Can You Buy Your Way into United States Citizenship?
Many of the ways you can go about getting citizenship are tedious, difficult to go through, and uncertain.
It may come as no surprise that literally buying your way into United States permanent residency, and eventual citizenship, is one of the easiest ways to get the job done.
The EB-5 is the immigrant investment visa. To receive an EB-5, you must invest a substantial amount into the United States economy.
To qualify, you must locate a project to invest in. One of the easiest ways to do this is through an EB-5 regional center. These are “economic units, public or private, in the United States, involved with promoting economic growth.” There is a center in every state. Connecting with a regional center can help you find a suitable project to invest in.
You can also set up a separate business, known as a “direct project.”
If the project is in a Targeted Employment Area you can invest $900,000. A TEA is a place with a low employment rate.
If it’s outside of a TEA you must invest $1.8 million.
Either way, your investment must create at least ten jobs for American citizens or permanent residents.
Once you invest, you file an I-526 petition. If the petition is approved you’re given a 2-year conditional permanent residency. You will be asked to meet a physical presence requirement during the two years. At the end of the two year period you would file an I-826 to petition for the removal of conditional resident status.
After five years, you may apply for United States citizenship.
While this process sounds straightforward, it’s still very important to work with an immigration attorney before you begin. You will need to submit a great deal of evidence that you’ve complied with the exacting requirements of the program. For example, you must provide evidence that your efforts truly created the ten required jobs.
In addition, you must be eligible for citizenship and residency in the first place. For example, you must not have a criminal record and must be able to demonstrate good moral character. You must be prepared for the government to examine your financials and your tax returns. It is not simply a matter of writing a check and walking across the border.
If you are unable to meet the requirements for green cards, removal of conditions, or citizenship you will not recover your investment. Your investment capital will also be locked in for the entire investment period as well as your visa processing period.
If you’re going to take advantage of the EB-5 program, make sure you make the most of it. Reach out to our office to get experienced, qualified legal help from the Office of John Hykel Law today.
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