Debunking the Myth: UAE Residents Not Given Priority for US EB-5 Green Cards

Do UAE Residents or GCC Residents get priority under the US EB-5 Program?

No, UAE or GCC residents do not receive any priority or benefit over other applicants in the US EB-5 Program based on their residency status. The allocation of green cards is determined based on an applicant’s country of birth, not their nationality or residence. The US government allocates 10,000 green cards annually under the EB-5 Programme with a seven per cent cap on each country. The National Visa Center (NVC), which processes US visa petitions, allocates EB-5 visas based on an applicant’s place of birth. Therefore, obtaining residency in a third country does not provide priority to an individual who has applied for a US Green Card through the US EB-5 Program, including those who hold a UAE or GCC residency.

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Could you clarify if the US Government offers a Golden Visa Program?

No, the US Government does not offer a Golden Visa program. The term “US Golden Visa” is a marketing term used outside of the US to attract investors. The official investment immigration program in the US is called the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which is often referenced by industry experts. The program grants successful investors a US Green Card, which is a direct permanent residency with the same rights and benefits as any other green card holder in the US. It is important to note that there are significant technical and functional differences between the US Green Card and the temporary residency status provided by other countries’ Golden Visa programs.

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Can you explain what is the difference between the H-1B visa and the EB-5 visa?

Yes. The H-1B visa and the EB-5 visa are two different types of visas available for foreign nationals who wish to work or invest in the US.

The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa that allows US employers to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations. This visa is typically sought after by skilled workers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and who have specific skills that are in demand in the US. The H-1B visa is valid for up to three years, with the possibility of extensions for up to six years.

On the other hand, the EB-5 visa is an immigrant investor visa that allows foreign nationals to obtain permanent residency in the US by investing a minimum of $900,000 in a qualifying US business. This visa is typically sought after by high-net-worth individuals who are interested in obtaining permanent residency in the US for themselves and their families. The EB-5 visa does not require sponsorship from a US employer, and it does not require a specific job offer. Once approved, EB-5 investors and their families can live and work anywhere in the US without any restrictions.

In summary, the H-1B visa is a temporary work visa while the EB-5 visa is an immigrant investor visa that leads to permanent residency in the US.

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Does the US Government run a US Golden Visa Programme?

No. The US government does not run any Golden Visa program and there is no such official visa category named US Golden Visa. The term US Golden Visa has been used outside of the US as a marketing tool to attract investors. The correct term for the US investment immigration program, and its reference made to by industry experts, is the US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. This term can be searched online to find any official US government correspondence about the option of investing for a US Green Card.

In fact, stating that the US is providing Golden visas is ambiguous and may confuse the general public as there are many significant technical and functional differences between golden visa category of other countries and the US Green Card. Namely Golden Visas provide a temporary residency status in its own immigrant category under the law. However, the US EB-5 program results in direct permanent residency with the same rights and benefits as any other green card holder in the US. pls rephrase the complete question and answer

Is it possible to obtain a US Green Card within a few months?

No, it is not possible to obtain a US Green Card within a few months or even within a year. Despite claims made by some consultants and lawyers in the EB-5 industry, the current processing times taken by US authorities make it impossible to obtain a green card in hand within a short period of time. The EB-5 application must go through multiple departments and agencies such as USCIS, National Visa Center, and local embassies, which takes a significant amount of time.

Although some EB-5 qualifying projects are approved for a National Expedite, which can lead to quicker approvals of the EB-5 petition, the subsequent multistage process remains the same. Investors may get an approval within months, but the actual green card will not be obtained within that time frame. Therefore, it is important for investors to have realistic expectations regarding the timeline for obtaining a US Green Card through the EB-5 program.

How can investors get faster processing for their EB-5 visa applications?

Investors can choose to invest in reserved categories introduced by the US government in March 2022, such as projects in Targeted Employment Areas (TEA), rural, and infrastructure, for which a certain number of visas have been set aside. These investors will be processed separately and are expected to be processed faster than those in the unreserved category.

For investors born in India or China who are currently facing a backlog in the unreserved category, investing in one of these reserved categories will allow them to avoid the backlog and obtain faster processing. USCIS has also announced that they will give “priority” to those who invest in rural projects, although it is too early to determine how fast processing in these categories will be and what “priority” means for rural investors.

Q: Is it possible to enter the US while waiting for EB-5 Green Card approval?

A: Yes, individuals who have applied for a Green Card through the EB-5 Program and are legally in the US can concurrently file an Adjustment of Status to live and work in the US while their EB-5 petition is pending. They can obtain an open employment authorization document and a travel document, allowing them to work for any employer without sponsorship and travel in and out of the US.

Q: Have there been any recent reforms to the US EB-5 Program?

A: The US government passed the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act in March 2022, which introduced several changes to the program. These changes include greater compliance requirements for Regional Centers and projects, guidelines and requirements for foreign consultants, improved protection and security for investors, and increased oversight by government departments. While the reforms are not recent, they have been in effect for over a year.

What are the US government regulations for EB-5 consultants, and how have they changed with the introduction of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of March 2022?

In the past, foreign EB-5 consultants were not regulated by the US government. However, since the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act was passed in March 2022 to protect investors and clean up the industry, the US government has introduced strict compliance requirements for foreign consultants providing EB-5 marketing and immigration services outside of the US.

Under these requirements, foreign consultants must file a form I-956K with USCIS to register in the US government database. The US government will conduct background checks to ensure that consultants do not have any criminal record. Foreign consultants must also provide their foreign trade license or any other certification to ensure they are properly licensed to provide EB-5 services abroad.

Additionally, consultants who hold US Green Card and/or citizenship must be registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Leading EB-5 Regional Centers are ensuring that any foreign consultants they work with follow these compliance guidelines.

It is important for investors to choose a consultant who complies with these regulations to ensure the success of their EB-5 petition and to receive ongoing assistance throughout the EB-5 process.

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Is it important to work with top EB-5 Regional Centers?

Working with top EB-5 Regional Centers is crucial. A Regional Center is a governing body approved by the US government to undertake EB-5 eligible projects, raise funds from foreign investors, and assist them in their project application for the EB-5 program. However, only a few Regional Centers have successfully completed full EB-5 cycles for thousands of investors, ensuring compliance with regulations and maintaining their licensure. As such, it is essential to work with leading Regional Centers that have a wealth of experience, are up-to-date with regulations, and prioritize government compliance. By working with a reputable licensed EB-5 advisory firm, investors can gain access to all the best options in one place.

It is crucial to work with the top Regional Centers in the EB-5 industry when seeking to invest in the United States. A Regional Center is an entity authorized by the US government to sponsor or undertake projects eligible for EB-5 investment. These centers collaborate with US-based projects, raise funds from foreign investors, and assist investors and their advisors with the project aspect of the EB-5 application.

While all Regional Centers are required to be licensed, only a few have enough experience and expertise in the industry, having successfully completed full EB-5 cycles for numerous investors, including the return of funds, and complying with government regulations to maintain their licensure. Preeya Malik, the Managing Director of Step Global, a licensed EB-5 advisory firm in Dubai, emphasizes the importance of choosing a reputable Regional Center.

“As a US licensed lawyer, I have ensured that Step Global is compliant with both UAE and US government regulations as an EB-5 consultancy. Our firm has been fortunate to be the only GCC consultancy with projects from all the top five Regional Centers in the EB-5 industry. This allows us to provide investors from the region with access to the best options available in one place,” she explains.

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