Want to Become a U.S. Citizen? Here’s What You Can Do
For immigrants who have put in time as legal permanent residents, but have never taken the final step toward U.S. citizenship, there’s a new option to consider: a special program called “Pathway to Citizenship.” While it doesn’t provide a fast-track route to citizenship for those hoping to avoid the usual requirements and roadblocks that immigrants face along the path to earned citizenship, it does allow those who qualify – and can afford – an accelerated path to U.S. citizenship through an investment in their future.
The new program called the “Immigrant Investor Program,” or I-526 is an updated version of a long-standing federal visa system designed to attract foreign investment and promote job creation in America. But this updated system gives non-citizens who participate a faster path to citizenship than ever before. If you’re looking into emigrating to the U.S., consider whether the benefits of becoming a citizen might be worth your investment in time and money.
Who Qualifies For Immigrant Investor Programs?
There’s just one main requirement: You must invest either $1 million or $500,000 in certain qualified economic activities, depending on which program you choose. The amount may seem like a lot for some immigrants, but acquiring your citizenship by investment can actually pay off in the long run. Those who invest $500,000 can apply for citizenship after only two years. Those who invest $1 million, however, must wait four years before applying to become a citizen, but they’re still saving hundreds of thousands of dollars over what it would normally cost them to do so. You may also qualify if you have at least five full-time employees living legally in the U.S., or you’ve created at least 10 jobs for American citizens after your first investment was approved.
What Kinds Of Investments Are Eligible?
The requirements are designed to make this an attractive program to both immigrant investors and the U.S. government. They offer an expedited path to citizenship, and investors can choose from a wide range of activities in which to invest their money. Among the many options eligible under this program, potential investors could: Invest in a new commercial enterprise that will create or preserve at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers within two years, or Invest in a troubled business that needs capital to stay afloat and add jobs or make an “Angel” investment in exchange for equity in a start-up company (this must be your own money; you cannot borrow from other sources).
You must make at least one active personal investment of $1 million, which is generally considered to be 5 percent of the total cost of creating the enterprise. In return, you’ll receive a conditional permanent residence in the U.S. Conditional permanent residence simply means that you’re authorized to live and work in the country, but only on a temporary basis until USCIS decides whether you’ve met all of your program’s conditions by making required investments or creating jobs for American workers.
The new immigrant investor visa has been called one of the most efficient methods available to help immigrants become citizens by investing in their future while offering investors an unprecedented path to citizenship through investment in job creation and capital preservation. But before you start putting money down on a citizenship application under this new system, there are some important things you need to know.
The new immigrant investor visa has been called one of the most efficient methods available to help immigrants become citizens by investing in their future while offering investors an unprecedented path to citizenship through investment in job creation and capital preservation. But before you start putting money down on a citizenship application under this new system, there are some important things you need to know about how it works, including:
What Happens If The Proposed Investment Fails?
Under the old program (EB-5), if your investment failed you could be deported from the U.S., but under this new system that’s not possible because you’re already living here as a permanent resident with “conditional” status for it’s actually a relatively small investment, considering the benefits you get in return.) These activities include Business Development (defined as investing capital into business ventures within the U.S.), Real Estate Development (projects that will be used to create revenue for at least 10 years), Rural Development (agricultural projects or businesses located in designated rural areas).
The rules can be complicated to determine whether your investment qualifies, so it might help to consult an experienced immigration attorney who knows how this program works. You can also check online for more information about how the process is run so you can invest with confidence. The new immigrant investor visa is an attractive program to both immigrant investors and the U.S. government. They offer an expedited path to American citizenship through investment and investors can choose from a wide range of activities in which to invest their money.