Green Card Options For Foreign Investments

Green Card Options For Foreign Investments

You can obtain the American Dream easier than ever before, thanks to the EB-5 Investor Program.

This new program offers a convenient way to get a green card, all you have to do is make a certain qualified investment starting at as low as $500,000!

The beauty of this program is that just about anyone can qualify. An individual who makes an investment and their entire immediate family (including children under 21) will obtain green-cards. You and your family will be able to move to the United States as green-card holders and will be put on the path of citizenship. Your children will be able to attend U.S. schools and will not be subject to the burdensome visa process.

Our seasoned immigration and corporate legal professionals can assist you with getting your own piece of the American Dream. Utilizing our many years of experience, we will guide you through the complex immigration process and provide strategic business planning advice.

There are two different ways of investing under this program: you either 1) invest in a new or existing business, or 2) invest in a Regional Center. Depending on which option you choose, the process is different but the outcome is the same: a green-card and a path to citizenship. Although the decision process sounds complex, our qualified professionals can help you decide which route is best for you.

Once you have completed your investment, you will receive a conditional green card, which is valid for two years. At the end of the two years, you must apply to remove the condition by demonstrating that the investment continues to comply with US immigration laws, as discussed below. After the condition is removed, you will receive a green card that is valid for ten years and you and your family may be eligible to apply for citizenship in three years.

Option 1: Investing in a new or existing business

EB-5 Visa Program

For the investor who wants to take a more active role in a US business, our team can facilitate the investment in a new or existing business. Through this program, an investor must make an investment of at least $500,000 or $1 million in a commercial enterprise, depending on the location of the business operations, and create employment for at least 10 full time workers.
The advantages of investing through the EB-5 Visa Program are that you can be involved with a US business and live the American Dream of entrepreneurship and self-realization. You also do not have to be a majority shareholder in a company, and can invest in a business opportunity that you find to be a good investment. Unlike a Regional Center investment, you will have to live near your business.

Our EB-5 Services:

Strategic Business Planning and Development:

Our immigration and corporate legal professionals will work with you to evaluate potential businesses and investment opportunities. Further, we will develop a business plan and strategy for developing your business. Working side by side with our immigration professionals, our team will ensure that your investment complies with US immigration laws and that your investment meets the requirements for qualifying for a green card. We will discuss the various possibilities of legal entities and create the entities under your choice of US state law.


Finally, our highly experienced immigration attorneys will assist you in completing and submitting all your immigration applications.

Option 2: Investing in a Regional Center

Regional Center Program

Alternatively, you can make your investment through a designated Regional Center, which allows for you to obtain a green card, while being less involved in day to day business of a company. Regional Centers are pre-approved funds regulated by USCIS (Immigration), and are established projects in which you may make qualified investments and in return, receive lawful permanent resident status. You must invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a regional center, depending on where the Regional Center is located.

The advantages of investing in a Regional Center over an EB-5 investment are numerous. Unlike the EB-5 program, you can live anywhere in the US and are not required to live where the regional center is located. Furthermore, unlike an EB-5 program, you, as an investor, will not be required to be involved in the day to day business activity of the Regional Center. Finally, the EB-5 requirement of hiring 10 full-time employees has been softened; instead, the investor must prove, through the Regional Center, that 10 new jobs were created by the Regional Center itself, or indirectly by the existence of the Regional Center.

Our Regional Center Services

Regional Center applications are more straightforward than EB-5 investment programs. We will help you locate Regional Centers that meet your investment criteria, and will aid you in deciding which are best for you. Once you have invested with the appropriate Regional Center we will help you with all the immigration requirements of the Regional Center program.

Your Next Steps:

Now that you have learned a little about the EB-5 program, and have some questions about immigrating to the United States, please reach out to us. We will meet with you, determine your needs as an investor and discuss options available to you. Our team will evaluate and discuss your needs as an investor and advise you on the advantages and challenges of investing in the U.S. through the Regional Center program or the EB-5 program. Our goal is to meet your needs and ensure that you are able to reap the benefits of this program.

