United States immigration law distinguishes between "nonimmigrant" visas (intended for temporary immigration) and "immigrant" visas (intended for permanent residency). Most "nonimmigrant" visas are renewable if the conditions that allowed them to obtain them in the first place still persist, which leads in fact to the possibility of residing in the United States for an unlimited period of time; however, immigrant visas are established as permanent and are intended for people wishing to move permanently to the United States, the so-called green cards. Most of the visas that are referred to as "moving" to the USA are really considered non-immigrants, such as B visas, E visas or others.
Individuals who intend to reside indefinitely in the United States and work freely in any field, must obtain a "Permanent Resident Card" commonly known as "Green Card".
A green card can be obtained through different classification categories that reflect the interest that the United States has to accommodate the applicant; this means that the higher categories will require important professional profiles, but it will also facilitate the process of the foreign individual to enter the United States.
The EB-5 Visa is for entrepreneurs and investors who wish to invest at least $800,000 or $1,050,000 in a business that will create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. residents. The amount of investment required depends on the geographical area in which the jobs will be created. It is important to note that the investment can also be a passive one. Particularly, instead of creating a business from scratch, it is possible to invest in a specific project already started and certified for the EB-5 program. Such projects are created and sponsored by so-called Regional Centers. These passive investments, however, may generate a profit through an interest that is recognized by the EB-5 project in which the capital investment is disbursed.
Once the green card is obtained, it will be possible, after the appropriate period, to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Spouse and unmarried children under 21 can apply for permanent residence by using the applicant’s petition. Obviously, once the green card is obtained, family members will also be able, after the appropriate period, to apply for U.S. citizenship.
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