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Northern California 
Regional Center 

PO Box 31654
Stockton, Ca. 95213

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FAQ - General Questions

What is the EB-5 program?
Why use the EB-5 program to obtain U.S. citizenship?
What is a regional center?
What are the main requirements of the EB-5 program?
Who is eligible to obtain U.S. citizenship through EB-5?
Do I need a U.S. immigration lawyer to file my EB-5 petitions through USCIS?
How long does the initial application process take?
When I receive my green card, do I have to stay in the U.S.?
Can my spouse and children receive their green card and obtain U.S. citizenship through the EB-5 program?
If my children are near the age of 21, will they be ineligible for their green card and citizenship if they turn 22 during the investment process?
Will my children be able to study in the United States after making my investment and receiving my green card?

General Questions

What is the EB-5 program?

The EB-5 Program was passed by the United States Congress through the Immigration and Nationality Act in 1990.  It is currently being administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The EB-5 Program was created to issue visas to foreign investors who invest $1,000,000, or $500,000 if located in a targeted employment area, in a United States business that creates jobs for 10 or more U.S. workers. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services sets aside 10,000 visas per fiscal year for immigrant investors to obtain citizenship though the EB-5 Program.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services defines the EB-5 Program as follows:

Under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §1153(b)(5), 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.

Of the 10,000 investor visas (i.e., EB-5 visas) available annually, 3,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving a USCIS-designated "Regional Center."

Click here for a link to the USCIS explanation of the EB-5 program.


Why use the EB-5 program to obtain U.S. citizenship?

The benefits are numerous, and the following are just a few.

The benefits of the EB-5 program are numerous, and there are many benefits to obtaining U.S. citizenship though the EB-5 program. The EB-5 program is undoubtedly one of the fastest ways to become a United States Citizen as individuals can obtain full U.S. citizenship in 5 years. The investor can apply for a U.S. green card though the EB-5 program which basically gives the investor the same rights as a United States citizen. There is no waiting list for obtaining an EB-5 green card, and no sponsor is needed for the EB-5 program. Using the EB-5 program, an immigrant investor does not need to live or work anywhere near the investment. The individual is free to live and work anywhere they choose in the United States. The EB-5 program benefits the investor with more freedom as they are not required to handle the investment on a daily basis. While the EB-5 program provides the immigrant investor with many benefits, you should remember that the investment is creating jobs. This is probably the greatest benefit, knowing that your investment is making a positive impact in America.

What is a regional center?
Regional Centers must be approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and be designated as a regional center by USCIS. Regional center status allows individuals to invest in qualifying investments sponsored by the Regional Center with the minimum investment amount allowed which is US $500,000. Regional Centers assist investors by identifying projects, assessing quality investments, and ensuring projects meet the EB-5 job creation requirement of creating 10 jobs per investment.

What are the main requirements of the EB-5 program?

According to current regulations, the investor is only expected to meet two main requirements to obtain citizenship though the EB-5 program. These two requirements are:

Who is eligible to obtain U.S. citizenship through EB-5?

Anyone is eligible to use the EB-5 program to attain citizenship as long as they can meet the investment requirement of $1,000,000 or $500,000 and are otherwise admissible (link). Typically investors come from all over the world from many different walks of life.

When approved for the EB-5 Program by the USCIS, the applicant and their spouse and minor children can also be apply for their conditional green card, and subsequently can apply for full citizenship in 5 years.

There are no language requirements and applicants are not required to speak English.

Do I need a U.S. immigration lawyer to file my EB-5 petitions through USCIS?
Yes, a qualified U.S. immigration lawyer will be needed to file for U.S. citizenship through the EB-5 program. If you do not have a U.S. immigration lawyer, please feel free to contact us at Northern California Regional Center for recommendations.

How long does the initial application process take?
The initial application process consists of filing an I-526 petition to make the investment and receive your conditional green card. The entire process can take less than a year, and in many cases can be only a few months if filed correctly.

When I receive my green card, do I have to stay in the U.S.?
No, after receiving your green card you can travel freely to and from your native country. You do, however, need to establish residency in the United States and make the U.S. your home.

Can my spouse and children receive their green card and obtain U.S. citizenship through the EB-5 program?
Yes, your spouse and minor children (under 21) can also receive their green card and U.S. conditional and permanent residency through the same investment. Another investment does not need to be made for each individual.

If my children are near the age of 21, will they be ineligible for their green card and citizenship if they turn 22 during the investment process?
At the time your I-526 is accepted, the ages of your children are frozen so they still qualify for U.S. citizenship at the end of the investment period of 5 years.

Will my children be able to study in the United States after making my investment and receiving my green card?
Yes, your children will be able to attend schools or colleges in the United States. Living in California for one year will establish residency so your children may be eligible for in-state tuition which makes attending many universities affordable.

The information contained in these pages is for general purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice nor does it create attorney-client communication. No offer to sell any security is made by the information on this website. Offerings will be made only to qualified individuals pursuant to exemptions from registration requirements set out in applicable securities laws.

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