Once we have determined whether you are ready to invest in the United States through the Regional Center Program or otherwise, our team will tailor a plan of action for you. We will navigate the investment process with you, ensuring that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

We look forward to speaking with you.

Christine Ghobrial Gaxiola

Christine Ghobrial Gaxiola

Ms. Gaxiola is currently Of Counsel for WJH Law Group, providing her expertise in real estate and business transactions.  She represents the firm’s clients as a transactional attorney for residential and commercial real estate purchases, commercial leases, business sales and acquisitions, entity formation and structuring, and contract drafting and review.  She is also a licensed Broker with the California Bureau of Real Estate.

Ms. Ghobrial Gaxiola graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles, attaining her undergraduate degrees in Business Economics and English Literature. Ms. Gaxiola continued her education at UCLA School of Law and earned her J.D. with a specialization in Corporate Law, in 2005. Ms. Gaxiola speaks Arabic and Spanish.


University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law, J.D. 2005


University of California, Los Angeles, summa cum laude, B.A. Business Economics / English Literature


Bar Admissions




Organizations / Publications / Speaking Engagements


Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA)

Beverly Hills Bar Association (BHBA)

Beverly Hills Greater Los Angeles Association of Realtors (BHGLAAR)


The L Visa applies to foreign workers who are employed by a company with a branch, subsidiary or affiliate in the U.S. These workers come to the U.S. as intra-company transferees who are coming temporarily to perform work in either:

  • a managerial or executive capacity, or
  • a position that requires specialized knowledge.

To qualify, the employee must have been employed abroad on a full-time basis for at least one continuous year of the last three years.  There is currently no annual cap on L-1 visas and the visa is issued for 3 years.  In cases where the foreign entity opens a new branch, subsidiary or affiliate in the US, the L Visa is only issued for one year and must be extended thereafter.  There is a 7-year maximum for managerial or executive workers and a 5-year maximum for foreign workers with specialized knowledge.

An L Visa allows dual-intent.  An L Visa holder can therefore pursue permanent residency without jeopardizing the ability to file for an extension of the L status.

E visa

The E Visa category is only available to those who are nationals of countries that have a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation or a Bilateral Investment Treaty with the US (for a full list please click here).  The Treaty Trader Visa (E-1) is based on substantial trade between the US and the country of nationality.  The Treaty Investor Visa (E-2) is based on a substantial investment in an ongoing, operating enterprise.  Some countries have either E-1 or E-2 Treaties, but not both.  Essential employees from the treaty countries are also eligible for E Visa status.  Those who hold an E Visa may stay in the U.S. for as long as they maintain their position with the enterprise.

EB-5 Visa Program

The EB-5 visa program allows entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) who make an investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and who plan to create or preserve ten permanent full time jobs for qualified United States workers to apply for a green card (permanent residence). By investing in certain qualified investments or regional centers with high unemployment rates, the required investment amount can be as low as $500,000.

Business Immigration

Our firm assists companies and individuals obtain nonimmigrant and immigrant visas based on employment and investments.   We also offer other immigration services.  For more information with other immigration issues, please visit our sister website here.

US Corporate, Partnership and Business Law

We represent clients in virtually every area of general corporate, partnership, and business law.  The services we provide include advice regarding the type of business entity to establish, drafting of business documents such as employment contracts, and maintaining corporate books.

We emphasize high-quality, cost-effective service for businesses and entrepreneurs. We offer personalized attention to the needs of our clients, providing a full spectrum of services including representation in civil and administrative litigation, business consultation, review and drafting of contracts, including leases, financing agreements, asset purchases and sales and business restructuring and reorganization.

We will help you and your business with all your transactional legal needs including:

  • Setting up and organizing Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLC), and Corporations;
  • Negotiating and preparing legal agreements, including buy-out agreements, employment agreements, and purchase and sales agreements;
  • Providing written legal opinions where appropriate;
  • Negotiating commercial and business financing, leases, and other agreements

Lebanese Probate, Estate and Family Laws

We render legal assistance to Americans of Middle Eastern origin in family and probate matters and business transactions. We work closely with our clients to select the legal formula that works in their best interest, while considering all possible venues and issues, which might arise out of the conflict of law.

