Chile Investors for EB-5 VisaChile investors for the EB-5 Visa become U.S. Permanent Residents through investment and job creation. Chile investors for the EB-5 Visa must invest a minimum capital in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that stimulates the US economy. The EB5 investment should generate at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers. Chilean investors who meet the EB5 Program requirements get to live, work, and study permanently in the United States.

Chile EB5 Investors who currently reside in the USA are qualified to file their petitions concurrently. The lack of backlogs in the processing of the EB 5 Visa and the availability of concurrent filings are positive driving factors for the growth of Chilean investors in the EB 5 market. Investors from Chile and their families have the freedom to travel to any location in the US as well as to several other countries without a visa as US Permanent Residents. Children of Chilean investors qualify for lower tuition fees and financial aid for their education in the US as EB 5 Visa dependents.

Table of Contents

What is EB-5 Visa for Chile Investors?

The EB-5 Visa for Chile investors is a direct way to get a US Green Card (Permanent Residence) by making a minimum investment and creating jobs for American citizens. The EB-5 Visa for Chile investors requires investing in a new commercial enterprise (NCE) that generates at least 10 full-time jobs. The EB-5 Conditional Green Card (Permanent Residence) is valid for an initial 2 years and allows investors from Chile and their dependents to live, work, and study in the United States without restrictions.

What are the Benefits of EB-5 Visa for Chilean Investors?

Chilean investors, their spouses, and minor children receive the following benefits from the EB-5 Investor Visa Program.

  • USA Green Card. High-net-worth Chilean investors consider the United States as a top relocation destination because of the absence of wealth taxes, its relative safety compared to Latin America, and the presence of Latino communities, especially in Miami, New York. Dallas, and Houston.
  • Investment opportunities in the US. Chilean investors and businesspeople have the capacity to expand their economic ventures outside of Latin America and participate in the United States’ secure and highly competitive global market.
  • US education. Wealthy Chileans seek to gain better educational and employment opportunities for their children through US Permanent Residency. Here are the benefits of a Green Card for minor children of Chilean investors as EB5 dependents.
    • Study in some of the best institutions in the world without facing restrictions imposed on foreign students.
    • Pay 150% to 300% lower tuition fees as compared to foreign students.
    • Enjoy more funding and scholarship options as compared to foreign students.
    • Study as a day scholar and avoid long separation from family just to obtain a quality education.
    • Explore job opportunities without worrying about issues like work permits, sponsorship, processing delays, expiry of visa, or restrictions on job mobility. 
  • Chilean investors enjoy greater international mobility through the visa-free travel privileges available to US Green Card holders.

What are the Risks of EB-5 Visa for Chilean Investors?

Below are the risks that Chilean investors should take into account when processing an EB-5 Visa. 

  • At-risk investment. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires the EB-5 investment to be “at-risk”. An “at-risk” investment means that the Chilean’s capital is subject to both gains and losses. Getting a U.S. Green Card should be the main focus of EB5 Chilean investors. 
  • Risk on immigration. Permanent Residency does not readily result from simply any kind of investment. The Chilean investor must demonstrate that their investment was made to a new commercial enterprise (NCE) and produce the required 10 jobs throughout their Conditional Residency. 
  • Fraud risk. The Chilean investor should perform due diligence and thoroughly study a potential EB-5 investment. EB-5 Chile investors should engage qualified professionals to carefully assess an EB-5 Project, its developer, and the related third-party entities to avoid fraud.

How Long Does it Take to Process an EB 5 Visa for Chile Investors?

The typical processing time for an initial EB-5 petition for Chilean investors is between 29.5 and 61 months. The Immigration Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-526) is used to initiate the EB-5 process for immigrant investors.

How Long is an EB5 Visa Valid for Chile Investors?

Chile investors and their dependents obtain an initial 2-year Conditional Permanent Residency after getting their EB 5 Visa approval. The Chile investor and their dependents file a petition to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the United States after their 2-year Conditional Residence. 

What are the Requirements for an EB-5 Visa for Chilean Investors?

Chilean investors have to meet the following requirements to get an EB-5 Visa.

  • Investment amount. The EB5 investment must be “at risk” and be any of the following. 
    • A minimum investment of $800,000 USD (CLP 650 M Chilean Peso) in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) project. A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is a region with high unemployment rates or a rural area. 
    • An investment of $1.05 million USD (CLP 854 M Chilean Peso) for a non-TEA project. 
  • Source of funds. Chilean investors must derive their capital from lawful sources and be any of the following.
    • Business profits
    • Gifts from an individual
    • Salaries/wages
    • Inheritance
    • Loans from a financial institution or from an individual
  • Job creation. The EB5 Visa for Chilean investors requires the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for US citizens.

