20 FAQ’s – EB5 Visa for H1B Visa Holders

faqs eb5 visa h1b f1 visa

On a Friday night, you meet with friends for a drink and dinner. You start talking about EB3, EB2 and never moving Priority Date. One of your friends casually mentions how he ran into an H1B Visa holder applying for Green Card via EB5 Visa.

You have probably heard about EB5 for H1B Visa. But, when you hear from someone in your circle of trust, you would be naturally curious.  So, you come home and start searching for details about EB5 for H1B Visa holders and possibly get the contact info of the friend filing EB5 from H1B.

Believe it or not. Such discussion is happening among the H-1B folders these days.

Let’s take a step back.

You have been working in the U.S. for the past 10 to 15 years and your spouse have been working for the last few years on H4 EAD. So, you wanted to learn more about the process, processing time, investment amount, the waiting time, and risks associated with the investment.

Three frequently asked questions by the H1B Visa holder exploring Green card via EB5 Investment Visa:

  1. What is the minimum investment amount?
  2. Processing Time for EB5 Visa for H1B Visa holders?
  3. Is it possible to lose the money (risks involved with the investment)?

Let’s explore more and dig deeper into the above three questions.

EB5 Minimum Investment Amount

Note Minimum investment amount is changing to $900,000 form Nov 21, 2019.

Once you have learned about $500,000 as the minimum investment amount, you would tend to figure out if you can afford that.  Then comes the following set of questions

  1. Can I use the money from my 401k?
  2. Can I refinance my home and take cash out?
  3. What about stock options from my company?
  4. What about my wife’s 401k?

When you add it all together and if you are running short on cash? You have more questions.

  1. Can I bring money from India?
  2. I have an apartment in Bangalore, can I sell that and transfer the money?
  3. Is it possible to borrow money for the remaining investment amount?
  4. Can the entire EB5 investment money be a gift from parents?

In short, the answer is Yes to all the above questions.

Sweet Deal!

It looks like you can sufficient funds for EB5 Visa.

Hold one for a minute! Don’t get too excited yet.

If you round-up all the money and it adds up to $500,000, and you are ready to invest in an EB5 Project. You want to move as fast as you can before retrogression or minimum investment amount goes up.

Then, you would also learn about additional costs associated with the EB5 investment process. And you hit the breaks!

Attorney Fee.

Project Administration fee.

So, the total can add up to $575,00.

Now, you have to find an additional $75,000 in Fees.

While you find this out, you are hit with a new question – Are you an Accredited Investor?

I will get defining an Accredited Investor in another article.

As you can see, this is part and parcel of your learning process for EB5 Visa for H1B Visa holder.

As a side note, New Rule is published Rule Making process from USCIS to increase the investment amount from $500,000 to $900,000 for TEA Qualified projects.

EB5 Visa Processing Time

Second Question: “When can I get the Green Card my myself and the family?”.

For you to know the processing time for EB5, you need to learn about the EB5 Visa Steps Stages and Process.

Once you get yourself familiar with the following terms:

  • I-526
  • I-485 (or Consular Processing) < This applies to EB1, EB2, EB2 and pretty much all Green Card Process
  • I-829

You can accurately calculate the processing time.

As of today, you a typical EB5 Project, you can expect to get the Conditional Green Card and EAD/AP in 2 to 3 years from now (2018). For those with Priority Date for EB2, EB3 after 2011, this sounds like a Sweet Deal.

Well, it’s much better than waiting for the unknown period and with the potential removal of H4 EAD. But, that takes us to the next question – Are you ready to risk $575,000?

Is the EB5 Investment Safe?

According to USCIS, there should be no guarantees to your investment.

In other words, the money should be at risk.

You: “So, you are telling me that I can lose $575,000”.

Yes, that’s what – At-Risk Means!

You: “Ok! Now, I have to step back and think for a second. But, would I get any interest in the Investment like 5 to 6%?”.

For most Regional Center EB5 Projects, it’s highly unlikely to get a 5% interest rate. Maybe 1%.

Pay close attention to the word “Maybe.”

