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How to Transition from F1 visa to EB5 greencard.

Are you an international student studying in the United States on an F1 visa? Are you interested in staying in the US after graduation and obtaining a green card? If so, you may be wondering how to transition from your F1 visa to an EB5 greencard.  D&A Law Firm would like to discuss the steps you need to take to make this transition and achieve your goal of permanent residency in the US. You can also get in contact with us for a free consultation.

Understanding the F1 Visa and EB5 Greencard

Before we dive into the transition process, let's first understand what an F1 visa and an EB5 greencard are.

F1 Visa

An F1 visa is a non-immigrant student visa that allows international students to study in the US. It is typically granted for the duration of a student's academic program and allows for limited employment opportunities, such as on-campus jobs or internships related to the student's field of study.

EB5 Greencard

An EB5 greencard is an employment-based immigrant visa that grants permanent residency to foreign investors who invest a minimum of $800,000 to $1,100,000 in a US business and create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers.

Steps to Transition from F1 Visa to EB5 Greencard

Now that we have a basic understanding of the F1 visa and EB5 greencard, let's discuss the steps you need to take to transition from one to the other.

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

The first step in transitioning from an F1 visa to an EB5 greencard is to determine if you are eligible for the EB5 program. To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have a minimum net worth of $1.1 million, or a minimum net worth of $800,000 if investing in a targeted employment area (TEA).
  • You must invest a minimum of $800,000 in a new commercial enterprise in the US.
  • Your investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers.
  • You must be in lawful status in the US, which means you must have a valid F1 visa and be maintaining your status.

Step 2: Find an EB5 Regional Center

The next step is to find an EB5 regional center to invest in. A regional center is a designated organization that sponsors EB5 projects and manages the investment process. They are typically located in areas with high unemployment rates and are pre-approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

It is important to thoroughly research and vet potential regional centers before making an investment. Look for a regional center with a good track record of successful EB5 projects and a solid reputation in the industry.

Step 3: Make Your Investment

Once you have found a regional center and have been approved to invest, you can make your investment. As mentioned earlier, the minimum investment amount for the EB5 program is $800,000, and this must be invested in a new commercial enterprise in the US.

The investment must also create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers within two years of the investment. These jobs can be direct, indirect, or induced, and can be created by the new commercial enterprise or by other businesses affiliated with the regional center.

Step 4: File Your EB5 Petition

After making your investment, you can file your EB5 petition with the USCIS. This petition includes Form I-526, which is the Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and supporting documentation to prove your eligibility for the EB5 program.

The USCIS will review your petition and may request additional evidence or clarification before making a decision. If your petition is approved, you will receive a conditional greencard, which is valid for two years.

Step 5: Remove Conditions on Your Greencard

To remove the conditions on your greencard and obtain permanent residency, you must file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions, within 90 days before the expiration of your conditional greencard. This petition must include evidence that you have met all the requirements of the EB5 program, including creating at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers.

If your petition is approved, you will receive a permanent greencard, which is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely.

Benefits of Transitioning from F1 Visa to EB5 Greencard

Transitioning from an F1 visa to an EB5 greencard offers many benefits, including:

  • Permanent residency in the US, which allows you to live and work in the country without any restrictions.
  • The ability to travel freely in and out of the US without worrying about visa restrictions.
  • The opportunity to bring your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 to the US as dependents.
  • The potential for a faster path to citizenship, as EB5 investors can apply for naturalization after five years of permanent residency, compared to the typical requirement of five years of permanent residency for other green card holders.

Conclusion

Transitioning from an F1 visa to an EB5 greencard is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully make the transition and achieve your goal of permanent residency in the US. Remember to consult with an immigration attorney for personalized guidance and to ensure that you meet all the requirements of the EB5 program. With determination and the right resources, you can make your dream of living and working in the US a reality.