The financial criteria for the EB-5 Visa for Chilean investors are the following.

  • Net worth of $1,050,000 (CLP 854 M Chilean Peso) for an individual or married couple; or
  • Minimum of $200,000 (CLP 162 M Chilean Peso) in individual income in each of the 2 previous years; or
  • Minimum of $300,000 (CLP 244 M Chilean Peso) in joint income in each of the 2 previous years; and
  • Comparable level of future income and assets.

What is the Age Requirement for Chile Investors to Get EB-5 Visa?

There’s no age limit for the EB-5 Visa. Any Chile investor qualifies to be an EB-5 investor. However, since a minor probably does not have the assets or income to be eligible as an EB-5 investor on his/her own, the parents or some other guardian giving him/her the investment amount requires showing the necessary documents to prove the source of funds. Occasionally, a Chilean investor pursuing an EB-5 Visa will be unable to get specific documentation. In such instances, the applicant should file a declaration giving an explanation as to why they are unable to supply the needed documentation.

The only time age matters is if the parent is applying and children are also part of the application as derivatives. The children must be under the age of 21 to be included in a parent’s application.

How Much Does an EB-5 Visa Cost for Chile Investors?

These are the costs involved in an EB 5 Visa application for Chile investors.

  • EB-5 investment
    • $800,000 (CLP 650 M Chilean Peso) for a TEA investment
    • $1,050,000 (CLP 854 M Chilean Peso) for a non-TEA investment
  • Form I-526- $3,675 (CLP 2.9 M Chilean Peso)
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)- $1,140 (CLP 927 K Chilean Peso)
  • Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829)- $3,750 (CLP 3.05 M Chilean Peso)

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issues 10,000 EB-5 Visas a year.

The Comisión para el Mercado Financiero (CMF Chile) is the regulatory body that has framework and monetary policy for moving assets and money outside of Chile.

How can I Transfer EB-5 Funds from Chile?

Chilean investors must show that they have invested or are in the process of investing the required minimum capital in an EB-5 Project. Chilean investors must deposit the EB 5 investment fund into the EB 5 Project’s escrow account prior to the I-526 petition. An EB5 Project escrow account is an interest-bearing bank account used to hold sizable sums of money for businesses until all transactions are completed. The EB 5 escrow agreement must showthat the Chilean investor’s capital will be used wholly to fund the EB-5 Project. Both the Chilean investor and the EB-5 Project should show no relationship to the bank holding the escrow account.

What is the Priority Date for EB5 Visa for Chilean Investors?

The priority date is the date when the Chilean investor’s I-526 is received by the USCIS. The Chilean investor’s place in the immigrant visa “waiting line” is indicated by the EB5 priority date. The final action dates for an EB5 Visa are updated monthly in the Visa Bulletin found on the U.S. Department of State (DOS) website. The priority date is “current” if the Chilean investor’s final action date matches their I-526 priority date. The EB5 Visa for Chilean investors is in “current” status and indicates that no retrogression (backlog) exists for applicants from Chile.

How Long Does it Take to Acquire an I-526 Approval for the Chilean Investor under EB 5?

Form I-526 petitions of Chilean investors take between 29.5 and 61 months to get approved. All I-526 petitions are processed and decided by the USCIS. The exact processing time depends on the complexity of the case and the USCIS service center handling the application.

How can a Chile Citizen Immigrate to the United States Using the EB-5 Program?

Chile investors for the EB-5 Visa must complete 6 steps to obtain U.S. Permanent Residency.

  1. Petitioning for an EB-5 Visa. Filing of the I-526 petition with the USCIS.
  2. Applying for an EB5 Visa. USCIS must approve the I-526 form prior to applying for the EB5 Visa.
    1. Applying from overseas. Filing the Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (Form DS-260) with the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
    2. Applying within the US. Filing for an adjustment of status using Form I-485 with USCIS. Investors present in the USA holding valid nonimmigrant visas such as H-1B, F-1, and L-1 are eligible for concurrent filing of their I-526 and I-485 petitions.
  3. Issuing of EB-5 Visa
  4. Obtaining conditional permanent residence. A Conditional EB5 Green Card grants Chilean investors and their dependents the same rights as Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) for 2 years.
  5. Removing conditions on permanent residence. The I-829 petition is submitted to USCIS within the 90-day period prior to the second anniversary as a Chilean EB5 investor in the US.
  6. Gaining lawful permanent residence. An Unconditional Green Card is valid for 10 years and renewable unlimitedly. 

