There are a number of different ways for a foreign national to obtain a green card, but one of the most straightforward ones available to those who have the resources is the EB5 program. The EB5 visa is available to those who are willing and able to invest significant amounts of money into the United States economy. The required investment is a minimum of $1 million, or $500,000 in an identified rural or high unemployment Targeted Employment Area. The investment must be proven to have created at least ten jobs for U.S. workers outside of the investor and his family members.

The EB5 program provides the investor and their family with two-year conditional permanent residence in the United States. Ninety days before that status expires they are required to provide proof of the investment and the jobs that it created in order to receive their green card.

 

The program was originally restricted to the creation of new businesses but was later amended to allow investment in specific pre-approved projects that promoted economic growth, improved regional productivity, or contributed positively in a number of other ways. These projects were referred to as regional centers, and the EB5 Program in Philadelphia was extremely popular. In fact, for many years there were more EB5 projects in the city than anywhere else in the United States. Successful projects have included the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Interstate 95-Pennsylvania Turnpike connection project, the Comcast Center and SEPTA’s new swipe card technology project.  All of these projects were made possible in part through loans made by EB5 investors.

 

Though some disapprove of EB5, referring to it as a visas-for-sale program, advocates praise the program and say that it offers a number of distinct advantages for all involved. For the city, the EB5 program in Philadelphia has meant that projects are being funded that might not have been otherwise, or that would have required resources from other sources.  It also creates a minimum of ten new jobs, and frequently far more than that number. This adds to the city’s tax base and reduces employment, plus there is the economic advantage provided by the project itself. Finally, those in favor of the program are quick to point out that it is providing the opportunity for citizenship to high net-worth individuals who are highly desirable and will continue to contribute to the economy.

 

The EB5 program in Philadelphia began with the Navy Yard project in 2004, and since that time hundreds of millions of dollars worth of foreign investments have benefitted the city’s infrastructure and employment, and according to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission EB5 investments in the I-95 project will save taxpayers $35 million during the first phase alone.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the EB5 program in Philadelphia as a means to obtaining permanent residence in the United States, Reinherz Law can help. Contact us immediately to set up a convenient time for an appointment and we will be happy to answer all questions and see whether it is a good option for you.

 

 

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