Which Investor Visa Is Right for Me?
Picking the Right Investor Visa in the U.S.
The U.S. government recognizes the importance that foreign investors bring to the economy. They also acknowledge that such investors will want to witness their investments’ progress physically. The U.S. created an investor visa to cater to those wishing to invest a significant sum in the country.
AmLaw Group mainly handles business-related immigration. We have helped various investors and employees obtain visas to work in the United States.
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What is an Investor Visa?
Business people planning to invest in the United States, such as starting a company that will benefit the American labor market, will be able to be there physically to monitor and manage it.
An investor visa ensures that you will be allowed to enter the United States and oversee the progress of the investment that you have made. For an investor like you, there are primarily two visa options:
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.
It is a non-immigrant visa that permits entry to a person from a country with a treaty with the United States if they invest a significant amount of capital in a U.S. business. An E 2 visa holder may bring their spouse and unmarried children.
By getting an E 2 Investor Visa, you’ll be entitled to a maximum of 2 years of stay in the country. Furthermore, you may seek an extension (2 years per extension) for as long as you meet the conditions.
EB-5 Investor Visa.
Unlike the previous one, this visa, also known as an employment-based visa, immediately leads to a path to a green card. Yes, you read it correctly! You can acquire permanent residence status alongside qualifying family members by investing a certain amount and fulfilling the eligibility requirements.
However, you’ll get a conditional green card, which means it expires in 2 years. That is to ensure you’ll fulfill your end of the bargain, such as hiring ten full-time U.S. workers, completing the investment, and operating the business, among others.
Fortunately, you can remove this condition by applying to the USCIS within 90 days before you reach the two years.
If you want assistance in acquiring your investor visa, contact us, an immigration law office that can provide legal services needed for your visa journey.
Which Investor Visa Is Most Suited for Me?
As previously stated, there are primarily two types of investor visas accessible to you, each with its own set of qualifying standards that you must meet before applying.
To be eligible for an E-2 treaty investor visa, you must meet the following requirements:
Must be a citizen of a country with which the United States has an investor treaty.
Take note that you must be a citizen of a treaty country, not just a legal resident. Citizens do not need to be presently residing in their country of citizenship to be qualified for an E-2 visa.
You are going to the United States to work for a business you own or have at least 50% ownership.
To be considered a principal owner, you must own at least 50% of the business, exercise voting control within the company, and travel to the United States to develop and oversee the investment venture.
It is also important to note that the enterprise or business must be bona fide, which means that a real, active, and operating for-profit business venture provides services or products.
Must have invested, or actively invested, a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
To better understand this requirement, let us dissect it into two parts: investment and substantial amount.
When we talk about investment, we mean that you are putting money or assets at risk (in a business sense) to make a profit. The capital will suffer a partial or entire loss if the investment fails. It doesn’t matter where the money came from; it may have been inherited, lent, or given to you as long as you didn’t obtain it illegally.
Moreover, a substantial amount of capital is more difficult to define because there is no legal definition of the correct minimum amount for investment. Instead, you can examine whether it meets the following:
- It is substantial in connection with the total amount of either acquiring an existing business or developing a new one;
- It is enough to assure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the enterprise’s operational success;
- It is sufficient to sustain the prospect that the treaty investor will successfully grow and direct the enterprise alive. The lower the enterprise cost, the more significant the proportionate investment must be to be regarded as substantial.
Are you having doubts about whether your investment is substantial? It would be beneficial for you to have an immigration attorney with a history with these two investment visas.
On the other hand, the qualifications for an EB-5 investor visa are complicated and have a very narrow definition. To be eligible for an EB-5 investor visa, you must fulfill the following conditions:
Investment in Regional Centers or a “new” commercial company is required.
Regional Centers. A regional center is a governmental or private economic entity in the United States that promotes economic growth through significant export sales, increased regional productivity, enabled job creation, etc.
Although privately owned, the only authority to designate an area as a regional center rests upon the USCIS.
Most EB-5 visa applicants engage in the regional center program because a regional center operates in a rural area or an area with a high employment rate. That means the amount of investment required is smaller.
Another advantage is that it allows the investor to participate in money investing without the requirement to start or run a new business.
The disadvantage of this scheme is that it is not permanent. Because it is not a component of U.S. immigration law, Congress must renew its extension.
“New” Commercial Enterprise or Investor Visa Program. A “new” commercial enterprise is any for-profit activity founded for the continued conduct of legitimate business. That includes a sole proprietorship, joint venture, partnership, company, LLC, or other organization that can be publicly or privately held.
To be considered a “new” commercial enterprise, you can start your own original business or buy an enterprise established after November 29, 1990. You may also purchase and restructure or reorganize an existing business, to form a new corporate entity.
Suppose you buy a “troubled business.” In that case, you must demonstrate that you can maintain the number of employees for at least two years. A “troubled business” refers to a business operating for at least two years but having an annual net worth loss of 20%.
Need help purchasing an existing business? We have you covered! Our Miami investor visa attorney has helped clients buy an existing business for a visa.
Must have active involvement in the business.
You must not only contribute money or invest in a business and wait for a green card but also actively participate in its operation. You can take on responsibilities such as management and policy-making. Hence, passive investment does not qualify you for an EB-5 visa.
You must create at least ten full-time jobs due to the investment.
Among the many purposes of the EB-5 is to ensure the creation of jobs. The job generated from the investment must be full-time, which means that the job must require at least 35 hours per week.
To be considered in the above requirement, the full-time job must be directly created by the enterprise. On the other hand, investing in regional centers means you may directly or indirectly generate full-time jobs.
You can consider indirect jobs (those held outside the firm but generated from the new commercial enterprise) to fulfill up to 90% of the job creation requirements.
Why do I need a Florida Investor Visa Attorney?
Obtaining an investor visa can be difficult, with more complex criteria than other types of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas. It requires a particular amount of investment in certain types of business, a requirement for creating jobs, etc.
In addition, you must produce several documents to demonstrate your eligibility. That can include documentation of the business’s existence and activity, proof that the investment made was substantial, various government forms, bank statements, and more.
Seems difficult? Don’t worry, since our investor visa attorney is here to provide you with the best legal services a law office can provide. Our lawyers are passionate about advocating for our client’s rights and bringing their dreams into reality. Our lawyers have experience with various immigration cases (e.g., H-1B visa, executive visa) and provide legal services to your business, such as company registration, buying a franchise, accounting support, and more!
Make your investment count. Invest in your future by scheduling a consultation with us today!
Call our Florida Investor Visa Attorney Now!
Don’t burden yourself with the difficulties of obtaining an investor visa. Call our Miami investor visa attorney to help with your immigration case, such as drafting immigration appeals.
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