What is the EB-5 Visa Statistics for Chile Investors?

There were 0 EB 5 Visas released to Chilean investors in FY 2024 according to the Report of the Visa Office from 2024 of the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

What are the Challenges for Chile Investors for EB-5?

There are specific challenges in acquiring an EB-5 Visa for Chilean investors. First, Chilean investors must show proof of having enough money to invest in a new business venture and cover the costs associated with applying for an EB 5 Visa. Only money from legitimate sources transferred legally is permitted for investment in an EB-5 Project. Second, investors from Chile need to be ready for the associated financial risks. The EB5 Project cannot guarantee large returns or full repayment to the Chile investor. The main advantage of the EB-5 Visa for Chilean investors is Permanent Residency for them and their families in the US. The third is choosing the right EB-5 industry project to invest in. Chile investors need to work with an experienced EB-5 Visa Attorney, an economist, a financial securities professional, and other EB-5 experts to be able to choose the best EB 5 Project with the lowest immigration and investment risks.

What is the Best Project to Invest in with an EB-5 Visa for Chile  Investors?

EB5 Projects are commercial enterprises in the United States that resulted from the capital of immigrant investors. EB5 Projects stimulate economic growth by creating jobs in the United States. Real estate, restaurants, biotechnology, and hotel construction industries are among the best EB-5 Projects for Chilean investors. These EB-5 Projects are popular in demand and generate numerous jobs for each investor to successfully meet the EB5 requirements for Permanent Residency.

What Does the Future Hold for EB-5 Investors from Chile?

The EB-5 Program holds a favorable future for Chile investors based on the country’s “current” Visa Bulletin status and the open economic relationship between the USA and Chile. The changes instituted by the 2022 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) permit for lower investment capital in TEA projects and Chile investors can take advantage of priority processing and visa set-asides.

What are the Other US Visa Available for Chile Nationals?

A U.S. Visa is the stamp on the travel documents of foreign citizens who wish to enter and stay in the United States. Chilean citizens must secure a US Visa that is specific to the purpose of their visit at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Immigrant Visas are granted to Chilean nationals who are qualified to enter and stay in the United States as Permanent Residents. Nonimmigrant Visas allow Chilean nationals temporary entry and stay in the US.

The following are the US Visas available to Chilean nationals.

 Immigrant Visas

  • Family-Based Immigration. For foreign citizens sponsored by an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or a U.S. Green Card holder and is at least 21 years old.
  • Fiancé(e) K-1 nonimmigrant visa. For a foreign fiancé(e) of a US citizen. The foreign fiancé(e) is allowed to stay in the U.S. to apply for permanent residency after marriage.
  • K-3 Visa. For the foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen traveling to reside in the U.S. while awaiting final completion of their immigration. The spouse’s children can enter the U.S. with a K-4 Visa.
  • Intercountry Adoption. For adopting children outside of the US.
  • Employment-Based Immigration. For qualified applicants under the provisions of US immigration law. The EB-5 Visa falls under the Employment Fifth Preference (E5). 

Nonimmigrant Visas

  • B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa. For people traveling to the US for business or pleasure, or for medical treatment. Chileans are able to enter and stay in the US for a maximum of 90 days even without a US Visa as a qualified Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country.
  • Temporary Worker/Employment or Trainees (H, L, O, P, Q, R). For temporary, nonimmigrant workers petitioned by US employers or agents.
  • Student Visa. For foreign citizens who wish to study in the US.
  • Exchange Visitor Visa. For foreign citizens participating in exchange programs.
  • Treaty Trader (E-1) and Investor (E-2) Visa. For citizens of countries with treaties of commerce and navigation with the US. Chile is a treaty country of the USA.
  • Journalist and Media Visa. For representatives of the foreign media traveling to the US to engage in their profession while having their home office in a foreign country.
  • A Visas. For Chilean government officials entering the U.S. for temporary or permanent assignment.
  • Transit/Ship Crew Visa. For foreign citizens traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the US en route to a foreign destination.

What is the Most Popular State in the United States for Chile Investors to Migrate to?

