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US Visa from Thailand: The EB-5 Visa

Transcript of the above video:

This blurb will briefly discuss the EB-5 Investor Visa; that is the investor category visa under the EB-5 classification.

Specifically speaking, EB-5 investor visas were designed to facilitate foreign direct investment in the United States and job creation therein as well. Basically what it does is it incentivizes prospective immigrants to come to the United States, invest money in the United States, in small or large enterprises, create jobs in the United States and through the job creation thereby help stimulate the American economy. The EB-5 visa itself grants lawful permanent residence to the holder of the visa with various caveats attached with respective processing of the visa and ensuring that the person who is seeking the investor visa is in fact a viable candidate for that visa.  What we’re talking about here when we’re talking about viable candidacy, one of the major issues is what is called “source of funds” and EB-5 cases is one of the major issues from the standpoint of the prospective immigrant is proving up that the funds that are being invested in the United States come from a legitimate source and are not the product of say, crime or ill gotten gains, illicit gains, things like this. 

So one of the major issues with respect to the EB-5, when those are looking into the EB-5, one of the major things to look at is ‘can the prospective immigrant prove that the source of funds is a legitimate source?  Or that they can prove how they came into possession of those funds at all. There are certain cases where perhaps an immigrant was running perhaps a sort of cash based business abroad, it might be perfectly legitimate in the country in which they were operating or the countries in which they were operating, but unfortunately it’s difficult to prove that for purposes of the visa adjudication, specifically the consular processing in USCIS adjudication. Another thing to think about with respect to EB-5 is there is sort of varying types of categories. There is sort of a bare minimum where one invests a half a million dollars in the United States. These programs are specifically delineated by USCIS and they’re given approval under USCIS guidelines. There are other programs for larger investments that may on a case by case basis be granted EB-5 approval or EB-5, basically, given USCIS’s sort of blessing pursuant to the EB-5 regulations.

With respect to these programs, one of the major issues from the standpoint of US Immigration Officials, one of the major issues they want to see with respect to the EB-5 is whether or not the investment program is creating jobs for Americans in the United States. This is a major issue.  They don’t just want to see necessarily a passive investment in the United States. They want to see something that has a direct correlation on job creation in the USA. There are many different nationalities around the world that seek the EB-5. That being stated, there is a quota number, there are only a certain number of EB-5’s that can be issued in a certain year. To date, it has been fairly rare to see that quota hit it but it’s not impossible that that could happen in the future.

EB-5 investor visas, they’re not exactly, a lot of people sort of, there’s a misnomer that you can “buy” citizenship through the EB-5 program, that’s not the case. This is a fairly rigorous adjudication where the immigration officers are ascertaining whether or not the person seeking the immigrant visa is in fact a viable candidate for that visa, the funds that they are using to invest in the United States are going to job creation purposes and then have a significant benefit to the US economy and finally the source of those funds is a legitimate source. Also on top of that, the EB-5 visa, its lawful permanent residence ultimately, it’s not citizenship. You are not just becoming a US citizen through economic investment; that is not the case. One is simply becoming a lawful permanent resident in the United States under the EB-5 category. It’s possible that you become a lawful permanent resident a resident under multiple other categories but this specific category, the EB-5, was created for investors coming to the United States, investing money, foreign direct investment that ‘s creating jobs in the US economy.