Your visa interview is the last stage of your application. You need to attend this interview at the US Embassy or Consulate in your country. At the interview, you’ll be asked various questions to support your application decision.

The date for your visa will be communicated to you by the embassy. It could take months for your interview date to arrive due to the long processing time of EB-5 visas. You should carry all required documents while going to your interview. Missing one document could result in a visa denial or stalling.

You should get clear details from the embassy on all documents that apply to your petition. Also, you can hire an immigration lawyer to assist to ensure this is not all wasted government fees. The interviewer can ask as many questions as they want. However, visa interviews usually don’t take too much time.

The answers you provide must align with the documents you provide for your application to be approved. Upon approval, you’ll be given a sealed package to submit at your point of entry.


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Investor Regional Centres

You can directly apply as an immigrant investor using the instructions provided above. Alternatively, you can apply via regional centres. These centres are designated by USCIS exclusively for the EB-5 visa program.

The difference is that you won’t be in maximum control of your investment as the regional centre will help you manage your investment. You still need to meet all requirements as with the direct investment.

However, the process is a lot less complicated as it involves indirect job creation. You have to file a different form to invest via a regional centre. 

Applying via a USCIS designated regional centre attracts a filing fee of $20,000 for regional centers with more than 20 investors and $10,000 for those with 20 or fewer investors. 

Medical Examination 

Your EB-5 visa application requires a medical exam to show that you’re in good health. More specifically, it’s to show that you’re free of any communicable disease of public significance. A medical examination is often accompanied by vaccination.

You should only go for a medical examination after your petition is approved. If you’re already in the US, you should submit the medical report along with your adjustment of status. If you’re not in the US, you have to provide the medical report at your visa interview.

Your medical examination must be conducted by a clinic or doctor approved by the US Embassy in your country. The embassy will usually refer you to one. In the US, your medical exam must also be conducted by a USCIS-approved doctor.

You’ll be given a sealed report after your exam. You mustn’t open this seal before submitting it to the USCIS or at your interview. You’ll get information from the embassy on all required vaccinations.

Processing Time

The processing time for the EB-5 visa differs for different countries. Some countries have a low admission cap which could mean higher processing time.

The petition takes approximately 16 months or more to process. Factors affecting this includes number of investors, the investment value, and probability of success.

If you apply via a regional centre, it takes approximately 9 months or more to process. It’ll take a lot longer to process if the USCIS issues a Request For Evidence (RFE). The regional centre might take about 3 months to prepare your petition.

The removal of permanent residency conditions takes approximately 18 months or more.

Application Fees

You have to pay the following application fees for your EB-5 visa application:

Petition filing fee: $3,675

Green Card processing fee (outside the US): $325

Green Card processing fee (inside the US): $1,140 ($750 for applicants under 14 and filing with the application of at least one parent)

Affidavit of Support filing fee: $120 (if required)

Removal of Green Card Conditions (after 2 years): $3,750

Biometric services fee: $85  

All visa application fees are non-refundable. You must pay the associated fee for your application before it can be processed.

What is a Prevailing Wage Determination?

The U.S. employer must pay at least 100% of the "prevailing wage." This is what US workers are usually paid to do the same job. This is known as PERM Certification. 

What is Labor Certification?

Labor certification requires U.S. employers to certify that no U.S. workers meet the minimum qualifications and so hiring the sponsored migrant will not displace US workers from a job. Specifically:

- There are insufficient available, qualified, and willing U.S. workers to fill the position being offered at the prevailing wage
- Hiring a foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers


You’re eligible for the EB5 visa if you can:

- Invest in a new commercial enterprise. New enterprises are enterprises established after November 29, 1990
- Invest in an old commercial enterprise and significantly increase their net worth or workforce. A minimum 40% increase in net worth or employee number is required.
- Invest an at-risk capital of up to $1.8 million. Investment in a targeted employment area requires an at-risk capital of $900,000. Target employment areas (TEA) are areas with at least 150% of the US standard unemployment rate.

The EB5 investor green card visa also requires your investment to create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers and this should be achieved in less than 2 years from your visa approval date.

Qualified US workers include US citizens, green card holders, or any US resident authorized to work. They must get at least 35 working hours per week.

Commercial enterprises you can invest in include:

- Sole proprietorships
- Limited and general partnerships
- Holding companies
- Joint ventures
- Corporations
- Business trust
- Other public or privately owned entities

You cannot invest in a non-commercial activity. Furthermore, your capital must be from a legal source.

You can invest cash, equipment, inventory, or cash equivalents and tangible property.

Application Process

The application process starts with filing a Petition and then either consular based green card application (for those outside the US) or adjustment of status to a green card (for those inside the US on legal status).

First, there is the immigrant petition by alien investor form. This is the main form for applying as a foreign investor. The EB-5 visa is a self-petitioning visa. This makes it different from most other employment-based visas, which require a job offer from a US-based employer. You complete the EB-5 form yourself without the need for an employer sponsoring your visa. You may also hire an attorney or representative to guide you in completing the form and the entire application process.

Ensure that you complete all sections of the form, most importantly, the section about yourself. After completing the form, be sure to send it to the appropriate USCIS office, as indicated in the application.

Then, after the approval of your petition, you will need to file another form, depending on whether you are in or outside the US.

If you are outside the US

If you are outside the US when your petition is approved, you must seek a visa to travel to the US. The process is called consular processing. You will have to make an appointment at a US embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

If you are in the US

If you reside in the US, you will have to file a form to adjust your status. You will use the form to seek status adjustment from nonimmigrant status to immigrant status. 

If your green card application form is approved and you get the EB-5 visa, you’ll be admitted as a "conditional" permanent resident.

Conditional resident status is similar to someone on probation and must prove his worth so the condition to be removed. It implies that you’re only to stay as a permanent resident if you fulfill your employment and investment promises. This is within a minimum of 2 years, as mentioned above. There will be a form to remove conditions attached to your conditional permanent resident status. You can file it within 90 days immediately before the 2-year period elapses. If you’ve fulfilled your promises, USCIS will lift the conditions attached to your permanent residency. The condition removal will lead to full permanent resident status with a green card that lasts for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely.

About the EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 visa is to help boost the US economy. It also aims to encourage the development of rural areas in the United States. This visa program was created in 1990 by the US Congress, with an annual numeric cap of 10,000 visas.

There are 4 different tiers of EB5 visas:

- C5 visa: this tier is for investments outside target areas
- T5 visa: this tier is for investments in areas with a high unemployment rate
- R5 visa: this tier is for Investor Pilot Program participants not engaged in target areas
- I5 visa: this tier is for Investor Pilot Program participants

EB-5 Investor Visa

The EB-5 visa is a fifth-preference employment-based green card for foreign investors with significant funds for investing in a U.S. company. EB-5 investments include a new company or an existing failing company among others. A wide range of investment options meets USCIS conditions for approval, across various fields and industries. Including medical facilities, manufacturing, agriculture, and real estate development, hotels, restaurants, casinos, and stadiums.

What is Labor Certification
What is a Prevailing Wage Determination?
About the EB-5 Visa
Application Process
Application Fees
Processing Time
Medical Exam
Investor Regional Centres