U.S. under this program:
  1. Own and operate your business. This method requires an investment of a minimum U.S. $1 Million (unless you are in a targeted employment area) and that the investment directly creates at least ten full time jobs within two years.
  2. Invest in a certified Regional Center. This method requires an investment of a minimum of US $500,000 in a targeted employment area and that the investment directly or indirectly creates ten full time jobs within two years. With an investment in a regional center, there is no requirement that the immigrant investor open or individually run a business, or reside in where the regional center is located. (See for more information on NobleOutReach, which operates the certified New Orleans Regional Center).

What is the process to obtain lawful permanent residency through investment?

Obtaining Lawful Permanent Resident status is a three-part process. First, an I-526 petition is filed demonstrating that you have the required funds, that the funds were obtained from a lawful source, that the funds have been (or are in the process of being) invested, and that the investment meets USCIS requirements. Once the I-526 is approved, you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa at your nearest U.S. consulate (if you are outside of the U.S.) or for adjustment of status (if you are already in the U.S.). If approved, you are given conditional lawful permanent residency for two years. Ninety (90) days before the end of two years of being a conditional resident, you must file form I-829, to remove the conditional status by demonstrating that the required jobs have been created by your investment. If your I-829 application is approved, you are granted unconditional lawful permanent resident status, and are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after three more years.

What if I am already in the U.S. on another visa status?

An individual may file a I-526 petition if they live abroad or are already in the U.S. The I-526 petition process remains the same. If, however, you are already in the U.S., after the I-526 is approved, you may then file an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident, as opposed to filing for a visa with your local U.S. consulate. Of course, if you are not yet in the U.S., you must file for an immigrant visa with your local U.S. consulate. We can advise you more specifically on the process in a direct consultation.

If I get a green card, do I have to live in the U.S.?

Yes, an applicant for conditional or permanent residence to the U.S. must intend to immigrate to the U.S. and maintain as their primary residence a home in the United States.

Can I travel?

A conditional or permanent resident is entitled to travel freely for less than 6 months at a time outside of the United States. If a such an individual needs to be outside of the U.S. for more than six months, he/she may apply (up to three times) for a travel permit, that is good for 2 years. This travel permit establishes that the resident is not abandoning U.S. residency, despite the extended absence. However, time spent outside of U.S. is counted against the 30 month physical presence requirement for citizenship.

Can I bring my family and do they get permanent residency (a green card) if I invest in the U.S.?

A qualifying immigrant investor is eligible to sponsor his/her immediate family, which includes a spouse and all children under the age of 21 years old. All members of the immediate family are granted conditional permanent residency upon approval of the I-526, and all are eligible to apply to remove the conditions after two years.

Can I sponsor my 21 year old or over child?

While a child who is 21 years old, or more, can not apply for residency under the parent's immigrant investment application, a parent may gift that child the required investment funds in order for the child to apply individually as an immigrant investor.

What are the fees associated with applying for an investment visa?

There are filing/application fees, legal fees and investment management fees if an immigrant invests in a regional center. The current filing/application fees are:

  • I-526 Application: $1,435
  • I-485 Adjustment of Status $1,010 (includes biometrics) per individual (if already in the US); $930 for applicants under 14 years of age
  • Visa Application fees: $400
  • I-829 Application to remove conditional status after 2 years: $2,930 for primary applicant only + $80 biometric fee for each dependent
  • Legal fees are generally based on family size.