EB-5: The Best Option for Russian Nationals


Relocating to the U.S. and becoming a lawful permanent resident and perhaps eventually a citizen can be a complicated and difficult process for the Russian individual or family. Many Russians hoping to immigrate to the U.S. are faced with lengthy delays and wait times only to discover their visa applications have been denied for seemingly minor mistakes.

However, for Russian nationals whose primary motivation is immigrating to the U.S., there is a better option available known as the U.S. Immigrant Investor Program (“EB-5”). The program was created by Congress in 1990 to encourage the investment of foreign capital into the American economy. Under current legislation (likely substantially changing soon) for a minimum investment amount of $500,000, permanent resident status can be obtained.

The EB-5 visa has become a very popular way for obtaining permanent resident status in the U.S. for many Russian people. This type of visa does not involve excessively long wait times for Russian nationals and requires no labor certification to prove unavailability of U.S. workers, no close family member in the U.S. to petition on behalf of immigrant, no assertion of exceptional or extraordinary ability, no showing of persecution or showing of fear that they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion, no business to operate directly on a daily basis, and no employment sponsorship needed.

While the minimum investment amount of $500,000 may not be an option for all of our Russian clients, it certainly is an option for many. This investment amount can be obtained through the investor’s own means or through gifts received from family members and other individuals.

If you are considering permanent resident status in the U.S. by investing lawfully acquired funds of at least $500,000, now is the time to get started with the process. The minimum investment amount will likely substantially increase soon in light of the fact that the investment amount has not been increased since the program’s inception in 1990. However, an initial EB-5 application filed before the deadline of September 30, 2018, will grandfather the Russian investor at the current lower amount.

The EB-5 visa, in its current form, may be the best option for certain Russian nationals if they act fast.

About The Author

Matthew MorleyMatthew Morley is a Partner at Vasiliev, Klein & Usov based in Moscow, Russia. Morley is American attorney practicing in the area of US Immigration and Nationality Law. He specializes in EB-5 representation, consular matters and US immigration legal issues. Morley is admitted to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts Bars.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.