There may be EB5 projects that provide higher returns as interest. But at what cost? Why are they providing higher yields and why other projects are not doing the same? That’s part of the EB5 due diligence analysis you have to do as an; you have to pay attention.

You: “Let me summarize this. I have to muster up $575,000, then invest in a project that I don’t any control over. I may get that money back, and there’s less than a one percent interest rate. Would I at least get a guarantee on the Green Card?”.

Well, not exactly. You have to pray for the EB5 Project, where the money is invested will be a successful one.

And every EB5 Investor is taking that risk!

The Return on Investment (ROI) on your EB5 investment is not the interest rate, but the U.S. Green Card and opportunities that come with U.S. Permanent Residency.

Are you willing to feel stuck at the same job under H1B Visa for an unknown period or take the risk to get the Freedom to move your Career on Fast Track?

The decision entirely depends on the following:

  • Your financial situation
  • Risk-taking
  • Visa situation
  • Family Needs
  • Risk-taking potential.

EB5 may not be for everyone, but for the few, it may be the right option.

Let me get back to the questions:

  1. How to find a safe EB5 Project?
  2. When will I get the money back?
  3. When will they pay the interest on the investment?
  4. Do all the projects for EB5 pay so little as interest?

Then there are some typical questions specific to H1B Visa Holders:

  1. Once I-526 is filed, can I quit my job on H1B Visa?
  2. When will I get the EAD/AP?
  3. What if the priority date is current while I-526 is pending?
  4. What is the approval chance for I-526?
  5. I don’t have 1 Million in net worth, can I qualify for EB5?

EB5 for H1B Visa – FAQ’s

To sum it up, here is the list of questions about EB5 for H1B Visa Holders with short answers.

Please, talk to a qualified attorney to understand the intricate details on how these things work. Be careful who you choose to work with.

  1. What is the minimum investment amount?
  2. Processing Time for EB5 Visa for H1B Visa holders?
  3. Is it possible to lose the money (risks involved with the investment)?
  4. Can I use the money from my 401k?
  5. Can I refinance my home and take cash out?
  6. What about stock options from my company?
  7. What about my wife’s 401k?
  8. Can I bring money from India for EB5 for H1B?
  9. I have an apartment in Bangalore, can I sell that and transfer the money?
  10. Is it possible to borrow money for the remaining investment amount?
  11. Can the entire EB5 investment money be a gift from parents?
  12. How to find a safe EB5 Project?
  13. When will I get the money back?
  14. When will they pay the interest on the investment?
  15. Do all the projects for EB5 pay so little as interest?
  16. Once I-526 is filed, can I quit my job on H1B Visa?
  17. When will I get the EAD?
  18. What if the priority date becomes current while I-526 is pending?
  19. What is the approval chance for I-526?
  20. I don’t have 1 Million in net worth, can I qualify for EB5?
  21. What does conditional green card mean?

You can find answers to these questions in this EB5 Visa 101 Webinar. You can watch the session on-demand.

As you can see, there’s a ton of questions you would have once you start digging into EB5 for H1B Visa.

That’s why I created this site to answer them from an Investor point of view.

There’s a difference between someone exploring EB5 Visa and going through the process and committing to the investment. I have seen people thinking about it for years, and others pull the plug after visiting a project.

Now, with pending investment increase, there’s a rush of applicants trying to decide on a project to invest.

EB5 Visa Series

  1. EB5 Visa Process for US Green Card – I-526, I-485, and I-829
  2. Glossary of EB5 Visa Terms
  3. 20 FAQ’s About EB5 Visa for H1B Visa Holders
  4. Source fo EB5 Visa Funds for H1B & H4 Visa Holders
  5. Can $500,000 Investment be Any Type of EB5 Projects?
  6. EB5 Investment – $900,000 or 1.8 Million
  7. EB5 Visa Investments: Direct, Direct Pooled vs Regional Center
  8. EB5 Visa – I526 Denied Due to Source of Funds – Example 
  9. 8.4 Years for EB5 India vs 50 Years for EB2/EB3 India

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