Business Based Green Card
Depending on your profession and/or skills, you may be able to get a US green card. Unless you have exceptional abilities or your work is of national interest, you must first receive a full-time, permanent job offer from a US employer and the employer must be willing to sponsor you. Employment based green cards are generally made available to individuals who have advanced job skills, higher education or extraordinary abilities.
Green Card though Employment - There are five categories through which to get an employment based green card:Employment First Preference (EB-1): Green Card for Priority Workers
In order to get a green card as a Priority Worker, you must have an extraordinary ability, are an outstanding professor or researcher, or are a multinational executive or manager.Green Card for Persons of Extraordinary Ability
The applicant must establish "extraordinary ability" in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim and said achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required. That is, if you meet all the requirements then you may petition for yourself.Green Card for Outstanding Professor or Researcher
The applicant must establish international recognition for outstanding achievements in a particular academic field. You must have at least 3 years experience in teaching or research in that academic area. You must be entering the United States in order to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or comparable research position at a university or other institution of higher education. No labor certification is required for this classification.Green Card for Multinational Executive or Manager
The applicant must have been employed outside the United States in the 3 years preceding the petition for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation and you must be seeking to enter the United States to continue service to that firm or organization. Your employment must have been outside the United States in a managerial or executive capacity and with the same employer, an affiliate, or a subsidiary of the employer. No labor certification is required for this classification.Employment Second Preference (EB-2): Green Card for Worker With Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability
In order to get a green card as a Worker with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability, you must be a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or a foreign national who has exceptional ability.Green Card for Individuals With Advanced Degrees or Equivalent
The applicant must have a degree beyond a baccalaureate degree or a baccalaureate degree AND at least five years experience.Green Card for Individuals Who are Foreign National With Exceptional Ability
The applicant must show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. Exceptional ability "means a degree of expertise significantly above that ordinarily encountered in the sciences, arts, or business."
A labor certification and a job offer are required for Employment Second Preference category unless the job offer is waived by the USCIS because it is in the nation's interest.Employment Third Preference (EB-3): Green Card for Professional, Skilled Workers or Unskilled Workers
In order to get a green card as a Professional, Skilled Workers or Unskilled Worker, you must qualify as a professional, skilled worker or unskilled worker.Green Card for Professionals
The applicant must show that s/he possesses a U.S. baccalaureate degree or foreign degree equivalent, and that a baccalaureate degree is the normal requirement for entry into the occupation. A labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.Green Card for Skilled Workers
The applicant must show at least 2 years of job experience or training. Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.Green Card for Unskilled Workers or Other Workers
The application must be capable, at the time the petition is filed on his/her behalf, of performing unskilled labor (requiring less than 2 years training or experience) that is not of a temporary or seasonal nature. Labor certification and a permanent, full-time job offer required.Employment Fourth Preference (EB-4): Green Card for Religious and Special Workers
In order to get a green card as a Religious or Special Worker, you must be one of the below:
- Religious Worker
- Iraqi/Afghan Translator
- Iraqis Who Have Assisted the United States
- International Organization Employee
- Armed Forces Member
- Panama Canal Zone Employee
- Retired NATO-6 employee
- Spouses and Children of Deceased NATO-6 employee
The US immigration service has made it possible for certain religious workers to gain their green card based on their religious affiliations. The immigration service created two subcategories of religious workers, namely: ministers and "other religious workers." Minister is an individual who is authorized and trained by a religious denomination to conduct religious duties usually performed by authorized members of its clergy; is not a lay preacher; performs activities with a rational relationship to the religious calling of the minister; and works solely as a minister in the United States. Examples of individuals within the religious organization who may be classified as a minister: priests, rabbis, ministers, monks, officers of the Salvation Army and deacons. "Other religious workers" are individuals who are engaged in and qualified for a religious occupation or vocation but is not considered part of the clergy. Example of "other religious workers": missionaries, religious counselors, religious hospital workers, religious program broadcasters, religious instructors and religious translators. Individuals who work for religious organization in a non-religious capacity do not qualify for a green card based on his/her affiliation with said religious institution. Example of religious employees who do NOT qualify: clerical staff, janitors, fundraiser or singers.Employment Fifth Preference (EB-5): Green Card for Investors
Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), allocates 10,000 "EB-5" immigrant visas per year. That is, certain foreign investors may get a green card or permanent residence if they invest financially in the United States. Unlike the long wait that is common place with many of the other categories used to gain a green card or permanent residency, the investor visa category is rarely completely used up during any given year resulting in said visa being current and immediately available. The process generally takes over a year from the time the application is filed with USCIS to the time the investor visa is actually issued to the foreign investor.Investor Green Card
The basic EB-5 program allows for conditional residency for foreigners who invest $1,000,000.00 in a new commercial enterprise ( established after Nov 29, 1990 or on or before Nov 29, 1990, that is: Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results, or Expanded through the investment so that a 40% increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs ). The monetary requirement is only $500,000.00 if the foreign investor invests in "Targeted Employment Area" (TEA). Of the 10,000 allotted EB-5 investor visas, 3,000 are reserved for foreign investors who invest in (TEAs) while another 3000 investor visas are reserved for foreign investors who invest in commercial enterprises affiliated with Regional Centers. Targeted Employment Area area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.New Commercial Enterprise
Any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:
- A sole proprietorship
- Partnership (whether limited or general)
- Holding company
- Joint venture
- Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned
The commercial enterprise must create or preserve full-time (35 hours/week) employment for at least ten United States citizens or immigrant workers (other than the applicant or his or her immediate family) within the two-year conditional residency period.Regional Center Pilot Program
Section 610 of the Appropriations Act, PL 102-395 established a temporary pilot program that allows for investments that are affiliated with a regional center. USCIS defines a Regional Center as, "any economic unit, public or private, engaged in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment. Regional centers allow for a less restrictive requirement for the job creation requirement wherein jobs may be proven either by direct or indirect employment.Steps for Getting Green Card Through Investment (EB-5)
- Send petition (form I-526) and supporting documents to USCIS.
- If the petition is approved submit application for green card (I-485 or DS-230).
- Attend interview in US or at consulate overseas.
- Once approved, the foreign investor becomes a conditional resident for two years
- If EB-5 requirements are satisfied then file I-829 to remove conditions
- Completed Form I-526
- Filing Fee of $1,500.00
- Evidence that you established a lawful US business or if you invested in a US business that the investment resulted in 40% increase in the value of the business, the number of employees or both, such as:
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Partnership Agreement
- Joint Venture Agreement
- Business Trust Agreement
- Certificate of Authority to do business in the State
- Transfer of the required capital into business
Such evidence may be in the form of stock purchase agreement, investment agreement, financial report, payroll records or documents evidencing substantial change.
- Evidence that the investment capital was obtained lawfully, such as:
- Foreign business registration records
- Last five year business and personal tax returns
- Financial statement for foreign business
- Personal and business bank statements
- Evidence that the investment will create at least ten full-time US jobs, such as:
- Tax records
- Form I-9s
- Business plan showing when employees will be hired w/in 2 years
- Evidence that you will be involved in management or policy making, such as:
- Statement detaining your position and duties
- Designation as corporate officer or board member
- Proof of direct management or policy making activities
- Evidence, if applicable, of Target Employment Area(TEA), such as:
- Letter from state government showing TEA designation.
- Evidence of investment or actively in the process of investing; such as:
- Bank statements
- Promissory note
- Security agreement
- Evidence of borrowing (loan, mortgage etc.)
- Foreign transfer of assets for US business purposes
- Assets purchased for use in US business
Residence based on an EB-5 investor visa is conditional for two years and you must remove the conditions within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of the conditional residency. Once the conditional residence status has been successfully removed you will be issued a permanent green card and become a permanent resident of the United States. Failure to file for removal of condition during the 90-day period will result in USCIS terminating your legal resident status.
You should file for removal of your conditional status on form I-829. The filing fee is currently $3,750.00, which includes the biometrics for the primary applicant. Each accompanying dependent (spouse and/or child) must pay an additional $85.00 fee for the biometrics. Also, write your name and Alien Registration number, if any, at the top of each sheet of paper and indicate the part and number to the item to which the question applies.Documentation and Proof Needed for Removal of Conditional Status of EB-5 Green Card
- Copies of your family members' green card.
- Evidence of commercial enterprise, such as; Federal tax returns.
- Evidence you actually invested or in the process of investing the required amount of capital for the enterprise's location, such as; financial statement, business license, articles of incorporation.
- Evidence that you have sustained the capital requirement throughout the term of your conditional residency, such as; bank statements, invoices, contracts, business licenses; and tax returns or quarterly tax statements.
- Evidence that the enterprise generated employment of at least 10 US workers during the period of conditional residency, such as; I-9s, tax forms, payroll documents etc.
For assistance in getting an Employment Based Green Card or Business Green Card or Investor Green Card contact a New York City Employment Green Card Lawyer at (800) 230-0744, firstname.lastname@example.org or Skype: shanescottlaw.com