How to Get the EB5 Visa: Step-by-Step Process Explained

EB5 Visa

Learn how to get the EB5 Visa with this step-by-step guide. Our comprehensive article covers everything you need to know about the EB5 Visa process.

Are you considering the EB5 Visa as a path to United States residency? Navigating the EB5 Visa process can seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it can be a smooth journey to your American dream. In this detailed guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process, providing insights and tips based on personal experiences and authoritative sources.

Understanding the EB5 Visa

Before delving into the steps, let’s clarify what the EB5 Visa is. This visa program, administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), grants foreign nationals the opportunity to obtain a green card by investing in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs for U.S. workers.

Step 1: Meeting the Eligibility Criteria

The first crucial step in the EB5 Visa journey is ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria. To qualify, you must invest a minimum amount of $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise. However, if your investment targets a rural or high-unemployment area, the minimum investment drops to $900,000.

Step 2: Choosing the Right Investment

Selecting the appropriate investment project is pivotal. It’s not just about the capital; you should also consider the potential for job creation, as this directly impacts your eligibility.

Step 3: Formulating a Business Plan

A solid business plan is the foundation of your EB5 Visa application. This plan should outline the business’s objectives, financial projections, and how it will create jobs for U.S. workers.

Step 4: Filing Form I-526

Form I-526, also known as the Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, is the initial application you must file with USCIS to prove your eligibility for the EB5 Visa program.

Step 5: Conditional Green Card

Upon approval of your Form I-526, you and your family (spouse and children under 21) will receive conditional green cards, granting you temporary U.S. residency for two years.

Step 6: Investment and Job Creation

During the conditional green card period, you must fulfill the investment and job creation requirements outlined in your business plan.

Step 7: Removing Conditions

To obtain a permanent green card, you’ll need to file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, within the 90-day period before your conditional green card expires.

Step 8: Achieving Permanent Residency

Once USCIS approves Form I-829, you and your family will receive permanent green cards, granting you unrestricted U.S. residency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the EB5 Visa process typically take? The EB5 Visa process duration can vary, but it often takes 24-36 months from the initial investment to obtaining permanent residency.

Can I include my spouse and children in my EB5 Visa application? Yes, you can include your spouse and unmarried children under 21 in your application, and they will receive green cards as well.

Is there a limit to the number of EB5 Visas issued each year? There is an annual limit of 10,000 EB5 Visas, but this includes both investors and their family members.

What happens if my investment project fails? If your chosen project fails to create the required jobs or goes bankrupt, your EB5 Visa application may be denied.

Can I work or start my own business in the U.S. while on an EB5 Visa? Yes, EB5 Visa holders have the freedom to work, study, or start their own businesses in the United States.

Do I need to be actively involved in the day-to-day operations of the business I invest in? While you should play a role in managing your investment, you don’t need to be involved in daily operations.


Obtaining an EB5 Visa can be a life-changing endeavor, offering you and your family a pathway to permanent residency in the United States. By following these steps and ensuring you meet the eligibility criteria, you can navigate the EB5 Visa process successfully. Remember that professional guidance and thorough research are key to a smooth and successful journey.

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