By Last Updated: January 16th, 2024

Thailand Investors for EB-5 VisaThailand investors for the EB-5 Visa are granted permanent residency in the United States by making investments and creating jobs. Thailand investors seeking an EB-5 Visa are required to make a minimum investment in a U.S. company that creates at least 10 full-time, permanent jobs for Americans. Thai investors who satisfy the conditions of the EB5 Program are allowed to permanently reside, work, and study in the United States with their spouses and minor children.

EB5 investors from Thailand who are currently residing in the US are permitted to submit their petitions concurrently for quicker applications. The availability of concurrent filing and the absence of backlogs in the EB 5 Visa processing are helpful factors for the sustained growth of Thai investors in the EB 5 market. Thai investors and their families are eligible to travel to any US location as well as many other nations without a visa as US Permanent Residents. The best universities in the USA are accessible to EB-5 dependent children of Thai investors who also receive reduced tuition and financial aid.

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What is EB-5 Visa for Thailand Investors?

The EB-5 Visa for Thailand investors is a path to US Permanent Residence (Green Card) through investment and job creation. The EB-5 Visa for Thailand investors requires investing in a new U.S. enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. Thai investors and their dependents obtain an initial 2-year Conditional Permanent Residency (Green Card) from an EB-5 Visa approval. Thailand EB5 investors and their dependents obtain the right to live, work, and study in the United States without restrictions as Green Card holders.

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

The EB-5 Investor Visa Program gives the following benefits to Thai investors, their spouses, and their children under 21.

  • Relocation to the United States. Wealthy Thailand investors and their families are able to relocate permanently to the USA without the need for sponsorship through the EB5 Program.
  • Economic opportunities in the United States. Thai investors and businesspeople have the chance to expand their economic ventures and participate in the United States’ secure and highly competitive global market.
  • Education and employment in the United States. High-net-worth Thais seek to gain better educational and work opportunities for their children in the United States. Here are the benefits of a Green Card for minor children of Thai 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. 
  • Thai 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 Thai Investors?

These are the risks that Thai investors should be aware of when processing an EB-5 Visa.

  • At-risk investment. Thai investors are required to make an “at-risk” investment that is subject to both gains and losses. The main benefit of the EB5 Visa for Thai investors is securing a Green Card for themselves and their families.
  • Risk on immigration. A USA Green Card is not guaranteed based on investment alone. The Thai investor must prove that their investment was made to a new commercial enterprise (NCE) and produce the required 10 jobs within their Conditional Residency. 
  • Fraud risk. Prospective EB-5 investments should be carefully examined by the Thai investor as part of their due diligence process. In order to avoid fraud, EB-5 Thailand investors should use experienced experts to thoroughly evaluate an EB-5 Project, its developer, affiliated regional center, and the linked third-party organizations.
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How Long Does it Take to Process an EB 5 Visa for Thailand  Investors?

The initial EB-5 petition of Thai investors usually takes between 29.5 and 61 months to process. The first step in the EB-5 process for immigrant investors is to accomplish and file Form I-526 (Immigration Petition by Standalone Investor).

How Long is an EB5 Visa Valid for Thailand Investors?

Thailand investors and their dependents get a 2-year Conditional Green Card after obtaining EB5 Visa approval. The Thailand investor and their dependents file a petition to become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) of the United States before their Conditional Residency ends. Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) is valid for 10 years and renewable indefinitely.

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

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

  • Investment amount. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires an “at risk” EB-5 investment to be any of the following. 
    • A minimum investment of $800,000 USD (฿ 27.7 M Thai Baht) 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 (฿ 34.4 M Thai Baht) for a non-TEA project. 
  • Source of funds. Thai investors must have derived their capital from lawful sources and means and be any of the following.
    • Business profits
    • Salaries/wages
    • Gifts from an individual
    • Inheritance
    • Loans from a financial institution or from an individual
  • Job creation. The EB5 Visa for Thai investors requires the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for US citizens.

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

  • Net worth of $1,050,000 (฿ 34.4 M Thai Baht) for an individual or married couple; or
  • Minimum of $200,000 (฿ 6.9 M Thai Baht) in individual income in each of the 2 previous years; or
  • Minimum of $300,000 (฿ 10.4 M Thai Baht) in joint income in each of the 2 previous years; and
  • Comparable level of future income and assets.

