I am currently employed in Singapore and am looking into getting my green card through the EB-5 visa program. Once I get my green card, can it be taken away from me? Is a green card earned through the EB-5 program different from other U.S. green cards? What will I have to do to keep my EB-5 green card?
The EB-5 green card affords the same rights as other green card programs. You have a two-year period on conditional residency; at the end of two years you must remove the conditions. These are that you have invested the required amount in the project, the required jobs have been created, and the entity is still in business. If these conditions are not met, you could lose your status.
Yes, you must maintain your permanent residency or else you can be considered to have "abandoned" your permanent residency. You must actually reside in the United States, pay U.S. taxes, etc. You must also avoid criminal issues that could result in having your green card revoked.
The EB-5 green card is a conditional two-year green card. You will have to file the I-829 within 90 days of your two-year anniversary from the date you were granted your green card to remove conditions on residence and receive a permanent green card. You truly need to intend to maintain permanent residence in the United States, rather than abroad, and maintain ties to the United States, such as filing tax returns as a resident, having a home and family in the United States, a job or business, bank accounts, credit cards, etc. Once you are granted a conditional green card, you will need to apply for a reentry permit, which will allow you to stay outside the United States (if you have a job obligation) for up to two years of a reentry permit validity (or in your case a conditional green card expiration date will be the period a reentry permit will be valid). Maintaining ties to the United States and intent to have permanent residence in the United States, rather than abroad, is still very important even if you have a reentry permit.
Like all other green card programs, the way to preserve your status as the legal permanent resident is to reside in the United States permanently and to not get into trouble with the law that may make you deportable until you obtain your citizenship. The only difference between the EB-5 green card and other EB category green cards is that the initial green card that you will obtain through EB-5 will be a conditional green card that terminates in two years unless you file the I-829 Removal of Conditions application and then get that approved before you can obtain permanent residency with a 10-year valid card. The basis for removing the conditions on EB-5 depends on whether the business in which you invested actually created the requisite number of full-time, permanent jobs. All of this should be explained carefully by your attorney who is helping you, along with the times each processing may take and when certain action should be taken.
If you will depart for longer than six months at a time, get a reentry permit before departure, maintain ties to the United States, and continue paying U.S. taxes on your worldwide income.
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