"Buying" Green Cards Is a Misconception

This is a misconception that is promulgated by some media and those that dislike the EB-5 Regional Center program. EB-5 is about an investment in the American Economy that creates jobs for American Citizens and Permanent Residents. At the same time it enables the investor, the investor’s spouse and minor children to obtain United States Permanent Residency (Green Card).

EB-5 is a uniquely successful program offered by the United States Government that provides Permanent Resident Green Cards for the applicant and their immediate family (spouse and minor children). The central requirement is a significant investment in a qualifying project in the United States. While nothing is certain in the world of immigration law, EB-5 offers the most secure available path to a Green Card.

As Green Card holders, their children have access to all levels of the American educational system, allowing them to ultimately earn secondary and even graduate degrees from any of the countless American colleges and universities, which include many of the most prestigious in the world. In turn, the qualifying investment creates American jobs and supports the local economies of areas in need. 

There are two EB-5 programs for the individual investor to choose from. The first is the Regional Center program. In this case, an investment is made in a government-approved new commercial enterprise, called a Regional Center. The second option is the Direct Investment program, which involves investing in a new business the investors establish themselves. Regardless of which program one investor chooses, their investment must create ten full time jobs for United States Citizens or Permanent Residents.

The great majority of EB-5 applicants choose the Regional Center option. For one, it allows them to act as more or less passive investors and therefore involves significantly less work. Second, it generally requires a smaller investment amount. The EB-5 program requires either a $500,000 or $1 million investment, depending on whether the investment is located in a “Target Employment Area (TEA)” — a geographical region with high unemployment. Because the vast majority of Regional Centers are located in a TEA, selecting the Regional Center option almost always means a smaller investment. However, for some the Direct Investment option is the preferred choice. Often, EB-5 applicants select Direct Investments because they wish to invest in a particular industry or type of business, and they want greater control over how their funds are used. 

If your goal is a Green Card for yourself and your family, the EB-5 program may very well be the answer you've been looking for. Please do not hesitate to contact us or call 415-221-2345 if you have any questions.


Vaughan de Kirby
California Immigration Attorney

EB-5 Regional Center Program Ends 12/21/18

Congress has extended the current Regional Center program to December 21st, 2018, at which time it will sunset unless extended. We anticipate future legislation that will call for an increased investment amount and more stringent requirements. For this reason, we recommend to our clients that they take action under the current law if at all possible.

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Vaughan de Kirby's book, EB-5 Due Diligence Workbook: Ten Critical Steps to An Informed Decision was written for EB-5 investors who are selecting a regional center.

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If you are seeking permanent residence status in the U.S., request a free copy of Complete Guide To The EB-5 Green Card to learn about the EB-5 visa program.

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