The U.S. states of New York, California, Maryland, New Jersey, and Florida have the largest populations of Chile immigrants according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Chile nationals relocate to the United States primarily for economic and academic reasons.

What is the Current Retrogression Situation for Chilean Investors?

There is no backlog for the EB-5 process for Chile investors. Chilean investors are able to obtain their EB5 Visas without additional wait times compared to applicants from countries with retrogression such as India and China.

What are the Issues Experienced by the Chile Citizen with the EB-5 Visa?

The top issues faced by Chile citizens in applying for the EB 5 Visa are the language barriers, institutional and corruption issues, and taxation conflicts, especially for investors with business in both Chile and the US. EB-5 Chile investors have to find trustworthy and reputable professionals to overcome these issues and complete the EB-5 process with minimal difficulty.

What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A targeted employment area (TEA) is a location in the United States with a lowered investment requirement of $800,000 (CLP 650 M Chilean Peso) to qualify for EB 5. A TEA Project is located in a high-unemployment area or a rural area. Chilean investors gain unique advantages aside from lower capital requirements by investing in a TEA Project. TEA investors are given priority processing for their petitions and allotment of reserved visas as per the 2022 EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA). The availability of priority processing and reserved visas quicken the EB5 Green Card process for Chilean investors 

What Other Countries can Invest in the EB-5 Visa Program?

Approximately 100,000 foreign investors became Permanent Residents of the United States through the EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa according to “The United States EB-5 Program” by Investment Migration Insider, from 2012 to 2022. The United Kingdom, South Korea, Taiwan, and China account for almost 80% of these EB5 investors.

Is USA a Good Foreign Market to Invest in for Chile Citizens?

Yes, the United States offers access to one of the biggest consumer marketplaces in the world, a strong judicial system, beneficial tax policies, and a solid infrastructure. The EB-5 Visa is a reliable path to gaining Permanent Residency in the US for investors from Chile.

Can EB-5 Visa Attorney Speed Up the Process of EB-5 Visa?

No, an EB-5 Visa Attorney does not have the capacity to expedite the EB-5 process for Chilean investors. The evaluation and processing of EB 5 applications are handled by the USCIS and the DOS. An EB5 Visa Attorney helps Chilean investors avoid application delays due to mistakes, structure their paperwork for success, and ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws.

Is Obtaining an EB-5 Easy for Chilean Investors?

Chile investors are able to obtain their EB-5 Visas with less difficulty because of the “current” Visa Bulletin status and lack of retrogression in the application for Chile. Chilean investors are not subject to extra wait times, unlike investors from countries with visa retrogression.

Can a Chilean National Apply for EB 5 while on H1B?

Yes, Chilean H-1B Visa holders are eligible to apply for an EB5 Visa. The H1 B Visa is granted to foreign workers hired by US employers in a specialty occupation. The RIA permits Chilean nationals with H-1B visas in the US to submit their I-526 and I-485 applications simultaneously for quicker processing without leaving the United States.

Can a Chile Investor Borrow Money for EB-5 Visa?

Yes, investors from Chile are able to use loans as EB-5 Visa investments. The personal assets and collateral of the Chilean investor must serve as security for the EB5 Loan.

Can an International Student from Chile with an F-1 Visa Apply for EB5 Visa?

Yes, a student from Chile on F-1 Visa is eligible for the EB-5 Visa. The F1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows entry into the US for foreign students enrolled in academic programs. The Chilean student on a valid F1 status can file the I-526 and I-485 petitions concurrently for faster EB 5 Visa processing in the USA. 

Can a Chile Citizen Invest in the United States?

Yes, a citizen from Chile is able to invest in the United States through the EB5 Visa and through the E-2 Visa. The E2 Treaty Investor Visa is a nonimmigrant classification for treaty country investors who are making a substantial investment in a US business. Chile is a qualified treaty country and Chileans are able to directly apply for E-2 status.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is not a U.S. Permanent Residence program, unlike the EB-5 Visa. A substantial investment of at least $150,000 (CLP 122 M Chilean Peso) is required for an E-2 Visa investment without the need for minimum job creation. 

Does a Chilean Citizen Need a Visa for USA?

Chileans who are entering the US for tourism and business are allowed to do so without a US Visa. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows Chile nationals to stay in the US for a maximum of 90 days visa-free. Entering the United States to study, work, or immigrate require Chileans to obtain a valid US Visa.