By Last Updated: January 16th, 2024

Germany Investors for EB-5 VisaThe EB-5 Visa for Germany investors is an immigrant investor visa that allows U.S. permanent residence (green card) for qualified applicants. Permanent residence (green card) grants an indefinite stay in the U.S. for German investors and their dependents. The EB5 Visa for German investors requires a minimum investment that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens. The application for EB-5 Visa for Germany investors does not face any backlog and remains on “current” status. 

The EB-5 Visa benefits German investors, their spouses, and minor children through faster US immigration. The children of German investors can study in the U.S. with a green card. German investors can expand their investments and set up businesses in the U.S. with the EB5 Visa.

Table of Contents

What is EB-5 Visa for Germany Investors?

The EB-5 Visa for Germany investors is an immigrant investor visa that allows for permanent residence (green card) in the United States. Permanent residence (green card) permits an indefinite stay in the United States for German investors and their spouses and children. The EB5 Visa for German investors requires a minimum amount invested in a U.S. business. The investment should generate at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens.

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

The German investor can enjoy the following with an EB-5 Visa.

  • US green card. German investors can reside with their spouses, and children under 21 permanently in the US with an EB5 Visa. 
  • US investment. German investors with EB-5 Visa can freely start businesses and engage in a sole proprietorship or corporate enterprises in the US.
  • US education. The minor children of German investors can study in the best US academic institutions for basic education and post-graduate studies. These are the benefits enjoyed by children of German investors as dependents of the EB-5 Visa.
    • 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. 
  • German investors enjoy greater international mobility through the visa-free travel privileges available to US green cardholders.

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

Germany investors have to be aware of these risks during an EB-5 Visa application.

  • Investment risks. An EB5 investment does not guarantee a return on profits. The primary benefit of the EB-5 for Germany investors is the ability to obtain US permanent residence.
  • Immigration risks. An EB-5 project investment does not automatically result in a US green card. The German investor should meet all the criteria of the EB5 Visa to be granted permanent residence in the US.
  • Fraud risks. Firms or individuals can claim to be migration brokers or immigration consultants. The German investor should thoroughly research an EB-5 project to ensure its legitimacy and avoid huge losses.
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How Long Does it Take to Process an EB 5 Visa for German Investors?

The petition for an EB5 Visa for German investors starts with the submission of the Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-526). The processing time of the Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-526) is between 29.5 to 61 months.

How Long is an EB5 Visa Valid for Germany Investors?

An EB-5 Visa for German investors grants a conditional green card for 2 years. Submitting the Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829) grants an unconditional green card valid for 10 years. 

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

These are the eligibility requirements of the EB5 Visa for German investors.

  • Investment amount. The “at risk” investment for the EB5 Visa for German investors can be any of the following. 
    • The minimum investment is $800,000 (Є802,236 EUR) for a Targeted Employment Area (region with high unemployment rates and rural areas). 
    • The investment is $1,050,000 (Є1,052,934.75 EUR) for a non-Targeted Employment Area. 
  • Source of funds. German investors can use any of the following to invest.
    • Business profits
    • Inheritance
    • Salaries/wages
    • Loans from a financial institution or from an individual
    • Gifts from an individual
  • Job creation. The EB5 Visa for German investors requires the creation of 10 full-time jobs for US citizens.

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

  • Net worth of $1,050,000 (Є1,052,934.75 EUR) for an individual or married couple; or
  • Minimum of $200,000 (Є200,559 EUR) in individual income in each of the 2 previous years; or
  • Minimum of $300,000 (Є300,838.50 EUR) in joint income in each of the 2 previous years; and
  • Comparable level of future income and assets

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

There’s no age limit. The meaning of this simply is any German 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 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 German investor pursuing an EB-5 visa will be unable to get specific documentation. In such instances, the applicant may 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. They must be under the age of 21 to be included in a parent’s application.

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

These are the costs of an EB-5 Visa for Germany investors.

  • EB-5 investment
    • $800,000 (Є802,236 EUR) for a Targeted Employment Area 
    • $1,050,000 (Є1,052,934.75 EUR) for a non-Targeted Employment Area
  • Form I-526- $3,675 (Є3,685.27 EUR)
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)- $1,140 (Є1,143.19 EUR)
  • Form I-829- $3,750 (Є3,760.48 EUR)

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

The Federal Financial Services Authority (BaFin) has the framework and monetary policy for moving assets and money outside of Germany.

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

The EB-5 Visa for German investors is on “current” status according to the October 2022 visa bulletin released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). “Current” status means that there is no backlog (retrogression) in the application for EB-5 Visa for German investors. 

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

The USCIS approves all I-526 applications for an EB5 Visa. The processing of I-526 depends on the complexity of the case and the service center processing the application. The approval of an I-526 for German investors can take between 29.5 to 61 months. 

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

The process of immigration for German investors using the EB-5 Program involves 6 steps.

  1. Petitioning for an EB-5 Visa. Filing of Form I-526 to the USCIS.
  2. Applying for an EB5 Visa. Form I-526 must be approved by USCIS prior to applying for the EB5 Visa.
    1. Applying from overseas. Filing of the Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (Form DS-260).
    2. Applying within the US. Filing of Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).
  3. Granting of EB-5 Visa.
  4. Obtaining conditional permanent residence. The conditional green card is valid for 2 years for the German investor and his/her dependents. 
  5. Removing conditions on permanent residence. Form I-829 is submitted to USCIS within the 90-day period prior to the second anniversary as an EB5 investor in the US.
  6. Gaining lawful permanent residence. A lawful permanent residence (unconditional green card) is valid for 10 years. 

