Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘EB-5 Visa Sri Lanka’

3rd December 2010

The EB-5 Visa has been a frequently discussed topic on this blog over the past few weeks. This may be mostly due to the fact that the United States dollar has been weakening compared to other currencies in Asia as a result of the United States Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” policy. In the case of Sri Lanka currency fluctuations are less severe against the US dollar when compared to other currencies in Southern Asia. Bearing this in mind, the EB-5 visa still remains an attractive travel document to many who dream of residing in the United States of America.

The EB5 visa was designed as an Immigrant Investor visa for those making a substantial investment in the USA. Those interested in the EB-5 visa should be aware that the minimum investment is 500,000 United States dollars for targeted programs. Meanwhile, so-called “un-targeted” programs require an investment of 1 million dollars. In any case, those thinking about making an investment in the United States in order to qualify for immigration benefits should consult with an American attorney in order to ascertain whether or not an investment qualifies for immigration benefits under the EB-5 program. Monetary investment is not the only requirement which must be met in order to receive immigration benefits as the prospective immigrant must still file an immigration petition as well as a visa application. Both the immigration petition and visa application require that the prospective immigrant adhere to the relevant provisions of the United States Immigration and Nationality Act. Therefore, merely having capital to invest in the USA is not necessarily sufficient to obtain EB-5 visa benefits.

There are some individuals who are under the mistaken impression that the United States has a Citizenship by Investment program. In point of fact, the United States of American does not routinely grant Citizenship to those who merely invest money in the USA. However, the EB-5 visa could be viewed as a “path to Citizenship by investment.” This is due to the fact that those who enter the USA on an EB-5 visa and receive Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status may later be eligible to apply for naturalization to United States Citizenship provided the statutorily prescribed physical presence requirement is met along with other criteria.

Some individuals opt to retain the services of an attorney to assist with the EB-5 visa process. This may be prudent as many laypeople are unaccustomed to dealing with the United States Immigration system which can sometimes prove to be both byzantine and complicated. Those seeking an attorney are well advised to check the credentials of anyone claiming expertise in US Immigration matters as only an attorney licensed to practice law in an American jurisdiction is entitled to provide advice, counsel, and representation before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the Department of State.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa Sri Lanka.

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9th November 2010

Since the topic of American Investment visas was first broached on this blog, this author has received some questions regarding the way in which United States Investment Visas actually operate in the real world. One of the most frequently asked questions pertaining to EB-5 visas is: “Can I get US Citizenship by investing in the United States?” The answer to that question is somewhat nuanced and it requires one to have a rather in-depth understanding of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa and the process for obtaining this type of travel document.

There are some countries around the world which have programs whereby investors can obtain virtually instantaneous citizenship simply by investing capital into the economy of the country issuing the nationality documents. In the United States, there is no program that operates this way. However, the EB-5 visa does grant the visa holder lawful permanent residence in the USA. This is a substantial benefit and should not be taken for granted as Lawful Permanent Residence is a highly sought after status that allows the Permanent Resident to permanently reside and work in the United States. Many often refer to Lawful Permanent Residence as “Green Card” status. That said, Lawful Permanent Residence is not American Citizenship. Those in the USA in Green Card status are not permitted to vote in elections, run for political office, and such individuals also cannot obtain a US passport. Although, those in Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status may be eligible to obtain a US reentry permit which allows the bearer to leave the United States for as long as two years without raising the presumption of residential abandonment.

Although there is no “citizenship by investment” program in the USA, the EB-5 visa could be the first step in the United States Naturalization process. For example, if an immigrant investor is granted an EB-5 visa and enters the United States, then that individual would be granted permanent residence upon lawful admission. After residing in the United States for a statutorily prescribed period of time, and assuming all other criteria are met, it may be possible for an EB-5 visa holder to apply for naturalization. Naturalization is the process whereby a foreign national becomes a United States Citizen. The process can be somewhat cumbersome and for those unaccustomed to dealing with immigration matters it may seem complex and frustrating at times, but upon approval of a petition for naturalization an EB-5 Immigrant Investor could theoretically obtain United States Citizenship.

Even though the United States does not offer a direct “Citizenship by Investment” program, one could argue that the US offers a “Path to Citizenship” by Investment program in the form of the EB-5 visa which places holders of said visa on track to possible American Citizenship should all other criteria be adhered to and the physical presence requirement be met.

For related information please see: EB-5 Visa Thailand, EB-5 Visa China, or EB-5 Visa Taiwan.

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