The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is one method in which a person can obtain permanent resident status in California or other states. Each year, 10,000 such visas are given out, and each country can claim up to 7 percent of them annually. It is sometimes referred to as the visa for millionaires, and its goal is to inject large sums of capital into rural areas. It is also meant to help other areas that have high rates of unemployment.
Depending on where the money goes, an individual will receive a green card for investing either $500,000 or $1 million. In practice, the money tends to go to large cities like New York or San Francisco. A representative from AVG America Investments said that putting real estate in larger cities increases the odds that they will be successful. Even when a hotel or restaurant is situated in a major metropolitan area, it still conforms to the law because they are located in areas of high unemployment.
Other concerns about the program revolve around the investment threshold and claims of fraud. Some are calling for the investment threshold to be increased to $1.3 million and $1.8 million. The current investment levels have remained the same since 1990, but the prospect of an increase has resulted in a higher number of applications from countries like India and Vietnam.
Those who have questions about their legal status may ask an immigration official for assistance. It may also be possible to ask an attorney to help clarify their immigration situation. An attorney may be able to confirm the guidelines and deadlines a person may need to know about when applying for an EB-5 or any other type of visa.