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US C5 Immigrant Visa for Investors

The C-5 visa is an EB-5 visa that allows an investor to live and work in the U.S.

There are a lot of citizens coming from foreign countries who aim to create jobs gain positions of employment in the United States and invest in the country’s economy. For this reason, the EB-5 visa, also known as The Fifth Priority Workers visa was created for them. Unlike other types of visas, this does not require a petition from a U.S. employer to file a petition for the foreign immigrant to go to the U.S.


Through the EB-5 visa, the foreign citizen will be allowed to obtain a U.S Green Card by investments and job employment in the U.S economy. The requirement for the investment must be between $500,000 and $1 million and can give at least 10 jobs to U.S. citizens or foreign immigrants. It builds a contrast between the general U.S economy and target areas which are rural sites wherein there is a high unemployment rate in the country.


Along with these target areas are different types of EB-5 visas as below:



In this article, we will walk through the overview of the C5 visa what it is, the requirements needed for it, how to apply for this visa, and other relevant information.


What is the C-5 visa?


The C-5 visa is one of the parts of the EB-5 investor’s visa. This type of visa allows an investor, who has business goals, to live and work in the U.S. If an individual invests $1 million in the US economy and increases the rate of employment in the company that has received the investment, then they will be eligible to get a Green Card.


The C-5 visa permits a stay in the U.S. wherein after some time, they can also apply for naturalization and apply for U.S. citizenship. In addition, investors should comply with all U.S. laws and must pay for the corresponding taxes. The visa allows also foreign citizens to travel in and out of the U.S. for short periods and visit other countries.


It is quite hard to get the C-5 visa even if all the requirements have been compiled since the EB-5 investor’s visas have a limitation of 10,00 released visas only on an annual basis. The reason for this is that the visas are being processed in chronological order, so it will be based on the time the certain application was received. If the quota for a year has been filled already, then the next application will be placed on the waiting list until such time the processing will resume.


What Are the Requirements for the C-5 Visa?


Similarly to other types of visas, to be qualified for a C-5 visa, several requirements must be complied with by the applicant. Below are the following:


  •  Invests outside target areas wherein in these areas unemployment and poverty are high. Hence, the investor must proceed with a general investment with a normal unemployment level;
  • Invests in a new commercial enterprise established on or before the 29th day of November 1990. The investment can be either in the form of buying the business and restructuring it into a new commercial enterprise or by investing to expand an existing business and increasing either its number of employees or its net worth by 40%;
  • Increases employment in the company by 10 people in the next two years. The given jobs must be permanent and full-time. The employment can either be direct or indirect. If it is on direct status, the job increase is within the company wherein the investment has been made. On the other hand, employment is indirect if still, the increase in jobs is still a result of the investment, but this time, the jobs are coming from another company. If in case the C-5 investor puts their investment in a business that is close to bankruptcy, the requirement is to be able to maintain the existing jobs in that specific company.
  • Amount of money that will be invested – the applicant must invest a minimum of $1 million. The money shall not be borrowed, so, must come from the applicant’s assets.


How to Apply for C-5 Visa?


 If applicants are done fulfilling all the criteria for the C-5 visa, then they can proceed in applying. The procedure of application for the C-5 visa is being divided into two parts:


  • Getting an approved petition from the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  • Applying for the C-5 immigrant visa


Filling the Petition


Applicants must confirm first their eligibility with the U.S. authorities before they will be allowed to apply for the C-5 visa. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the organization that will be the charge of this type of visa. The petition must be done by filing Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.


Unlike other employment visa types, the petition can be filed by the applicant himself and thus would not require a U.S. employer to do the process instead. Once the petition has been passed over to the USCIS, they will evaluate it and later on, will inform the applicant whether the application is approved or denied. If the petition is approved, it will then be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) which will be the last to handle for the onward process.


Typically, the NVC will assign a case number and an invoice number to the applicant and will then send you a package that inside are the instructions and relevant forms about how to apply for the C-5 visa. If an applicant is still not on its priority date, then he or she will wait and apply thereafter.


Applying for the C-5 Visa


When the priority date of the applicant is current and has received already instructions from NVC, then they can perform the application for the C-5 visa at the U.S Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence. Below are the steps that they must follow:


  • Applying online by submitting Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application. The form serves as the application and they can access it through their case number. When they are done, they will get a confirmation page and code which they will later send to the NVC.
  • Completing a medical examination and get the necessary vaccines that are outlined in their instructions from the NVC. Their medical examination documents must be signed by a licensed doctor.
  • Compiling their supporting documents and sending them to the NVC. Their file must include:
    • A passport which must be valid for more than 6 months after the intended departure to the U.S
    • Investment plans
    • Bank statements proving that they have the necessary amounts of money
    • The approved petition
    •  DS-260 confirmation page
    •  Medical and vaccine documents being signed
    • Two photographs meeting the Photo Requirements
    • Academic achievements (diplomas and certificates)
    • CV or resume
    • Court and Criminal records
    • Depending on the case, the NVC might require other supporting documents, so they must follow their instructions carefully.
  • Attending the visa interview which is scheduled by the NVC at their U.S Embassy after they have reviewed your supporting documents.
  • Receiving their immigration package and travel to the U.S. The NVC will send them this package after their visa has been approved and they must not open it. They must travel with it to the U.S and an immigration official at the U.S. port of entry will open it and determine whether they are allowed to enter the country.


What are the C-5 visa fees?


Along with the application for the C-5 visa, are the fees that applicants should pay. The amount of fees may vary and are decided by USCIS as well as the U.S Embassy in the country they are applying from. The list of fees is as follows:


  • USCIS Form I-526 petition filing fee
  • Form DS-260 processing fee
  • Medical examination fees
  • Fees to obtain supporting documents
  • Any translation fees from a foreign language to English


The application will not be processed if the above fees will not be paid before the deadlines specified by USCIS, NVC, and the U.S. Embassy where the applicant is applying.


How Long Is the C-5 Visa Processing Time?


In the fact that investor visas have a cap on the number of visas being issued per year, the C-5 visa processing time can be that long. The average processing times for the C-5 visa can vary and range from a few months to a few years. This time frame depends on when the application was submitted to the USCIS as well as how many applications were before that specific application.


How to Become a Lawful Permanent Resident After Getting the C-5 Visa?


The next step for an applicant after having gotten their approved C-5 visa is to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the U.S. which is usually known as getting the Green Card. For them to change their status from their immigrant visa to LPR, they must first have an approved petition from USCIS and the visa, as well as living in the U.S.


After which, they must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to USCIS. This form will be processed and once approved they will be eligible to get their Green Card in the mail after a few weeks.


Can I Bring My Family With a C-5 Visa?


Indeed! After an applicant has been approved for the C-5 visa, they can also have their family join them in the U.S. The U.S. authorities recognize their family- the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. They must apply each for the derivative visas and will be allowed to join you after processing.


With the C-5 visa, their children are also permitted to live and go to an educational institution in the U.S., while their spouse can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and be allowed to work in the U.S. The spouse can choose to work with them in their commercial enterprise or investment or find a different job.


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