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

There were 1 EB-5 Visas for Germany investors released in FY 2024 according to the U.S. Department of State (DOS)-Bureau of Consular Affairs Report of the Visa Office 2024.

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

German investors face certain challenges when applying for the EB-5 Visa. The first is the ability to meet the minimum investment capital. The German investor should be prepared to supply the minimum investment and all other costs for the EB5 Visa. The second is the risk of losses in the EB5 investment project. There is no guarantee of repayment in the EB5 project. The main benefit of the EB-5 Visa for German investors is getting permanent residence in the US. The third is the occurrence of fraud schemes that target EB-5 investors. Hiring an EB-5 attorney, consulting the right experts, and working with the right EB-5 partners help solve these challenges of the EB-5 Program. 

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

The top EB5 projects for German investors include real estate and hotel construction. A real estate EB-5 project has a readily understandable exit strategy for German investors. A hotel construction EB5 project creates numerous jobs to meet the minimum job creation criterion of an EB-5 Visa. EB5 Projects are the investments made by German investors to qualify for the EB5 Visa.

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

German investors do not face backlogs (retrogression) in the application for EB-5 Visa. The “current” status of EB5 Visa for German investors is an advantage in the growth potential of the EB5 market for German investors.

What are the Other US Visa Available for German Nationals?

Immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are available to German nationals to grant entry to the United States. Immigrant petitions are approved by the USCIS prior to applying for visa approval. The petition is filed by a qualified relative or a potential employer. Nonimmigrant visas are available to foreign citizens who wish to enter the United States temporarily. Nonimmigrant visas are granted to tourists, business people, students, or specialty workers for a particular period of time to accomplish specific purposes. 

The following are the US Visas available to German 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.
  • Employment-Based Immigration. For qualified applicants under the provisions of US immigration law. The EB-5 Visa falls under the Employment Fifth Preference (E5). 
  • Intercountry Adoption. For adopting children outside of the US.
  • Diversity Visa. For countries with low rates of immigration to the US in the previous 5 years.
  • Returning Resident Visa. For permanent residents who have remained outside of the US for more than 1 year, or beyond the validity period of their Re-entry Permit.

Nonimmigrant Visas

  • B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa. For people traveling to the US for business or pleasure, or for medical treatment.
  • Work Visa. For temporary workers petitioned to work in the US.
  • Student Visa. For foreign citizens who wish to study in the US.
  • Exchange Visitor Visa. For foreign citizens participating in exchange programs.
  • Transit/Ship Crew Visa. For foreign citizens traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the US en route to a foreign destination.
  • Religious Worker Visa. For individuals seeking US entry to work in a religious capacity on a temporary basis.
  • Domestic Employee Visa. For personal or domestic servants who are accompanying an employer to the US.
  • 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.
  • Treaty Trader (E-1) and Investor (E-2) Visa. For citizens of countries with treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. 

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

The most popular states for German immigrants in the US are Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Texas, and Wisconsin.

What is the Current Retrogression Situation for German Investors?

There is no retrogression in the EB5 application for German investors. Germany investors do not face EB-5 Visa backlogs, unlike China and India.

What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A targeted employment area (TEA) is a region in the United States where the threshold for investment is $800,000 (Є802,236 EUR) for German investors to qualify for the EB-5 Visa. The two kinds of targeted employment areas are high unemployment areas and rural areas.

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

There were nearly 100,000 foreign investors who obtained permanent residence in the United States via the EB-5 Program from 2012 to 2022 according to “The United States EB-5 Program” by Investment Migration Insider. About 80% of EB5 investors come from Taiwan, China, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Below are the top countries that apply for the EB-5 Visa. 

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

Yes, Germany made up 12% of the total foreign direct investments in the United States in 2019 according to the Foreign Direct Investment in the United States 2020 report by Global Business Alliance. The total foreign direct investment from Germany to the U.S. in 2019 amounted to $522 billion.

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

Yes, an EB-5 Visa attorney helps German investors in their application to speed up its processing. Delays from processing errors and documentation issues can be prevented by working with an EB5 Visa Attorney.

Is Obtaining an EB-5 Easy for Germany Investors?

Germany investors do not face retrogression for the EB-5 Visa. German investors can receive their EB5 Visas faster because of the “current” status in the visa bulletin. 

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

Yes, a German citizen with a valid H-1B Visa can apply for the EB5 Visa. The H1B Visa is for foreign professionals hired by employers to work in the US. A German citizen on H-1B Visa can submit multiple petitions including the EB-5 Visa without forfeiting their H1B status. 

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

Yes, German investors can use loans for their EB-5 Visa application. The borrowed money has to be secured by assets and the collateral cannot be the same EB-5 business. Read more on Loans for EB5 Visa.

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

Yes, a student from Germany on F-1 Visa can apply for the EB-5 Visa. The F1 Visa allows entry into the US for foreign students for the duration of their studies. The German student on F1 Visa needs to invest a minimum capital in a US business to qualify for EB5 Visa. This investment should create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for American citizens.

Can a German Invest in the United States?

The EB5 Visa and the E-2 Visa are the two investment visas in the United States. The E2 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows nationals of treaty countries to invest in a US business. A treaty country maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. Germany has an existing treaty with the United States and qualifies for the E2 Visa.

The E-2 Visa does not have a direct path to a green card, unlike the EB5 Visa. A substantial investment of at least $150,000 (Є150,422.25 EUR) is required for an E-2 Visa investment. There is no requirement for minimum job creation for E2 Visa. 

Does a German Need a Visa for USA?

German nationals can apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to travel to the United States. The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) allows German citizens to visit the US for 90 days for tourism, business transit, and short study purposes.