Investor Visas and Green Cards through Investment
How Valentini Law Offices Can Benefit You: We make it simple for foreign investors to accomplish a two-fold task: make an investment in the US and get a long-term visa or green card for yourselves and your immediate family
Investor Visa (E-2 visa)
This nonimmigrant visa is available to petitioners (investors) who make an investment in the US economy. It is very common for investors on E-2 visas and their spouses and children to adjust their status to become US lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and US citizens.
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To qualify for an E-2 visa, the investment has to be real and active and come from documented legitimate sources (real estate transactions, inheritance, salary and bonuses, sales commissions etc). The investor should fully control the funds and accept the common entrepreneurial risks associated with becoming an investor.
The funds invested in the US economy should not be the only funds available to the investor. The investor will have to prove that the investment funds are “at risk” and that he has other funds readily available to him. It is required that the investment not be marginal, i.e. it should be substantial enough to generate more income than is sufficient to provide the means of living for the investor and investor’s family.
E-2 visas are available to the nationals of the countries with which the US has a treaty.
The treaty countries are: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.
Compared to other non-immigrant and immigrant visas, the E-2 visa has numerous advantages:
- It “covers” the investor, his spouse and all his children under 21.
- It is initially issued for 5 years, but can be renewed indefinitely.
- There is a relatively short processing time, including premium proceedings that allow an investor to receive a decision within one week
- An investor can legally work in the US in his enterprise.
- Investor’s spouse can apply for employment authorization and lawfully work either for the spouse’s enterprise or elsewhere.
- The investor, his spouse and children can freely travel outside the US and re-enter the US as they please.
Green card for Investors (EB-5)
This immigrant visa (green card) is available for investors in the US economy. A green card entitles an alien to almost all the same rights as a US citizen. In addition to the investor, his spouse and unmarried children under 21 receive green cards at the same time with the investor. An EB-5 investor can be from any country in the world.
The minimal investment is around $500,000. The EB-5 investor is not required to participate in the routine operations of the business in managerial capacity. Therefore, he does not have to reside in the proximity to the business. EB-5 investors, their spouses and children are permitted to lawfully work in the US.
The investor has to prove that the funds that he or she is planning to invest in the US economy were obtained by lawful means. To prove that, a prospective investor provides his income tax statements, pay stubs, real estate sale contracts, inheritance paperwork, etc. A prospective investor should understand that he is accepting all common business risks associated with making an investment.
If the petition is approved, the investor first starts off with a conditional green card. If the funds were in fact invested and the jobs created, then after one year and nine months of the date the conditional green card was issued, investor can apply for a permanent green card. After the investor receives his permanent green card for a period of four years and nine months, he or she can apply for US citizenship. As soon as EB-5 investor obtains US citizenship, he and his spouse can apply for green cards for the members of their immediate family who did not get green cards simultaneously with them – their parents, children over 21(with their spouses and children) and siblings. Therefore, the EB-5 investment can serve as an immigration vehicle for big well-to-do families.