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Family Relationships and the EB-5 Investment Visa

Family Relationships and the EB-5 Investment Visa

The EB-5 program is a well-established and popular choice for high net worth individuals who wish to make an investment into a pre-approved US business in order to receive a green card. Those who invest will receive a conditional green card for an initial two year period, before becoming eligible to remove their status and re-apply for permanent US residency.

The EB-5 program is a well-established and popular choice for high net worth individuals who wish to make an investment into a pre-approved US business in order to receive a green card. Those who invest will receive a conditional green card for an initial two year period, before becoming eligible to remove their status and re-apply for permanent US residency.

Aside from moving to the US with immediate family members, there are many benefits for non-US nationals to take advantage of through the EB-5 program; the potential to continually manage their own business interests or seek employment, the perks of sending their children to school or college at the same rates at US citizens.

Rules and parameters

So what do the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) mean by “˜immediate family’? There are certain rules and parameters for immediate family members to qualify them for accompanying an investor to the USA and being eligible for a conditional green card, with a view to eventually becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Spouses

Spouses are permitted by law to reside in the United States with an EB-5 investor, or alternatively to meet them out there at a later date. The investor and their husband or wife must have been married at the time they originally applied for admission through EB-5, or alternatively before the end of the two year period of conditional residency, when an investor is then eligible to alter their status to permanent residency.

This will mean that the spouse is deemed as a “˜derivative beneficiary’, or they are entitled to the same benefits and priorities as the investor themselves.

Spouse exemptions

“˜Common-law’ marriages or “˜informal marriages’ are not recognised as legitimate for the purposes of the EB-5 program, meaning that a spouse of an investor in a Common-law wedlock scenario may not qualify as a derivative beneficiary.

Children

Both children and step-children of the investor – provided they are under the age of twenty one and unmarried at the time of application – are able to accompany them to the USA and gain a conditional green card as dependents: in order to do this, the investor must establish a legitimate parental or step-parental hereditary tie to them in the initial application process.

Complying with these requirements is very important for the purposes of an EB-5 application; if ignored, this can in extreme circumstances lead to the separation of a child from the investor or their spouse for a period of time whilst alternative immigration options are considered for family reunification purposes.

Marriage of children

If, for example, an investor’s child reaches the age of 21 and gets married prior to gaining conditional residency in the US, the son or daughter may not qualify to accompany their parent to the US as a dependent. Very occasionally in these instances, they may receive support from the Child Status Protection Act who can validate their age as being less than twenty one years.

{mosbanner right}In some cases a child who has turned twenty one may marry whilst their investor parent or stepparent is within the two year conditional residency period: if their investor parent and spouse then divorce whilst within this period, both the spouse and child may still be eligible to remove their conditional status to achieve permanency in the US by being included in a specific petition, either alongside the investor, or separately. Remaining in the USA may not be in the spouse or child’s control however, and they will then become involved in removal proceedings, meaning they may be required to depart the country.

Death

If under some sad circumstance an investor holding a conditional green card passes away, the dependents – spouse and children holding the same status – are still eligible to seek removal of their conditional status for permanency through proof that conditions have been met, in terms of employment and the full amount being invested: this evidence would be along the same vein as that which the investor would need to produce in order to file for permanent status.

About the Author: Immigration into America provide bespoke solutions for those planning their move to the US. We will organise everything from selecting which visa category is right for you and providing US tax planning, to introducing you to a US franchise which meets your requirements.