Living in the U.S. is Just $1,000,000 Away

promo-images-citizenshipGetting official permission to move to the United States ranges from fairly easy for some countries to nearly impossible for others. But if you have $1,000,000 to spare (extra; to spend), you may have a shortcut (an easier way) to getting a green card (the permanent resident status that allows you live and work in the U.S.).

In 1990, the United States government created an immigration program called the Immigrant Investment Program to try to stimulate (encourage more activity in) the economy through foreign investment (for people in other countries to spend money here with the expectation of earning even more money).

Starting in 1992, foreigners (people from another country) can get an EB-5 visa conditional (can be continued if certain things are completed or certain goals met) green card if they start a business with a minimum (at least) investment of $1,000,000, or $500,00 in high unemployment (with many people without jobs) or rural (in the countryside; not the cities) areas. You can also get a EB-5 visa if you take over (buy and operate) a troubled company, one that is failing and where people have been fired (told to leave their jobs) or are likely to be fired soon.

The EB-5 visa is conditional because the new business (or the troubled one) must “[c]reate or preserve (keep) at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission (entrance) to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.” If this condition is met, then you can become a permanent resident, which allows you to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship (official status as a member of a country).

I had never heard of this “new” visa until I recently read an article in the Los Angeles Times about the growing demand (increased popularity of) these visas, mainly from Chinese investors. Unfortunately, this demand has also resulted in cases of fraud (doing something deceptive or wrong to make money), where investors entrust (giving something valuable to someone to keep for you or to do something with it) large investments to people who steal that money.

If you have a $1,000,000 or even $500,000 to spare and want to get a conditional green card to the United States, you can read up on the program here. But to avoid scams (efforts to cheat people), you may also want to take a look at this L.A. Times article.

How does someone become a legal resident where you live? Are there programs such the Immigrant Investment Program in other countries?

~ Lucy

Photo Credit: United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services website

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22 Responses to Living in the U.S. is Just $1,000,000 Away

  1. emiliano says:

    That´s really good dear Lucy, if emiliano could have 1.000.000 or 500.000 sure he would be not thinking in going to EE.UU. just to get a Green card.
    With such amount of money life could be really good other places like France, Italy, Greek, Malta, Croacia or even Spain my own country.
    These countries are Mediterranean warm countries where life could be easy and pleasant if you have a million dollars.

    Usually I like warm countries, so going to Canarias Islands could be the best option to live with nice weather, good food, nice beaches and wonderful

    So, thanks to the United States Authorities for being so generous about His Green card, but I do think there are lot of places to go with a million
    Even now could be not so pleasant to live over there if the Big Brother is watching as in the George Orwell´s 1984 novel. It so great scandall that
    all the media are talking about this subject.

    To me this is one of the worst things a Goverment could do.

    I don´t really know if this subject it is really true, it seems it is, as the law was aproved by the US. Senate and Congres on last December.
    Also on February 26, finally, the U.S. Supreme Court decided (with 5 votes in favor, all Republicans, and 4 against, all Democrats) that there is no
    legal basis to challenge that law .

    Absolutely incredible for me but it seems privacity it is over for the moment, but what is even worst this law gives power to do the same in EE.UU.
    and out the country. All citizens of the world could be watched by the loaw of a single one country despite it is the one of the world?.
    I seems future is going to be a dark place to live for the next generations.

    Am I angry?
    Yes, I am as no one could think they have the right to watch everything and everybody. Where is now freedom? Privacy? and so forth.

    “Never the end can justify the means” as it could be the begining of the end.

    Thanks dear Lucy, the subject was about “Green cards” more or less here it is the same, if any body comes here with a great amount
    of money and buy a big millionary house to live, and invest fifty thousand euros, this person gets inmediately the Spanish Nationality.

    I can´t recognize the times we are living on.

    My best dear Blogers.


  2. Peter says:

    Well, I don’t know about any of these
    I have been citizen for years
    With Canadian passport I can travel everywhere.
    Besides , U.S. is the neighboring country who has common wealth with us so I can travel here and seat there for 6 why bother.
    I would go traveling across the glob if I had that kind of money
    Canadian citizen ship , or American citizenship they are all alike
    The same benefit


  3. emiliano says:

    It is supposed that everyone is equal fancing the law and that is an Entelechy by all means.

    If you have enough money Law is different, and you may obtain the Green card by that, but
    the por inmigrant that only has his hands to work have not right to enter the country and look for
    a jobe.

    Just the same like here in Spain, if you have enough money you may have all the papers and
    even get the Spanish Nationality.

    Sorry, but It makes me sick so much injustice and the fact that there are always two yardsticks
    for law.

