A lot of foreign investors are planning to invest and create jobs and employment in the United Staes. For this reason, it leads the U.S government to create a visa that will help them to enter the country.
The EB-5 visa, also known as the Fifth Priority Workers visa, has been created for foreign citizens with the purpose of creating jobs and employment positions in the U.S as well as investing in the country’s economy. Unlike with other types of visas, this does not require a U.S employer to process and file a petition for the foreign immigrant.
With the EB-5 visa, a foreign citizen will be allowed to get a U.S Green Card by investing and creating jobs in the U.S economy. The required amount for the investment is between $500,000 and $1 million that aims to create at least ten jobs either for U.S citizens or for foreign immigrants. It actually raises for a distinction between the general U.S economy and target areas mainly the rural places, wherein has a high trend of unemployment in the country.
Based on these target areas, there are different corresponding types of EB-5 visas:
- C-5 visa for investors who create jobs outside of target areas
- T-5 visa for investors who create jobs in targeted rural or high unemployment areas
- R-5 visa for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program, not in a target area
- I-5 visa for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program in a targeted area
In this article, we will look into the overview of the T-5 visa- what it is, the requirements needed for it, the process of application and other relevant information.
What is a T-5 visa?
Foreign citizens who have that plenty of wealth and want to live in the U.S for investing in the country’s economy, the T-5 visa is for them. This visa will not only allow the citizen to enter the U.S but also to gain permanent status as a resident in the country.
As a return of the investment, the T-5 visa investor will be permissible to live and work in the U.S. When the conditions are fulfilled by the investor after few years, they can continue to apply for naturalization and attain a US citizenship. Being entitled to the T-5 visa, a citizen must respect all U.S laws and regulations, including tax filing.
The T-5 is considered to be part of the EB-5 visas for investors wherein the amount of issued visas per year is limited, With this limitation, the issued visas each year would be less than 3,00 T-5 visas. This makes the T-5 visa quite that hard to be obtained by the investors.
What Are the T-5 Visa Requirements?
In order for foreign investors to qualify for a T-5 visa, they must fulfill the specified requirements as below:
1st Requirement :
-> In the T-5 category, an investor must invest their funds in what is so-called Targeted Employment Area (TEA) places wherein there is high unemployment status. The investor cannot invest in a general area in which unemployment is on normal levels of employment. he must collaborate with the USCIS to confirm which areas considered to be TEA.
-> Within the TEA area, the investor must invest in a commercial enterprise established on or before the 29th of November, 1990. There are two forms which the investment can be made:
- By buying an existing enterprise and restructuring it into a new commercial enterprise
- By investing to expand an existing enterprise and increasing its net worth by 40% or increase its employment
-> The investment’s goal is to create at least ten new jobs within the TEA area. These jobs must be permanent and full time which can be either direct or indirect jobs.
Direct jobs are those that are created by the investor within the commercial enterprise where he has invested in. On the other hand, indirect jobs are those that still have come as a result of the investment in the commercial enterprise, however, the investor hired work for other companies. These can be jobs in the supply chain of the commercial enterprise.
-> The last requirement is the amount of investment. In the fact that the T-5 visa is for TEA areas, the minimum investment is $500,000 in which the investment must be raised from the investor’s own money and assets.
How to Apply for a T-5 Visa?
If an investor can pass the criteria for the T-5 visa, then he can start to apply for it. The application procedure is divided into two parts:
- Filing a petition which later approved from the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Applying for the T-5 immigrant visa
Filing the Petition
– Before an investor can apply for the T-5 visa, he must confirm his eligibility with the U.S authorities ‘USCIS ‘ which is the organization in charge of this type of visa. To comply with this requirement, a petition must be filed by the investor by sending Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur.
Dissimilar from other visa types application procedures, the investor can file the petition on their own and not needing a US Employer to do it.
Once the petition has been filed, the USCIS will review it and inform the investor if he has been approved or denied. If the petition has been approved, this will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) who will handle the application from that point until the ongoing process.
The NVC will assign a case number and invoice ID to the investor and send him a package with the instructions and forms on the application procedure of the T-5 visa. The package will only be sent to when the priority date becomes current and is allowed to apply. If the priority date is not current, then the investor will have to wait and will apply next.
Applying for the T-5 Visa
When the priority date is current and the investor has already received the instructions from the NVC, he can then apply for the T-5 visa at his country’s U.S Embassy or Consulate. The steps below must be followed:
- Applying online by submitting Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application. The form will serve as the application which can be accessed through the case number. When the online application is done, a confirmation page and code will be sent later by NVC.
- Completing and getting a medical examination and necessary vaccines which are outlined in the instructions from the NVC. The medical examination documents must be signed by a licensed doctor.
- Compiling the supporting documents which will be sent to the NVC. The file must include the following:
- The passport which must be valid for more than 6 months after intended departure to the U.S
- Investment plans
- Bank statements proving that the investors have the necessary amounts of money or funds
- An approved petition
- DS-260 confirmation page
- Your signed medical and vaccine documents
- 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 it is better to follow their instructions carefully.
- Attending the visa interview which is scheduled by the NVC at the U.S Embassy of the foreign investor after the organization reviewed all the supporting documents.
- Receiving the immigration package and travel to the U.S. The NVC will send this package after the visa has been approved and must not be opened. The applicant must travel with it to the U.S and an immigration official at the U.S port of entry will be the only one to open it and determine whether the applicant is allowed to enter the country.
What Are the T-5 Visa Fees?
There are several fees which an investor is responsible to pay while he is applying for the T-5 visa. The amounts may vary and are being decided by the USCIS and the U.S Embassy in his country where he is applying for the visa. generally, the following fees shall be paid:
- USCIS Form I-526 petition filing fee
- Form DS-260 processing fee
- Medical examination fees
- Fees to obtain supporting documents
- Any translation fees from foreign language to English
The application will not be processed unless the investor will pay the fees before the indicated deadlines set by USCIS, NVC, and the U.S Embassy where he had applied.
How Long Is the T-5 Visa Processing Time?
Just like other types of visas, there is a limit for how many T-5 visas can be issued in a year. With this, the processing time is quite that long to wait. The average time can range from months to years for the visa to processed and approved. Currently, there are different factors to affect the time but the main condition is when the application has been submitted and how many applications preceding this.
If the application is included in the quota of the year, then it will be processed immediately. However, if the application placed after the maximum number of visas that will be issued, then this will be set in the waiting list and will be rescheduled for processing in the next year.
How to Become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) With a T-5 Visa?
Once the investor had his approved T-5 visa, the next step is to be a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the U.S or is also known as getting the Green Card. In changing the status from immigrant visa to LPR, the investor must first have an approved petition from the USCIS and the visa. Later on, the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status must be filed to USCIS. The form will be processed and once it has been approved, the investor will be able to get his Green Card after a few weeks.
Can I Bring My Family to the U.S with a T-5 visa?
If the investor has already an approved T-5 visa, he then can move and can bring his family to live in the U.S. The family members are only limited to the spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old and they are only the ones who will be allowed to apply for a visa.
When the spouse and children already have their approved visas, they are allowed to move to the U.S as well. The children can attend school while the spouse can work in the country through applying for Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Moreover, the spouse will be allowed to work in the commercial enterprise where the investor has funding in or find a preferred job to the other investing companies.
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