What is a Green Card and What Does it Do?

A green card is the colloquial name for the identification card issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immigrants. People with green cards can live, work, and study in the US permanently. Green cards are valid for ten years. Suppose you move or experience significant life changes, such as divorce, marriage, the birth of a child, or the death of a spouse or dependant. In that case, you must notify the USCIS immediately, as some of these changes may impact your status with them. 

From 1950-1964, the cards were green in color, which is when they were given their nickname. After 1964, the cards changed from blue, pink, and yellow to green again in 2010. Despite what could jokingly be referred to as an identity crisis, the name never changed. 

If you have questions about the pathways to permanent residency in Seattle that are open to tech entrepreneurs, our immigration attorneys can help. At Stelmakh & Associates, LLC, your needs come first. We help our clients achieve their dreams. Call us today at 206-605-0550 to book your confidential consultation. 

What Pathways are Open to Permanent Residency in Seattle for Tech Entrepreneurs?

Multiple pathways are available for immigrants seeking to live in the United States more permanently. All of these options will provide immigrants with their green cards and have the potential to lead to US citizenship eventually. 

The permanent residency process can be complex and drawn out. It requires time and patience to see it through. Depending on the employment-based immigrant visa classification sought, the process has multiple steps. It is crucial to seek the assistance of a skillful and knowledgeable legal team to guide you through the complex maze of Seattle’s immigration process. 

You must first file an immigrant petition with USCIS and then, if you are eligible and in the United States, file an adjustment of status. Our immigration attorneys can help you determine the best pathway for your case. Call us at 206-605-0550 to book a confidential consultation. 

What is a “Business Visa?

The “Business Visa” is also known as an Investor visa program. It provides a method for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States to obtain their green card. To get an EB-5 visa, individuals must invest at least USD 500,000 in a project or business with targeted jobs and create at least ten employment opportunities through that investment. There are a few qualifications for investors and projects to meet before qualifying for an EB-5 visa program. Primarily: 

  • The project must be within a targeted employment area (TEA). The USCIS defines a TEA as an area that, at the time of investment, is rural as designated by the Office of Management and Budget or the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more that has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average. 
  • People who are investors will have been admitted to the United States already on a temporary visa. 

Our team can help you determine if an EB-5 visa will work for you. Most often, engaging the services of a qualified and dedicated law firm will help you through the difficult and complex application process more quickly. 

What is the Process for Obtaining an EB-5 Visa?

An investor must take several steps to become a permanent resident through the EB-5 visa program. While every case is unique, some things remain the same. Our firm is prepared to help you navigate the process, return to work, run your business, and build your dream. 

The preliminary step is to locate a suitable business project to receive your investment. The EB-5 business project generally takes the form of an individual commercial enterprise. Seattle is an appealing locale for tech entrepreneurs due to its thriving business district, favorable tax incentives, and, of course, the presence of the major tech giants Amazon and Microsoft.

The second step is to make the required capital investment in the selected project and verify that the funds are there. You will likely need the help of an accountant to move funds of this amount. After investing, your immigration attorney files for I-526 with USCIS. It can take 12-16 months for USCIS to process and approve. 

While waiting for final approval, the investor may file for conditional permanent residency so they may put their investment to work. This can be done by having their attorney file form I-485 to adjust their status to conditional permanent resident status if they already have lawful status or form DS-260 to obtain Lawful Status.

When Should I Call an Immigration Attorney?

Deciding to invest in your future is a big step. Choosing to move to a new country makes it even more complex. When you need to make a change to grow your business and build your dream, you want to know you are making the best investments possible. You need a strong, dedicated legal team backing you up as you transition to your new life in the United States. The immigration lawyers of Stelmakh and Associates, LLC have a proven track record of assisting tech entrepreneurs with the complex immigration system. Let us take that stress off your shoulders so you can get back to building your dream. Call us at 206-605-0550 to book your confidential consultation.

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