    Enough for today, iit is late, good night I´m going to bed.


  4. Wang says:

    Well, you are right Emiliano!

    I don’t know how much my country is requiring the foreign investors to enter into its market but I do believe that with
    a million of dollar I can live a good, high end life here in my country or any where in Asia, Europe, the north of America continent
    (I mean Canada)

    Me? for the one, I won’t wanna risk my life in Ame if i have that such money. Beside the facts that everyday, Ame citizens are
    dicing their life (I mean they don’t know whether or not there is another crazy man who is armed with gun somehow can jump
    out into the road and shoot the bullets into innocent people or another “Boston bombing” is ready in their neighborhood), now
    they have one more stunning leak from the whistle-blower…you can’t even trust your Big Boy! Needless to say that Ame is the most powerful
    economy in the world but in my opinion, what a pity! it’s also the most vulnerable country which can be hurt by anti-personal weapons

    Anyway, there are very few people from developed countries want to turn their Identity card into another developing-countries one like the one I have here kakaka 😀

    Best regard


  5. Peter says:

    I checked guys
    The conditional investment applies here as well
    Canada has such policies.
    You can get landed status if you bring 250000 up. You are supposed to start a business and hire candy and at least “5 ” I guess.
    It is all conditional subject to revoke ,though
    If you don’t meet a certain requirement during the 1095 days you need to fill up before you apply fir citizenship the government has the authority to null your landing status
    If my memory serves me right, My dad came here through education not investment.
    Anyway , I just checked the website


  6. emiliano says:

    As Wang said that´s another question I do not like either, it would be difficult to me just the idea of
    living in a country everybody could carry a weapon so free like in USA.
    It is sound funny like Wang said it, but that´s reality and of course you don´t know if your neighbor
    has a rifle or half a dozen of pistols at home, but also the person who is beside you in the bus or
    the subway.
    I don´t like this idea absolutely when I think about life in USA, for you it could be so natural but here
    in Europe or other sites it is so absurd. Last week I have read in the papers that a Little children of
    three years have shooted his father and kill him because the children found the father´s pistol.
    These kind of news are on the media from time to time, unthinkable for us timid Europeans the idea
    of our/other house full of guns or a bazooka in neighbor´s hands…….too much if you think about
    it with our way of life.

    Of course I know not everyone have guns at home, but there is the posibility of having them
    and I don´t like this idea absolutely.

    Good Wang, as I read you it seems I was watching a tv. movie, incredible but true after all.


  7. Dan says:

    Hello everyone.

    My understanding of these kind of laws, is that the US, as many other countries, is trying to attract investors in.

    These regulation is meant to those wealthy/fat cats people living in countries where there is not freedom and democracy or part of it, like China/Russia just to say a couple.

    To me it’s not wrong. It is like selling a product, that in this case is freedom/democracy, which is the true richness.

    Of course, if I were a Messican labourer working my back off for many years, and I see this guy buying his green card, that would ” upset me” not to use a more vulgar term.

    Thank you all.

  8. emiliano says:

    Looking for gun´s death in US I have found this:

    In 2010, there were 31,672 firearm deaths and 35,498 motor vehicle deaths across the nation, compared to 28,874 firearm
    deaths and 42,624 motor vehicle deaths in 1999.
    An average of 32 people (including 8 children and teens under the age of 20) are killed from guns every day, according to the Brady
    Campaign. And on average, the pro-gun control group has found that U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined
    rates of 22 countries that are comparable in wealth and population.

    So not, this an incredible fact for us and we have in mind these kind of statistics when thinking on living or visiting the country.
    Sure it is an exagerated fear and I think there are must be millions of houses where not a single gun it is allowed, but living in Madrid
    never I have seen a gun inside any friend´s house or have a gun ever in my hands or other relatives or friends hands.

    To me there is something wrong about this subject on US country or US constitution rights, but not living there I am nobody to
    judge such customs, but of course I have my own opinión about these rules.
    Frequently here in my country we have talked about it with friends or relatives, and nobody like it.
    Just not to talk about death penaltiy, that is another hard subject to talk about.

    Sorry but it is the truth, I do think life here in Europe or other countries it is different, a pity because other ways life in
    USA have to be great.

    My best dear Lucy, and sorry telling here these kinds of thoughts or points of view of us, Spaniards, about life in
    your country.


  9. tracy_lee says:


    I’m Chinese,living in a city near Canton now.I have been to Germany for studying.I agree that life in some developed countries is better than that in China now.Probably about the environment,democracy,income….Off course life there may be more comfortable.I do believe that there certain people would admire life in foreign country.But for me,living far away from my family,ralatives,friends make me sick at heart.I will possible have home sick then.Beyong substance requirment,emotional need also take an important part in my life.

