Can you buy a USA Green card?

Dr. Rakesh Shah

USA Greencard - Can you buy it? - Not really, but in a way ... can...
1. I am NOT a lawyer and this is NOT a Legal advice.
2. I have NO FINANCIAL affiliation with ANY company or institution in this regard

Is it worth it?

You have to decide on your own. I will give my opinion at the end of the post.

What does it take?

Answer: Obviously $$ and lots of it.

How do you get American green card?
Three broad categories :
1. Family-based - Anyone in your blood relation who is US CItizen can file the petition for you. This is called F category
2. Employment-based: Either you are part of the workforce ( Starting out mostly as the H1 visa) or you are creating employment. In nutshell, you contribute to the USA economy by two ways - either you work or you create work.
This is called Eb category, "Employment-Based"
And getting the green card by creating Employment falls under EB 5 Category.
I will be talking about this category specifically here.

3. Refugee : Based on your situation, you can apply as a refugee and may get green card.

Now, let us talk about EB 5 Category :
United States Citizenship And Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the EB-5 Program.
Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence)
if they:
1. Make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States;
2. Plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

There are 2 ways to invest in the USA to qualify for the green card in this category :
1. Invest Directly
2. Invest through Regional Center Program
The investment should be in a NEW commercial enterprise that is new AND creating 10 permanent full-time jobs.
If it is an existing business, it should increase the net worth of the business by 40% or increase the number of employee by 40%
The jobs created could be direct or indirect.
And the job creation may not be the actual number of jobs - it can be an equivalent financial impact of 10 job creation.

Petition/Application Process :
1. File Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
2. Following approval of the Form I-526 petition,

A) File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS to adjust status to a conditional permanent resident within the United States ( If you are already in the USA on any other visa)

B)File DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the U.S. Department of State to obtain an EB-5 visa abroad to seek admission to the United States.

Upon the approval of a Form I-485 application or upon admission into the United States with an EB-5 immigrant visa, the EB-5 investor and derivative family members will be granted conditional permanent residence for a 2-year period.
The Bottom Line - How Much it takes?

$1 million or, if the qualifying investment is within a Targeted Employment Area(TEA,) then it is $500,000).

Plus - depending upon the EB 5 Regional Center you choose, you will be paying extra 50,000 to 70,000 US $ in their "fees" - for doing all the legal paperwork and complying with ongoing Government requirements.

How the money was obtained - it does matter :
You will need the Evidence that the investment capital was obtained through lawful means.

This may include :
1. Foreign business registration records;

2. Corporate, partnership (or other entity), and personal tax returns, or other tax returns of any kind filed within 5 years, with any taxing jurisdiction in or outside the United States by you or on your behalf;

3. Evidence identifying any other source of capital;

4. Certified copies of any judgments or evidence of all pending civil or criminal actions, governmental administrative proceedings, and any private civil actions (pending or otherwise) involving money judgments against you from any court in or outside the United States within the past 15 years.
Initially, you get a conditional green card, and after 2 years you get "Full Greencard.
Here is what is required to get that "Full Greencard".

You will have to submit the Evidence that you have sustained your investment in the new commercial enterprise throughout your 2-year period of conditional permanent residence. This is the responsibility of the regional center in which you invested the money.

This evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following:
1. Invoices and receipts
2. Bank statements
3. Contracts
4. Business licenses
5. Federal or state income tax returns; and
6. Federal or state income quarterly tax statements.

Timeline :
1. Once you deposit all the money, it takes 2 years to get approval for the conditional green card. So, as of now, you can come to the USA in approximately 2 years after the money is deposited
2. Once you arrive in the USA - you have to wait for 2 years to apply for “full and unconditional green card”
3. Once you apply for full and unconditional green card, it takes 3 years to remove that conditional status.

So, from the day you deposit the money, it will take total 2 years to get "Conditional

green card" and a total of 7 years to get the "Unconditional green card".

4. From the day you get "conditional greencard", it takes 5 years to apply for US CItizenship

Your kids above the age of 21 will NOT get greencard.

How do you survive in America?
Just because you invested 500,000 US $ and created 10 jobs, does not mean a guaranteed job for you. You will have to figure out your own way of earning your daily living while you are here.  This post is filled with facts.

For any good journalism, there are facts and there are opinions.

Here are my opinions :
1. Is America that great? : YES (Read my post about why I say so. I will post the link in the comment section)
2. Is this route worth taking it if I really want to immigrate to the USA? : Yes, if you have enough money and if you can prove that you acquired it legally
3. Is my money safe?
Yes - as
You are NOT investing directly yourself if you go through the Regional Center. That means, for any reason, if that regional center goes bankrupt, your money is gone.
If the economy crashes the value of money you invested may become 20 cents for each Dollar. In short, your dollar can become way less in value.
You can withdraw your money after you get the full and unconditional green card and until then the only thing you get is 0.75% interest on your money - which is next to zero. And that interest also, can not be paid to you until your application to remove the condition from the green card is filed.
So, for 7 years, you will get almost NO return on your investment. After 7 years, you can get all your money back and decide what to do with it.
Welcome to the greatest country in the world... the land of the free and the home of the braves.

Dr. Rakesh Shah

Atlanta, GA

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