PERMANENT RESIDENCE (“GREEN CARD”)
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There are varies ways to obtain a Green Card. The most popular of these are listed below.
BUSINESS/EMPLOYMENT-BASED PERMANENT RESIDENCE ("GREEN CARD")
From an L-1A Visa - A L-1A Multinational Manager/Executive visa leads directly to the “Green Card”. The minimum conditions that must be fulfilled are:
The U.S. subsidiary company must have been in existence and doing business for one year;
The company must have at least two full-time employees ;
There is no numerical limitation on the number of immigrant visas available under this category. This process presently can take two to three years, although the USCIS is making efforts to reduce this time period.
From an H-1B visa – Your employer can start a “PERM” procedure for you, which will lead to permanent residence for you and your family. This process is more involved and includes an extra step, the Permanent Labor Certification, under which the U.S. Department of Labor reviews the petition in order to establish that it does not endanger any American jobs.
NOTE: Since the employer is the Petitioner (and the employee the Beneficiary) of a H-1B visa, the change from H-1B nonimmigrant to permanent residence immigrant status cannot be made by the beneficiary without the employer’s agreement and cooperation.
From an O-1 or P-1 Visa - If the employment circumstances permit and at the request of the employer,
both of these visa categories can lead directly to Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) Stats.
Visas USA can assist you in the preparation and filing of the documents necessary for these visas.
FAMILY-BASED PERMANENT RESIDENCE ("GREEN CARD")
From a K-1 Visa - In the case that the fiancé(e) will be married in the United States, he or she can apply for permanent residence immediately after the marriage.
From a K-3 Visa - In the case that the fiancé(e) will be married outside of the United States, he or she can apply for permanent residence immediately after coming to the United States under the visa.
Already married and foreign national spouse living in the United States in a different status – He or she can apply for permanent residence immediately.
Through Sponsorship - To be eligible to sponsor a relative to immigrate to the United States you must meet the following criteria:
You must be a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States and be able to provide documentation proving your status.
You must prove that you can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
If you are a U.S. Citizen you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States; however you must be able to provide proof of the relationships:
Husband or wife;
Unmarried child under 21 years old;
Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
Married son or daughter of any age;
Brother or sister, if you are at least 21 years old; or
Parent, if you are at least 21 years old.
NOTE: Immigration numbers for some of these categories are immediately available. For other categories, there may be a wait for many years.
If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States; however you must be able to provide proof of the relationships:
Husband or wife; or
Unmarried son or daughter of any age.
Visas USA can assist you in the preparation and filing of these documents.
INVESTMENT-BASED PERMANENT RESIDENCE ("GREEN CARD")
EB-5 Visa - Under Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.
Of the 10,000 Immigrant Investor Visas (i.e., EB-5 Visas) available annually, 5,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving an USCIS-approved “Regional Center”. (The USCIS does not guaranty commercial viability of a Regional Center project).
In order for a foreign investor to be able to obtain status as an immigrant, it must clearly be demonstrated that the individual’s investment meets all requirements. These are:
Establishing a new commercial enterprise;
Investing the requisite capital amount ($1,000,000 or $500,000 in targeted employment areas);
Proving the investment comes from a lawful source of funds;
Creating the requisite number of jobs (10 employees);
Demonstrating that the investor is actively participating in the business; and, where applicable,
Creating employment within a targeted employment area.
To set up his or her own EB-5 project, the foreign investor must invest $1,000,000 or $500,000 if his or her project is in a targeted employment area, and must conform to the job creation requirements listed.
Alternatively, the foreign investor can invest a minimum of $500,000 in an approved Regional Center. At this time, the USCIS has approved approximately 400 Regional Centers throughout the United States.
The Regional Center project typically takes the form of a partnership, in which the management team of the Regional Center constitutes the General Partner. Besides managing the project, the General Partner must establish the project as a new commercial enterprise and assure that the project creates the requisite number of jobs (Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation including both “indirect” and “direct” jobs).
The foreign investor will be a Limited Partner, and each Regional Project will have a number of Limited Partners who will all obtain their “Green Card” in this way. The Limited Partner must invest the funds, and prove that the funds come from a lawful source. By investing as a Limited Partner, the foreign investor is automatically considered to be actively participating in the business.
The EB-5 program aims at enabling the foreign investor and his or her family to obtain a temporary Green Card in one to two years, and a permanent one two years thereafter, subject to fact that the requisite number of jobs that were created are still there. The aim is also that the $500,000 investment be returned to the investor after approximately five years, but each Regional Center projects is subject to normal commercial risks, and the foreign investor needs to be aware of that.
Because of the size and term of the investment, it is imperative that due diligence be done on the project and that, in general, good choices be made in the selection of a Regional Project.
Visas USA can accompany you in every aspect of obtaining a “Green Card” by following the EB-5 Immigrant Visa procedure and can assist you in the preparation and filing of the documents necessary.