The EB 5 visa program is ideal for foreign investors who want to get US green card through real estate investment. Many frequently use the terms permanent residency and citizenship interchangeably, but these statuses are different. Each of the two terms comes with a set of requirements and benefits.

What Permanent Residency Status Means

To become a permanent resident of any country, you must be a legal resident, whether you are a citizen or not. You can have the legal right to live in that country permanently, even if you don’t have citizenship. 

For example, permanent residents in the US are often known as green card holders. They have the legal right to stay in that country as permanent residents even if they are not citizens. A green card serves as a permit that allows you permanent residency for an indefinite period. 

When a person stays in the US for five years or more, they are eligible for permanent residency. You will have to renew the permanent residency card after every five years. 

If you have a permanent residency permit, you will enjoy the same privileges as citizens. You can do business, live, and work within the country indefinitely. 

You can also petition for immediate family (unmarried children and spouses) to come and live with you in the US Your relatives may have to wait five years or more before obtaining a green card. 

Permanent residents cannot hold public office and don’t have the right to vote. You will remain a citizen in your home country even if you are legally permitted to indefinitely live and seek employment in the US. 

A green card is the best option if you want to retain residency or citizenship in your home country or plan to live temporarily in the US. If you stay for over a year out of the US, you risk having your permanent resident status revoked. You should apply for a re-entry permit if you know you will not visit the United States for a long time. 

What Citizenship Means

The most obvious way to become a citizen of the United States is by birth. If a child is born outside the US and one or both parents are lawful US citizens, that child automatically has US citizenship. 

The other way to obtain US citizenship is through naturalization. Any person born in a foreign country who immigrates to the US can apply for US citizenship. 

A US citizen can get a US passport without restrictions from the US State Department. Most countries grant US citizens visa-free travel. Citizens can leave and return to the US at any time. They will not need a re-entry permit or be subjected to grounds of inadmissibility. 

Citizens have no limitations on the number of days they can stay outside the US. If you have citizenship, you have the right to vote in US local and federal elections. You can also serve on juries and hold government jobs. Most state and federal government scholarships, grants, and other benefits are accessible only to US citizens. 

Citizens can petition for the number of relatives to immigrate. Your unmarried children below 21 years, spouse, and parents are eligible to immigrate once you complete the paperwork and interviews. This is because they are immediate relatives. Your sisters and brothers are ”preferred relatives.” This means they may have to stay on the waiting list to immigrate, which can take several years.

Key Differences

  • Citizens can stand for public office and vote, while residents cannot.
  • You cannot cancel citizenship, while the government can revoke permanent residency.
  • Permanent residents must live in the country for a particular period, while citizens have no residency requirement.
  • Citizenship lasts a lifetime while you must renew a residency card. 
  • You can pass citizenship onto your children; for residency, it depends on the eligibility and circumstances of your children.

Apply for the EB 5 Visa Program

The EB 5 visa program can help you get your US green card if you are a foreign investor. Find a company that can help you learn about the process to know if you qualify.

The best company will simplify the process of acquiring your EB-5 visa. Prioritize a provider who focuses on investment opportunities. They can help provide projects located within selected employment areas.

By Manali