Foreign entrepreneurs may be able to come to California on EB-5 (employment-based, preference 5) visas if they
- invest sufficient capital in an American commercial enterprise, and
- intend to create or sustain permanent, full-time employment for no fewer than ten (10) U.S. workers
As the world's sixth largest economy, California is a hotbed for extensive, international investments in several fields such as technology, agriculture, and water management.
EB-5 visa holders and their families may receive conditional green card status. The EB-5 visa process costs in excess of $4,000 and takes about a year or more.
In this article our Los Angeles immigration lawyers discuss employment-based, preference 5 visas in California, including application procedures, fees, and time frames. Click on a question to jump to the answer.
- 1. How do I qualify for an EB-5 visa in Los Angeles, CA?
- 2. What are my obligations under an EB-5 visa?
- 3. What is the application process for an EB-5 visa in Los Angeles, CA?
- 4. What is the price for an EB-5 visa?
- 5. How soon can I get an EB-5 visa?
- 6. Can my family come with me to California on an EB-5 visa?
In order to be eligible for an EB-5 visa, the foreigner must invest in a U.S. "commercial enterprise" that was established either:
- after November 29, 1990, or
- on or before November 29, 1990, and:
- (a) the existing enterprise is restructured into an overall new enterprise; or
- (b) the enterprise saw a minimum 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), "commercial enterprise" is a for-profit activity conducted as either a:
- sole proprietorship;
- joint venture;
- holding company;
- corporation; or
- business trust or other entity (may be publicly or privately owned).
EB-5 visa holders are required to create or save at least ten (10) full-time jobs within two (2) years. Any "saved" jobs must be within a "troubled business." And the visa holder must invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000, depending on the type of business.
First the foreigner submits the I-526 Form with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Then the foreigner may apply either for an immigrant visa or conditional legal permanent residence (through an I-485 Form).
EB-5 visas are immigrant visas. This means they may eventually pave the way to U.S. citizenship.
It costs $4,020 total for an EB-5 visa: The fee to file Form I-526 is $3,675, and the fee to file Form I-485 is $345.
Obtaining an EB-5 visa can take up to 18 months.
Yes. The USCIS may grant conditional permanent residence to an EB-5 visa holder's spouse and unmarried children under 21. Once two (2) years pass, the family members may adjust status to permanent residents.
Call a California immigration attorney...
Are you overseas and thinking about investing in the U.S.? You may be able to get an EB-5 visa and live in California. Call our Los Angeles immigration attorneys at (855) 396-0370 for a free consultation.
Go to our California visa main page.
Also learn about our Nevada EB-5 visa lawyers.