What is the EB-5 Visa Statistics for Iran Investors?
Iranian investors were issued 43 EB-5 Visas (0.51% of the total) through consular processing for FY 2023 according to the U.S. Department of State (DOS).
What are the Challenges for Iran Investors for EB-5?
Iran investors face specific challenges when applying for the EB-5 Visa. The first is proving the legality of EB-5 funds. The Iranian investor needs to do fund transfers from Iran to the US via banks approved by the USCIS and OFAC. The second is conducting Iranian businesses after a successful EB-5 application. The Iranian investor has to divest any interest in businesses in their home country after becoming a permanent resident.
What is the Best Project to Invest in with an EB-5 Visa for Iran Investors?
An EB-5 project is the business investment required for an EB-5 Visa for Iran investors. Popular EB-5 projects include the restaurant industry and hotel construction. An EB-5 project for the restaurant industry provides a sizeable cash flow for repayment and return on capital. The nature of an EB-5 project for hotel construction allows for the generation of multiple jobs for Americans.
What Does the Future Hold for EB-5 Investors from Iran?
Iran investors do not face retrogression (backlog) in the application for EB-5 Visa. The “current” status of EB5 Visa for Iranian investors is an advantage in the growth of the EB5 market for Iran investors.
What are the Other US Visa Available for Iran Nationals?
Iran does not have a U.S. Embassy. Iranian investors outside of the U.S. can set appointments and apply for visas at any visa issuing post. Consular offices that have Farsi-speaking officers are in Dubai, Ankara, and Yerevan.
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 Iranian nationals.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
What is the Most Popular State in the United States for Iran Investors to Migrate to?
The state of California has the most Iranian immigrants, with 29% living in Los Angeles County from 2015-2019 according to Migration Policy Institute. The next three U.S. states with the most Iranian immigrants are Texas (8%), New York (5%), and Virginia (4%).
What is the Current Retrogression Situation for Iran Investors?
There is no backlog in the EB5 application for Iranian investors. Qualified Iranian investors are able to obtain their EB-5 Visas faster compared to applicants from India and China.
What are the Issues Experienced by the Iranian with the EB-5 Visa?
The most prevalent issues experienced by Iran investors when applying for EB5 Visa have to do with EB-5 funding. Iran investors are faced with additional difficulties in transferring EB-5 funds from Iran to the US. EB5 funds from Iran investors must come from financial institutions that are not listed in OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN). Iran investors and their spouses should not be found on the SDN list.
USCIS issues a Request of Evidence (RFE) for Iran investors to prove the legality of the source and path of EB-5 funds. The EB5 fund should not have gone through an SDD at any point prior to transfer to the US. A clear chain of events leading to the wealth generation should be laid out along with the Iranian investor’s profile at the time of asset acquisition.
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 (33,880,000,000 Iranian Rials) for Iran 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 2023 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 Iran Citizens?
Yes, the United States is a stable environment for EB-5 investments from Iran nationals. Iran investors should let go of any involvement in any Iranian company upon successfully obtaining an EB-5 Visa.
Can EB-5 Visa Attorney Speed Up the Process of EB-5 Visa?
Yes, an EB-5 Visa attorney helps Iran investors in speeding up the EB5 Visa processing. An EB5 Visa Attorney can help in consolidating the documentation needed for a successful application. An experienced EB-5 Visa Attorney can advise as to the best course of action to prove the legal source and path of funds for the Iran investor.
Is Obtaining an EB-5 Easy for Iran Investors?
Iranian investors are able to obtain their EB-5 Visas faster because of the “current” visa bulletin status of the application for Iran.
Can an Iranian National Apply for EB 5 while on H1B?
Yes, an Iranian national with a valid H-1B Visa can apply for an EB5 Visa. The H1B Visa permits foreign workers to be employed in the US. An Iranian national on H-1B Visa can submit multiple petitions including the EB5 Visa without canceling their H1B status.
Can an Iranian Investor Borrow Money for EB-5 Visa?
Yes, Iran investors can use loans for their EB-5 Visa application. The loan has to be secured by assets and the collateral cannot be the same EB-5 project.
Can an International Student from Iran with an F-1 Visa Apply for EB5 Visa?
Yes, an Iranian student on F-1 Visa can apply for the EB-5 Visa. The Iranian student on F1 Visa should invest a minimum capital in a US business. This investment should create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for Americans.
Can an Iranian 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. Iran investors are no longer eligible for the E-2 Visa as per the announcement of USCIS on January 22, 2020.
The E-2 Visa does not have a direct path to a green card, unlike the EB-5 Visa. A substantial investment of at least $150,000 (6,352,500,000 Iranian Rials) is required for an E-2 Visa investment. There is no requirement for minimum job creation for E2 Visa.
Does an Iranian Need a Visa for USA?
Yes, Iran citizens need to have a visa to enter the United States. Iran does not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program that allows citizens from 38 countries to travel visa-free to the US. Countries that qualify for the Visa Waiver Program include Australia, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.