    Meanwhile I do think that life now in China have made a great progress.Our living condition is improving.By contrast we don’t need to always worry about the private weapon problem.We have no demestic war and we live in a comparatively safe country.

    Back to the essay,althoug I never hear bout anyone from developed countries choose to become a legal resident in developing countries,I do know more and more foreigners live in China.Some are for work,some are attracted by Chinese culture,view.

    Kind regards,

  10. emiliano says:

    He Dan, be sure about that.
    Here at least eyes are pointed on Russian and Chinese investors
    who can invest money on which ever subject they like to.
    But other people who came on the years of the bubble are without
    anything, you could see them sitting on benches in the morning if
    you go for a walk, even here near home there a lots of Young
    South americans or from Marocs a hand on the other hand, waiting,
    waiting, sad eyes and poor dressed, it is really very sad.

    Now it the turn of Turkey people…..and go on, which would be the

    A big smile, nothing happens, and life goes on.
    Take care of you Dan, despite you don´t like or have, my friend.


  11. Peter says:

    Guys ,
    If you really looking for a second home ,I suggest you choose Canada as country of your choice.
    The process is way easier and the funds you must move in rather wire here is lower.
    And well,as you know, Canada is not a stranger to multiculturalism. In fact ,correct me if I wrong ,my understanding is Totonto is the world first cosmopolitan city thorough out the world in terms of the number of ethnicities living in GTA(Greater Toronto Area )
    Besides , there are a large number of legally arranged accommodations here in Canada funded and meant to facilitate new-arrivals’assimilation with the rules and lay of the new land. In simpler words , you will find your feet here faster ,in other words ,you learn the ropes in Canada easier and sooner.
    On top of that , the number of days you must live within Canada in order to acquire the eligibility to become naturalized , in other words , a Canadian citizen is ” 1095 ” days which is equal to three years.
    I understand that the number of days required for granting American citizen ship status is sth , i think , close to 5 years or so. I might be wrong here but i m sure of it that in the U.S. the period is longer .
    And the body of law regulating the protocol of becoming an American Citizen is way more stricter than that of a Canadian one.

    Of course, There are a lot of pros and cons involving here as to weather you take the path to American citizenship or Canadian ones. But , there is one perk rather advantage that beats the he.l out of the American one-that is- the health service in most areas of the health system in Canada are for free.
    You do the annual blood work and a lot more yearly general check up all without paying a penny. It is all being taken care of by Canadian Government /health sector
    Every year ,at the beginning of each fiscal year our good people in parliament of Canada which is the federal legislative body of Canada situated in our nation Capitol ” Ottawa ” allocates a budget to cover all the hospital expenses ,doctor visits and a lot of other necessary general health care for all people residing in Cacada holding different legal identity including refugee ,immigrant , and citizen statues for the year to come. Well, it is needless to say that cosmetic-treatment of any kind is not covered by the Health care which is totally within reasons , reasonable if you will.
    Well, in all fairness, instead, in the U.S. Americans are being levied lower taxes.i m not sure ,but I think is 6 or 7 percent lower than that of Canada
    We have GSP and HSP taken off our bi-weekly pay checks through out the year which depending your annuity income some may be returned to you at the end of the fiscal year.

    All in all ,it is a mater of preference and a matter of choice.

    You know , I have a lot of regrets in my life but there is one thing that I never regretted doing it ,actually two things
    1 ) journey in to Cacada :))( good one )
    2) becoming a Learning guide member

    Just so you know , I m holding rather enjoying the basic membership status which is 10 dollars per month. The amount is laughable compared to what I get in return. The biggest bang for my bucket ever.

    Eslpod Rules

  12. Willy says:

    I would live in U.S. My dream is to live there a day. But I don’t have a million of dollars ….
    There are other way to become a U.S. citizen?

  13. Lassana says:

    Hy Lucy,
    Hy Guys,

    In my country there are many way to get french nationality.

    If you’re immigant resident and that you want to get french nationality, you have to be married with a man or woman who is french. Then you can obtain french nationality a few times after.

    You can also get french nationality if you have been in France since five years you can do a demand to french’s foreigner administration.

    Get children if you’re foreigner can also be a way to obtain french nationality to them.

    French’s administration invite certain people for jobs in different areas where there are a needed. They receive more demand and make selection. Currently it’s the high level jobs.

    But U.S. conditions such as have got $ 1,000,000 or $ 5,000,00 to spare for start business is not a condition to get french nationality in France.