International Law

We provide American businesses interested in doing business in the Middle East with legal, business advisory, and consulting services designed to facilitate success in their chosen business or investment.

We assist American law firms in the following:

  • Litigation and arbitration
  • Execution of judgments against foreign defendants
  • Accessing assets of judgment debtors in Europe, Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East


We represent foreign business and government entities in the United States, including representation rights, contracts, business negotiations and arbitration.

We work closely with foreign counsel to enforce money judgments in the United States. We also assist in various commercial transactions throughout Europe and the Middle East, working with local counsel on each transaction.



Wafa J. Hoballah, attorney at law, has over twenty years of experience representing clients across the globe in business, commercial and corporate law. She has developed a unique practice in which she tailors her services to the clients need in branching to the United States. She has worked with clients from Europe, the Middle East, West Africa, and Vietnam, focusing on major aspects of international business transactions, negotiations, due diligence investigations, development, financing, and joint ventures. Ms. Hoballah’s practice focuses on international investments and investment and employment based immigration.

Ms. Hoballah is an expert on U.S. Lebanese Comparative laws including religious laws as applied by the Lebanese courts. Her domestic practice focuses on assisting Lebanese Nationals with family, probate and estate matters particularly as it relates to religious and civil laws and its compatibility with local United State laws.

Ms. Hoballah also has an expertise in US Immigration and Nationality Law. Combining her personal and legal experience with her cultural background, she provides legal services sensitive to the ethnic, business and cultural needs of the community including, U.S Permanent Residency based on business and investments specifically EB-5, Political Asylum and Violence against Women Act petitions (VAWA).

Wafa Hoballah has been a keynote speaker and featured panelist on a broad range of topics at conferences, organizational meetings and special delegations, including The NGO Committee on the Status of Women, U.N., Human Trafficking, Kazakhstan Delegation, Comparative Law at the Ministry of Justice, Oman, Department of State’s International Information Programs, Developing Marketing and Business Plans, Pskov, Russia, A Platform for Business and Investment, Annual Africa Growth Conference at UCLA Anderson. Ms. Hoballah has also authored The Visa Processing Guild & Consular Posts Handbook Chapter on Lebanon in 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.

Ms. Hoballah is admitted to practice law in New York, District of Columbia and Lebanon. She received her LL.M. from the University of The Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law of California, a diploma in International Private Law from the University of Salzburg, School of Law, a License en Droit (JD) from the Lebanese University Faculty of Law, and her B.A. from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.


University of The Pacific’s McGeorge, School of Law of California, L.L.M.
University of Salzburg, School of Law, Diploma, International Private Law
Lebanese University, Faculty of Law, J.D.
American University of Beirut, Lebanon, B.A.

Bar Admissions

New York, Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Courts, Attorney at Law Admitted January 1998
District of Columbia Bar, Admitted 2012
Beirut Bar, Lebanon, Attorney at Law Admitted February 1982

Professional Bar Associations

New York State Bar Association
Los Angeles County Bar Association, International & Immigration sections
American Immigration Lawyers Association
International Bar Association, Business, International Trade, Human Rights sections
Arab American Lawyers Association of Southern California

Organizations / Affiliations

Chair, Member, Board of Directors, Los Angeles Beirut Sister Cities Committee
Chair, Board of Directors, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles, Past President
Member, Board of Directors, Lebanese American Foundation, Los Angeles, California, 1999-Present, Secretary-Executive Committee
Member, Community Based Organizations Committee, a program sponsored by DHS/USCIS to promote better relations between local communities and the District Offices
Member, Advisory Board, Refugee Safe Haven Shelter for Victims of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence, Los Angeles, California
Member, Board of Directors, Lebanese Ladies Cultural Society established to “Fulfill a Child’s Dream through Education”, Los Angeles, California
Member, Advisory Board, von Grunebaum Center for Near Center Eastern Studies, University of California, Los Angeles