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

There’s no age limit for the EB-5 Visa. Any Thailand 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 Thai 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 Thailand Investors?

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

  • EB-5 investment
    • $800,000 (฿ 27.7 M THB) for a TEA investment
    • $1,050,000 (฿ 34.4 M THB) for a non-TEA investment
  • Form I-526- $3,675 (฿ 127 K THB)
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)- $1,140 (฿ 39 THB)
  • Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829)- $3,750 (฿ 130 K THB)

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

The Bank of Thailand and the Securities and Exchange Commission are the regulatory bodies that have framework and monetary policy for moving assets and money outside of Thailand.

How can I Transfer EB-5 Funds from Thailand?

Thailand investors must show that they have invested or are in the process of investing the required minimum capital in an EB-5 Project. The EB 5 investment fund must be reflected in EB 5 Project’s escrow account before the Thai investors submit their I-526. An EB5 Project escrow account is an interest-bearing bank account used to hold large sums of money until the EB 5 Project’s completion. The EB 5 escrow agreement must show that the Thai investor’s investment will be used wholly to fund the EB-5 Project. Both the Thailand 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 Thai Investors?

The date that USCIS receives the Thai investor’s I-526 is the EB-5 priority date. The EB5 priority date indicates where the Thai investor falls in the “waiting line” for an EB5 immigrant visa. The Visa Bulletin on the website of the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is updated every month with the final action dates for the EB5 Visa category. The priority date is considered to be “current” if the Thai investor’s final action date matches their I-526 priority date. There is no retrogression (backlog) for Thai applicants according to the EB5 Visa Bulletin for Thai Investors.

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

Approval of Form I-526 petitions of Thai investors takes between 29.5 and 61 months. 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 Thailand Citizen Immigrate to the United States Using the EB-5 Program?

Thailand investors for the EB-5 Visa go through 6 steps to obtain a US Green Card.

  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. Thailand 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 Thai investors and their dependents the same rights as 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 Thai 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 Thailand Investors?

There are 0 EB 5 Visas released to Thai 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 Thailand Investors for EB-5?

The particular difficulties Thai investors in the EB 5 program face have to do with the program’s immigration and financial requirements. Thai investors must first demonstrate that they have the necessary funds in order to invest in a new US business and pay the fees involved with applying for an EB 5 Visa. Only funds that have been legally transferred from reputable sources are eligible funds for an EB-5 Project. As with any investment, Thailand investors must be prepared for the related financial risks. Large returns or complete payback to the Thailand investor cannot be guaranteed by the EB5 Program. Permanent Residence in the US for Thai investors and their families is the main benefit of the EB-5 Visa. Choosing the ideal EB-5 Project to invest in also requires due diligence to ensure that the Thai investor chooses a project with the lowest immigration and investment risks. Thai investors need to consult with a skilled EB-5 Visa Attorney, an economist, a financial securities professional, and other EB-5 experts to circumvent these challenges.

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

EB5 Projects are businesses in the United States that are established from the funds invested by immigrant investors. Jobs are made through EB5 Projects and help the U.S. economy grow and thrive. The best EB-5 Projects for Thai investors are in the real estate, restaurant, biotechnology, and hotel building industries. These EB-5 projects are always in demand and create a lot of jobs for each investor, which helps them meet the requirements for EB5 Permanent Residency.

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

The EB-5 Program holds a favorable future for Thailand investors based on the country’s “current” EB-5 Visa Bulletin status. The improvements from the 2022 EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) permit for lower investment capital in TEA projects where Thailand investors can take advantage of priority processing and visa set-asides. Thais who are already in the US are able to process their applications faster with the availability of concurrent filing. 

What are the Other US Visa Available for Thailand Nationals?

Foreign nationals who want to enter the United States generally need to have a U.S. Visa stamped on their travel documents. Thai nationals must get a US Visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate that is in line with the reason for their trip. Thai nationals who are eligible to enter and remain in the United States as Permanent Residents are given Immigrant Visas. Thai citizens are able to temporarily enter and remain in the US with Nonimmigrant Visas.

The following are the US Visas available to Thai 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. 
  • 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. Thailand 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 Thai 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 Thailand Investors to Migrate to?