    See you soon !


  14. emiliano says:

    If you have a brilliant mind, a proved brilliant mind, yes there is a possibility.
    They like to have the best scientifics´s mind of the entire world, it is the same
    which matter you would be brilliant.

    So, Willy you need to study just a lot and have a brilliant mind also a work
    that proves your capacity.

    Go ahead my dear Willy, it is not necessary to have the million dollars, but
    I think the other way it is even more difficult.

    My best and good luck.


  15. Cauat says:

    Dear all,
    $1,000,000???It’s quite a sad thing for me to earn this amount in all my life.
    $1,000,000???For some people things they never imagined, while for other it’s just a small number. How thing are going on by affecting the wages, incomes and access to resources for the poorest people in the world?
    Who knows … If I have that kind of money, I sure I never think about the meaning of tomorrow, but maybe travel around the world would be a good idea.
    However, it’s better not to think about it. In fact, I only take $800 to Burma(it’s too expensive for me to visit the developed country) late this month for my 10 days holiday, not $80,000!I am so looking forward to Burma Temple.

    best regrad & thank you

  16. Parviz says:

    Hi Lucy,
    Very informative and educational.
    I am not sure about the variety of programs by which someone can get a permanent residency here. But, I do know, if you marry someone native to this country, or if you invest money in industry or oil conditional to making job for the unemployed, you can live here permanently. There have been some large companies that have invested many million dollars here in the past, but the number, unfortunately, is decreasing now.
    One reason is that the economy is government-driven, meaning most important industries and businesses supervised by the government, so it isn’t clear how you are going to invest money and/or get your revenue. There is this bureaucracy that tires you long before you get through any discussion.
    Second, some good investors come to put money in business now and then. But the conditions are so tough that put then in impossible positions. The taxes, for example, are unfair or living condition unbearable, due to religion predominance.
    Therefore, foreign investment has been low as far as I now. And If there is a program to put forth permanent citizenship through Foreign investment, might be difficult to pursue.
    Anyway, last year I had a chance to travel to the United States, but things didn’t go right.
    I was working on a project its results turned out to be worth publishing, so I send them to an American Journal they agreed to publish the Article, also they granted me a chance to continue my studying in the U.S.
    Because, first of all, I wasn’t sure if I could get the admission from the USA officials. Also, they wanted me to continue my career as a PhD student, which I didn’t like very much.
    So, the program failed totally and the odds against me to become a US citizen were 1000000000000 to 0.00000000001.
    Ergo I gave up everything.
    Thank you

  17. emiliano says:

    Cauat, you said wise words, it is better not to think about what we can´t have, don´t be unhappy for that, by the contrary
    better to think about how many good things we have at the momento and ejoy every second of our life.

    As you said, in all my years working it is sure I didn´t earn such a lot of money but here I am, writing in the Blog, more
    happy than sad, at least for the moment.

    See what happens today with Mesi, the best futball player of the world (some said that) and he has not enough, now the
    Spanish Finance Ministry is asking him for more than 4 millions of euros that seems allegedly he had not paid, so he is
    going to pay 10 or more millions of euros (12 millions dollars) and could be penalized with prison, eight years at least, but
    sure being here in Spain that´s nearly impossible.

    If he were in USA, sure he could go to jail, as in this country authorities are more serious about this subject.

    Think about the subject……..too much millions doesn´t give happyness, even more when people are always thinking about
    having more and more.

    My best dear, emiliano

  18. Ziba says:

    thank You Lucy for the informative post.
    when i read the text some questions came in my mind:
    So if the person who invests his money and he fails what will happen then?
    will he be safe there and is there any guarantee or support to give him back some of his money? after the failure will he be a poor person there without money to back to his country?
    Is this progaram Just for spending money in the U.S?
    I mean what will happen after the failure???

    Ziba (Iran)

  19. Parviz says:

    Hi Ziba,
    Nice comeback.
    Way to go.

  20. Ziba says:

    Hi Parvis,

    Thank you very much for your nice words, actually when i read the posts here especially yours, i become interested to write some sentences here. but i afraid of making mistakes.

    thank again,

  21. Parviz says:

    Hi Ziba
    No one is free from mistakes. In fact, the only way to learn is to have courage to face mistakes.
    You are on the right track, we won’t let you down.

  22. Narges says:

    Dear Lucy,
    Thank you for this information.
    As Parviz said every body can come to Iran invest here. However the big problem is that most fields in industries are belonged to government and some spacial groups. So finding a good field for investment is hard.
    In my country, Nationality is more important than Citizenship. No one is Iranian unless his or her father is Iranian.
    Narges (Iran)

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