An investor visa can allow a foreign national to enter the United States for either immigration purposes or for nonimmigrant employment needs. The EB-5 visa is known as the immigrant investor’s visa and provides qualifying entrepreneurs and their close family members with a pathway to citizenship. By contrast, the E-2 treaty investor visa is, at least traditionally, intended for non-immigrant purposes. Depending on your personal or business needs and goals, either the EB-5 or E-2 visa can provide you authorization to enter the United States for the purposes of overseeing and developing your investment.
What Qualifications Must an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Satisfy?
The EB-5 immigrant investor is required to make a “substantial investment” into a “new commercial enterprise” in order to benefit from the privileges conferred by EB-5 investor immigrant visa status. While the starting point for most “substantial investments” begins at $1 million (USD), there are certain circumstances where the requisite investment is reduced to $500,000. Instances where the minimum substantial investment is reduced to $500,000 includes when the investment is made in a targeted employment area where the unemployment rate is at least 150 percent greater than the national average. Alternatively, if the investment is made into a business that is considered rural, the reduced substantial investment will also apply.
Valuations should be conducted at fair market value. Items included in the valuation of the investment are cash, inventory, equipment, and other property and assets of the business. However, assets that were acquired illegally are not counted toward the qualifying investment.
Aside from making a minimum investment, the EB-5 investor must also make a qualifying investment into a “new commercial enterprise.” Generally new commercial enterprises refer to those business entities established after November 1990. However, in some circumstances a business entity formed prior to this date can also be considered a “new commercial enterprise” if the existing business realizes a 40 percent increase in net worth or number of employees through investment. Additionally, the requirement is satisfied if an already existing business is purchased and reorganized such that a new enterprise results.
In addition to the previously discussed requirements, when seeking to remove the conditions on one’s conditional green card a showing that the requisite number of jobs has been created or preserved must be shown. Typically, the investment must create or sustain at least 10 full-time jobs for American citizens who are not closely related to the investor.
Depending on an entrepreneur’s goals, there are numerous immigration options available that will authorize one to live and work in the United States. In some cases, the investor merely wishes to set-up a business in the United States and has no long-term desire to live here or achieve citizenship. In other scenarios, achieving citizenship for him or herself and qualifying family members may be the motivating reason behind the investment.
There are many paths to a U.S. green card and citizenship. Considering the of the numerous pathways an individual can use to achieve business and immigration goals, it is important for investors to select an immigration option that aligns with these pursuits. A failure to engage in this due diligence can result in an approach to obtaining a visa that does not provide the benefits you need. The immigration attorneys of Colombo & Hurd can work to help you select a visa that is likely to permit you to achieve your goals.
Investor Visas for to Provide Non-Immigrant Benefits
In some instances, the investor’s goals only include establishing, running, or managing their business for a defined, temporary period of time. Thus, these individuals are not concerned about achieving citizenship or obtaining a green card. Their sole focus is being able to live and work in the United States for a certain amount of time so that they can oversee their investment.
In this scenario, there are two types of visas that are often particularly appropriate. First, the E-1 visa or E-2 visa for Treaty Traders and Investors, respectively, can allow a business person or investor to come to the United States. However, the individual must be able to satisfy certain requirements to be granted an E-1 or E-2 visa.
To qualify for an E-1 or an E-2 visa, the individual must be from a nation with which the United States government holds a treaty of commerce and navigation. Nations with which the United States holds treaties with include:
- China (Taiwan)
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
Aside from the country of origin requirement which applies to both visa, there are individualized requirements for the E-1 and E-2 visas. For instance, to qualify for an EB-1 visa, the volume of international trade conducted between the United States and the home nation must be substantial with 50 percent or more of the country’s involved international trade occurring with the United States. Additionally, the worker must be an essential employee in an executive or managerial role. By contrast, the standards for an E-2 visa require a “substantial” investment. The investment must be “at risk” and create a substantial economic impact in the United States among other requirements.
EB-5 Investor Visa Can Be Appropriate When You Want to Immigrate to the United States
For individuals who wish to come to the United States to live and work permanently, the EB-5 visa is often a good fit. The EB-5 visa allows a foreign investor or entrepreneur to make an investment into the United States. If successful, the investment can provide a path to a green card and citizenship for the investor and his or her qualifying family members.
In general, a minimum Eb-5 investment is $1 million unless the investment is made into a commercial venture doing business in a targeted employment area where it is reduced to $500,000. The investment into a commercial venture must also satisfy certain job creation requirements if the immigrant investor is to receive the immigration benefits of their EB-5 investment. All the while, the immigrant investor must stay on top of paperwork and ensure that certain immigration petitions are filed with enough time left to remove the conditions placed on the green card. An immigration attorney can help handle this process and all other aspects of your investment based visa.
Work with Investor Visa Attorneys in Miami and Orlando
If you are considering investing in a U.S.-based business, the attorneys of Colombo & Hurd can help. If your investment goals also include establishing a pathway to citizenship, we can discuss the options you have. If you also would like to secure a green card for your spouse and children, we can assess the situation and ensure that your child will not “age out” before immigration benefits can be awarded.
To discuss your immigration goals with an immigration lawyer, call the lawyers of Colombo & Hurd at 305-692-0232 or contact us online today. We can arrange for initial consultations at our law offices in Orlando or Miami or by phone or VOIP.