After I become a permanent resident, how much time must I spend in the United States?
In order to qualify for naturalization, one must have spent a total of 2 ½ years out of 5 in the US from the initial date of attaining conditional permanent residency through the EB-5 program. Children under the age of 18 will usually automatically derive US citizenship once a parent has naturalized. To maintain the status of permanent resident, one must have the current intent to reside in the US. As a legal matter, if a person is physically outside the United States for more than one year, he or she has lost his status. Visiting the US once a year is not enough time to maintain status: one should live as an “American” — pay taxes as a resident on worldwide income; rent/own an apartment or house; have bank accounts, credit cards, drivers license; be employed by an American company; belong to religious or social organizations; and/or possess other indicia of assimilation into the US.
If I plan to be absent from the US for prolonged periods after obtaining my green card, what can I do?
You may apply for and receive a reentry permit. This is a travel document issued to permanent residents enabling the holder to remain outside the United States for up to two years. Upon expiration, new reentry permits can be obtained. While the holder of a reentry permit must still meet the requirements to maintain his permanent resident status, airport and port of entry inspectors tend to show more deference to those with reentry permits.
In order to have the condition removed on my green card, is it necessary to spend a minimal amount of time in the US?
No, there is no such requirement, other than maintaining one’s permanent resident status. After the petition is filed, it will be necessary to undergo biometrics in the United States. It is important to ensure that you are within the legal boundaries of residency during and after your application process.
What if the investor dies or divorces during the condition removal period: can the spouse and children still have the conditions removed?
Yes, family of the investor can still have the conditions removed on their green card should the applicant die or the family becomes separated.
How is the EB-5 program better than other categories of US immigration or immigration to other countries?
The Immigrant Investor Program may allow an investor to procure a green card even if he or she does not meet the eligibility requirements of other common visa programs. Under the EB-5 program, an investor:
- Does not need to speak English
- Does not need to have previous business experience
- May have been previously denied a visa
- May hold citizenship in any country
- Does not need to operate an enterprise
Will an investment in EB-5 “cure” a problem with unlawful presence?
EB-5 investors are subject to the same admissibility criteria as other classes of immigrants, i.e., when it comes to immigration, there is no special preference to EB-5 applicants with admissibility problems. Therefore, if an EB-5 investor has an admissibility problem, such as having committed a willful, material misrepresentation or been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude or was unlawfully present in the US for greater than six months, or must return to his home country for two years because of a J-1 visa requirement, an investment will not overcome the inadmissibility. However, in certain instances, a waiver may be available or a finding of inadmissibility may be challenged.