Immigration Questions

1. What is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)?

USCIS is a division of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is a government agency responsible for the implementation, administration of immigration and naturalization laws, rules and regulations, functions and policies in the provision of services.

2. Where can I find a copy of the relevant law and regulations to study?

Please go to the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) website. A direct link to investment visa information is: http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/services/residency/investment.htm

3. Do I need my own immigration lawyer to prepare and file my immigrant investor (I-526 and I-829) petitions?

Yes. Every Foreign Investor who invests with CCFI shall enter into a separate representation agreement with an immigration attorney. However, CCFI will provide a list of attorneys who have proven knowledge of the EB-5 program and its many nuances.

Your relationship with the attorney involves you entering into a separate Agreement of Representation with that lawyer. To ensure efficiency, effectiveness and consistency with the Immigration Petition and Application process for Permanent Residency, CCFI will provide the investor with a list of preferred attorneys that CCFI has worked with in the past and whose reputation and work has been found to be exemplary.

The attorney shall prepare the I-526 Petition for you as a Foreign National Investor. Upon approval of the Petition, the Immigration Attorney can prepare your Applications for Conditional Permanent Residency. Before the end of the two year Conditional Permanent Residency, the Immigration Attorney can prepare for you the Immigrant Petition to Remove the Conditions of your Permanent Residency; the final step necessary for you to obtain unconditional Permanent Residency.

4. What are the processing procedures?

The foreign investor must complete three phases of the application process become a permanent US resident:

Step 1: To obtain immigrant investor status, the foreign investor to submit a completed Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur Form (Form I-526) to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with supporting documentation clearly demonstrating that the investment meets all EB-5 requirements. Upon approval of the I-526 Petition, this will be the foundation for Step 2.

Step 2: If the foreign investor is residing within the US and has received Form I-526 approval, he or she may obtain conditional resident status by submitting a completed Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) to USCIS. If residing outside the US, the foreign investor must apply for an immigrant visa at a US Consulate abroad.

Step 3: During the 90-day period prior to the expiration of the conditional period, the investor should file a completed Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions (Form I-829) to USCIS. In this petition, the foreign investor must demonstrate that the investment was sustained over the two-year conditional period, and the requisite jobs were created. Upon approval of the I-829 petition, the conditional nature of the green card is lifted and full permanent residence is granted to the investor and the investor’s family members less than 21 years of age.

5. What information and documentation are required?

Professional Background: You must prepare complete biographical information for each applicant and the principal applicant must prove the source of the investment funds. A résumé with copies of college diplomas and other educational certificates, if applicable, should be included. Any memberships in professional organizations should be documented. Unless the investor inherited the funds, the investor should be presented as a successful professional or businessperson with a business, financial or family history that explains the accumulation of financial net worth that is presented in the financial information. Provide as much documentation as possible that pertains to the career and achievements of the Investor.

Source of Funds: Funds for the investment must come from a lawful source. Lawful sources of funds include: profits from the sales of a property, stocks or bonds, profits from business, business transactions, gifts, and inheritances. To prove the source of investment funds, USCIS requires five years of tax returns, five years of bank records, proof of ownership in any businesses, financial statements for each business and business licenses. The idea is to present a track record of an honest course of dealing. If your capital came from a specific transaction, such as sale of a house, inheritance or gift, you must prove the transaction occurred, by providing an official document, such as a closing statement or contract or other official documents. This is not an exhaustive list of documents. Other documents may be required and vary on a case-by-case basis.

Important: All documents included in the application must be translated into English in a proper Affidavit format.

6. What is the difference between "conditional" and "unconditional" green cards?

Under the regulations, an investor who is approved for the EB-5 immigrant visa receives a “conditional” green card, which must be reissued after two years, subject to removal of conditions. Otherwise, the two cards offer the same rights and privileges. A conditional Green Card is a temporary Green Card valid for two years. One year and nine months after it is issued, a three-month window opens up during which an individual must file another application with the USCIS to verify that all of the funds have been invested and the required employment has been created. When the conditional resident status has been lifted, full resident status is granted and a permanent Green Card is issued.

7. If my I-526 petition is approved by USCIS, what is the purpose of the Consulate application and Interview, and how soon do I get my "Green card"?

Upon approval of I-526 Petition: (a) If you are residing outside the U.S. you must wait for notification from the U.S. Consulate in your home country to prepare documents for the visa interview. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that the investor and his or her family undergo medical, police, security and immigration history checks before the conditional permanent resident visas are issued. At the interview, the consulate officer may address these issues and information printed on the I-526 application, including asking the investor to summarize the nature of his or her immigrant investment. (b) If you are in the United States, then you may apply for adjustment of status by filing form I-485, and supporting documents, the application may be filed at the appropriate office of the USCIS.

8. Can I apply if I have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for an L-1, E-2, B, or other visa?

Rejection in the past does not disqualify the applicant, unless the reasons relate to immigration fraud or other grounds of inadmissibility or removability. It is most important that all criminal, medical, or U.S. immigration history problems be disclosed to the limited partnership and legal counsel in advance of application.

9. After petition approval, can members of the family interview in different countries?

Family members can interview in different countries. The country of origin or where the family has current ties is the standard interview site. Often one member of the family is located in another country, such as a student attending school in the U.S. The student does not have to return to the country of origin and can adjust status in the United States at the district office of the USCIS.

10. Who receives the permanent residency ("green card")?

Husband, wife and any unmarried children under the age of 21. It is possible for adopted children to be included in the family. Upon approval you will receive the Conditional Resident Alien Card via the mail.

11. Must I be in good health?

Yes, you must submit to and pass a health medical examination so either as part of the US Consular or Adjustment within the U.S. process before a conditional EB-5 Visa is granted.

12. Is it required that I have previous business experience or education?

No, you do not need any prior business experience or have to demonstrate any minimum level of education. The only requirement is that you have the investment capital as required by the Regional Center and proof that the source and path of funds are legal.

13. Do I need to speak English to become a permanent resident of the United States?

No.

Links to Additional Information Sources:

USCIS & General:

EB-5 & Regional Center:

  • The Association to Invest in America: www.iiusa.org
  • AILA: www.aila.org
  • Regional Center Designated Attorney: Edward C. Beshara, P.A., www.besharapa.com
  • Moneycorp: Commercial Foreign Exchange: Moneycorp is a trading division of TTT Moneycorp Ltd and is a market leading international foreign exchange and payments specialist. The Company has been providing innovative foreign exchange and international payment services to both private and corporate customers for over a quarter of a century. www.moneycorp.com
  • First American Title: Specifically for the commercial marketplace, First American has assembled the products and services needed to meet the evolving needs of today’s businesses. No other company is as strongly positioned to meet so many of America’s business requirements. Through a single source, First American can offer the tools designed to bring you a clear advantage in the marketplace. www.firstam.com

Carolina Center for Foreign Investment
Alan Ballew
PO Box 2487
101 N. Main Street, Suite 1400
Greenville SC 29602
Phone: (864) 242-5151
Fax: (864) 233-9878

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