The wait is over, and you have finally received your US Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”) through the EB-5 program. What happens now? Chances are you’ve spent countless hours researching the EB-5 visa, regional centers, projects, attorneys, etc. However, do you know what your rights, obligations, and responsibilities are as a newly arrived Permanent Resident?
Firstly, an approved EB-5 visa entitles you to a two-year conditional Green Card. A conditional Green Card is exactly what it sounds like. There are certain conditions that must be met before you receive a “full-fledged” and renewable Permanent Resident Card. At the conclusion of two-years, you will need to have an attorney file for you, form I-829, Removal of Conditions. Provided you show that your EB-5 investment has created the requisite number of jobs among other factors, you will be issued a Permanent Resident Card, valid for ten years. In the future, you need only apply for renewal of your card before it expires.
As a legal permanent resident, you are entitled to many of the same privileges as United States citizens. You may live, work, or travel anywhere in the United States. You and your children can attend school and qualify for in-state tuition breaks. However, you may not vote in elections, or make any claims of US citizenship.
One question many immigration attorneys receive is whether legal permanent residents can spend a significant amount of time outside the US. The goal of permanent residency is just that – to be a permanent resident of the United States. Any prolonged period outside of the country may be seen as abandonment of your permanent resident status. It is important you remember to make the United States your permanent home. An individual should plan on spending six months and one day out of every twelve months in the United States to maintain your green card.
After maintaining permanent residency for a period of five years, you may be eligible to apply for US citizenship. Benefits of US citizenship include, the right to vote, obtain a federal job, sponsor family members for residency, and travel with a US passport.
For more information on the EB-5 visa program, or any other US immigration matters, please contact our office.