The U.S. states of California, Nevada, Illinois, Texas, Washington, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and Maryland have the most Thai immigrants.  

What is the Current Retrogression Situation for Thai Investors?

There is no retrogression situation for the EB-5 Visa for Thailand investors. Investors from Thailand have never faced any backlogs in the application process for EB-5 and are not expected to have any in the future.

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

The creation of the necessary number of employment and supplying the minimum investment amount for the EB 5 Project are two of the major issues for Thai investors applying for an EB5 Visa. The Thai investor’s business plan must demonstrate that the EB5 Project will generate at least 10 new full-time jobs in the US. For at least 2 years, or until the Thailand investor submits their I-829, the jobs must be created and sustained. There should be proof that the EB-5 investment was obtained legally and would only be used for the EB-5 Project. Investors from Thailand are required to provide documentation for their EB5 investment, including paystubs, tax returns, bank account records, and confirmation of business ownership and registration.

What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A targeted employment area (TEA) is a region of the United States where the minimum investment amount to be eligible for EB 5 is $800,000 (฿ 27.7 M Thai Baht). A TEA Project is situated in a special economic zone, like a rural or high-unemployment area. By investing in a TEA Project, Thai investors benefit in several ways besides having lower capital requirements. According to the 2022 EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA), TEA investors receive priority processing for their petitions and allocation of reserved visas. The EB5 Green Card application procedure for Thai investors is sped up by the availability of reserved visas and priority processing.

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

According to “The United States EB-5 Program” by Investment Migration Insider, between 2012 and 2022, the EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa helped almost 100,000 foreign investors become permanent residents of the United States. Over 80% of these EB5 investors come from China, Taiwan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan.

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

Yes, foreign direct investment (FDI) from Thailand to the US reached $1.9 billion in 2019 and is mainly concentrated in manufacturing, wholesale trade, and depository institutions according to the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington D.C. Thais gain access to one of the largest consumer markets in the world, a reliable legal system, advantageous tax laws, and a good infrastructure by investing in the United States. 

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

No, an EB-5 Visa Attorney is unable to speed up the EB-5 application process for Thai investors. The USCIS and the DOS are in charge of evaluating and processing EB 5 applications. Thai investors still benefit from the services of EB5 Visa Attorneys which include minimizing application delays brought on by errors, organizing their documents for success, and guaranteeing compliance with U.S. immigration rules.

Is Obtaining an EB-5 Easy for Thai Investors?

Thailand 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 Thailand. Thai investors are not subject to extra wait times, unlike investors from countries with visa retrogression such as China and India.

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

Yes, Thai nationals with H-1B Visas are able to apply for an EB5 Visa. H1B Visa holders are foreign employees engaged by US businesses in specialty occupations. Thai H1B employees in the US are allowed by the RIA to submit both their I-526 and I-485 forms concurrently for speedier processing without having to leave the US.

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

Yes, loans can be used by Thai investors as EB-5 Visa investments. The personal property and collateral of the Thai Investor, not the EB 5 Project, must serve as security for the EB5 Loan to be accepted.

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

Yes, a Thai student with an F-1 visa qualifies as an EB-5 Visa candidate. An F1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that enables foreign students to study in the US in academic programs. A Thai student with a valid F1 status is eligible to file the I-526 and I-485 petitions simultaneously in order to speed up the EB 5 Visa application process while in the USA.

Can a Thailand Citizen Invest in the United States?

Yes, a citizen from Thailand is able to invest in the United States through the EB5 Visa and E-2 Visa. The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a nonimmigrant classification for treaty country investors who are making a substantial investment in a US business. Treaty countries maintain a treaty of navigation and commerce with the US. Thailand is a treaty country of the US and Thai investors qualify for the E2 Visa. 

The E2 Treaty Investor Visa is not a U.S. Permanent Residence program, unlike the EB-5 Visa. A substantial investment of at least $150,000 (฿ 5.2 M Thai Baht) is required for an E2 Visa investment without the need for minimum job creation. 

Does a Thai Citizen Need a Visa for USA?

Thai citizens traveling to the US must first get a US Visa. Thai nationals looking to relocate to the US must obtain an immigrant visa while temporary Thai visitors must apply for a nonimmigrant visa.