Legal Steps for Acquiring an EB-5 Visa in the USA

Employment-based fifth preference visas, EB-5, are immigrant visas issued by the United States Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) to foreigners who want to invest in designated places called the regional centers. Successful completion of the whole process earns the investor a green card for a permanent stay in the United States with their family.

As an investor, you need enough funds and the completion of the legal processes required before getting a green card to allow you to live and work permanently in the US.

Decide on the project

VisaFinding the appropriate project is the first step. This may be a new commercial project by an investor or a regional center project. If you intend to invest as an individual, you can identify new business ideas of your own which you wish to invest in.

Otherwise, you may decide to choose regional center programs. These are projects which the government has identified as potential job creators in some geographical regions. You can invest in such and be part of the project.

Make the capital investment

Your second step is to make a capital investment in the business of your choice, that is, $500,000 for regional businesses and $1Million for Individual investments. This is put in an Escrow account after which your immigration lawyer files the I–526 petition with the government.

This should be accompanied by the evidence that your investment will create ten full-time jobs, shown by your business plan, and that your funds are from a known legitimate source. Within 4 to 6 months, the government will inform you whether your petition is accepted or not.

Get a conditional green card

The government will issue you with a two-year conditional green card. In the two year term, you are required meet the required conditions and hire the ten employees. But this conditional visa can only be issued if the I-526 is approved and required forms have been filed depending on whether you are in the US or not.

The I- 829 petition

US VisaThis petition marks the end of the EB5 process so that you can be given permanent residency in the US. Your lawyer issues the I- 829 petition to the USCIS ninety days towards the end of the two years.

This shows that you have met the conditions and the petition is for the removal of the two-year conditional green card and the issuance of a permanent green card. With this green card, the investor and their unmarried children who are under 21years can move in and stay in the US.


Anyone who wishes to go through the EB5 has to have prior investment plans, have the required funds and the patient to follow through the process till the end. But it is rewarding, as you can do business and be a permanent resident of the country.