America has lots of ways to become a U.S. citizen. However, the one way people have almost never heard about involves foreigners buying U.S. citizenship. Money really can buy everything, as this particular route to citizenship shows. Here is how this process works, in case you have any wealthy, foreign-born friends who want to become U.S. citizens.
The EB 5 Immigration Visa
This is a special visa typically referred to as the "investor's visa." Anyone with a cool million can get it. A million dollars invested in any American product or company and the completed EB 5 immigration visa is the rich person's ticket into the U.S.
Once here on the EB 5 visa, the investor can apply for citizenship. It is almost always granted because the government wants to boost the economy by encouraging wealthy foreign investors to stay, live, and work here. Many of the requirements of naturalization are exceptions to the rules, as these investors are exempt under the law.
Two Alternatives for the Not-Quite-as-Wealthy
Foreign investors who still want to buy their citizenship but not spend quite so much have two alternatives. They need to find a rural or impoverished area of the U.S. where at least ten adults need jobs. Investing $500,000 (instead of a million) into these areas allows them access to the EB 5 visa because they are helping change those areas into more prosperous areas with higher rates of employment.
If the foreign investors still do not want to invest that much, they can opt to be part of a pool of investors that are each putting in a certain dollar amount until it equals a million dollars or more. It still gives them access to the investor's visa, and puts them directly on the path to U.S. citizenship. They become foreign-born anchors in this country for any family that wants to follow over.
Where to Apply and How It Works (When Asking for a "Friend")
First and foremost, your "friend" would have to invest the necessary dollar amounts, and have an immigration lawyer handle the transaction. The immigration lawyer provides proof of investment, and then your "friend" takes that proof and the necessary EB 5 paperwork to an immigration office or U.S. embassy/consul. The application is processed after your "friend" pays the necessary fees. The visa is ready within a week or two, and then he/she can travel to the U.S.