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EB-5 Question of the Week: What are the costs of an EB-5 visa?

Foreign nationals and their dependents can obtain lawful permanent resident status in the United States with an investment of $800,000 by virtue of participating in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. While many other citizenship by investment or residency by investment schemes have previous professional experience, language proficiency, and educational background requirements, the EB-5 program remains one of the most flexible immigration schemes. The EB-5 program merely requires that a foreign national invest $800,000 in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. with funds that have originated from lawful sources. With this investment, a minimum of ten full-time jobs for U.S. persons must be created. The requirements of the program can be easily met by investing in a government pre-approved project in the U.S. that is sponsored by a reputable and experienced company (i.e., EB-5 regional center) designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Apart from the $800,000 investment, the remaining EB-5 costs include (1) government filing fees, (2) consulting and legal fees, and (3) administrative fees. While the capital contribution is returned to the investor after the completion of the investment cycle which is approximately five years, the remaining costs are non-refundable.

Government Filing Fees

The government filing fees are posted on the USCIS website. The first stage in the EB-5 process is submitting Form I-526E (Immigrant Petition by Regional Center Investor) to USCIS. The current filing fee for Form I-526E is $3,675. Upon approval of an I-526E petition, an investor must either (1) apply for adjustment of status by filing Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), if the investor is inside the U.S. at the time of I-526E approval, or (2) apply to receive an immigrant visa through consular processing, if the investor is abroad. The current filing fee for Form I-485 (along with biometric fees) is $1,225 for applicants over the age of 14 and either $750 or $1,140 for applicants under the age of 14 (depending on whether they are applying with a parent). Upon the successful completion of stage two, the investor and qualifying dependents will receive their conditional Green Cards. 90 days prior to the expiry of their conditional Green Cards, the investor and dependents must apply to receive their permanent Green Cards by filing Form I-829 (Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status). The current filing fee for Form I-829 is $3,750 along with an $85 biometric fee for each applicant. USCIS has proposed to increase the filing fees to facilitate the hiring of more staff and reduce backlog in case processing. For more information on the price increase, read our blog here.

Consulting and Legal Fees

Working with an experienced EB-5 consultant and attorney of record is key to a successful EB-5 application given their know-how and connections within the industry to keep their client up-to-date with all recent developments in the EB-5 industry. A seasoned EB-5 consultant acts as a single point of contact between the investor, the attorney of record, and the regional center. Consultants will guide the investor throughout the application process, starting from collating the source of funds documents to choosing the right project and finally in overseeing the submission of the application and all supporting documentation to USCIS. The consulting and legal fees range between $18,000 to $25,000 for the entire EB-5 process, which includes (1) initial consultation and review of documents for the purpose of pre-qualification, (2) drafting source of funds declaration and filling out all required forms including Form I-526E and submission of the same to USCIS, (3) responding to any queries from USCIS such as a Request for Further Evidence (RFE), (4) preparing DS-260 for consular processing or Form I-485 for adjustment of status, and (5) preparing and submitting Form I-829 for removal of conditions to USCIS. The fees are paid in various stages over the course of the EB-5 process.

Administrative Fee

Investors must also pay an administrative fee of $65,000 to $80,000 depending on the project of their choice. The administrative fee must be transferred to the regional center escrow account along with the capital contribution of $800,000.

With over ten years of experience in the EB-5 industry, our team of U.S. licensed lawyers and professionals at The American Legal Center are laser focused on assisting families in obtaining and maintaining their permanent resident status in the United States through the EB-5 program. We are ready to assist you and your family with your migration journey to the United States. If you are interested in finding out more about the EB-5 program, contact our team today for a free consultation.

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