The EB-5 Program:
The EB-5 Program is a wonderful way to Immigrate to the United States if you can meet the qualifications. With the right investment of one million dollars, or even five-hundred thousand dollars in some cases, in addition to receiving a return on your investment (as all good investments should provide), you can receive a Green Card for yourself and your family. How does it work? Well read on to find out. Don’t have five-hundred thousand dollars available to invest? Don’t worry, there are other Investment Visa options that we will discuss below.
The rationale behind the EB-5 program is that the United States like any nation, needs continual human investment, job creation, and new business to sustain itself. This is particularly true for parts of the United States that are poorer, more rural, and generally less developed. Thus, if you are able and willing to make an investment of $500,000 dollars in what is known as a “Targeted Employment Area;” meaning a rural area or an area of the United States designated as having a particularly high unemployment rate, you can potentially get a Green Card. If you wish to make your investment in an area of the United States that is wealthier and/or more urban, the minimum amount as required for law will generally be $1,000,000. In all cases, your investment will have to create 10 full-time (35 hours a week) positions for American workers or for Immigrants, and it will generally have to create a new for-profit commercial enterprise in the United States.
Does that all sound a little intimidating? Do you not have any creative ideas for a new business venture? At Zontlaw we understand that. You probably worked your whole life to build the success you have attained, and maybe at this stage of your life you’re not looking to direct and develop a new company. Well the GOOD NEWS is that you don’t have to be super active with your investment if you don’t want to. What do we mean?
We mean that United States Immigration Law contemplated that wealthy foreigners who are seeking to Immigrate by making a capital investment in the United States, would not want to have a hands-on role with their investments and their resulting new businesses, in all cases. Thus, the law provided for these things called “Regional Centers” to be created in the United States. Regional Centers are basically U.S. based companies themselves, most often in the form of Real Estate Development companies, and they handle all aspects of deploying and managing the EB-5 investments, the job creation requirements, and the resulting companies of foreigners under the EB-5 scheme. These Regional Centers have been approved by USCIS to participate in the EB-5 scheme and they are generally very good and reputable.
HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT TRUE IN ALL CASES, and the importance of selecting the right Regional Center, from an investment-return prospective, and from a legal perspective, cannot be understated. This is also where an experienced Immigration Lawyer’s help can prove invaluable to the success of your petition and investment. Please read our blog article on EB-5 Regional Centers available here, for more detailed information on how Regional Centers and EB-5 Investments work. If you believe that the EB-5 Investment Visa may be the right visa for you, please contact us right away. There are as many of 10,000 of these visas made available a year for qualifying foreigners, and you can apply from outside of the United States or from within. If you are not sure yet if the EB-5 visa is right for you, or if you want to learn more about other Investment Visa options, please continue to read on.
Other Investment Visa Options:
Don’t have $500,000 dollars that you can invest in order to obtain a Green Card? That’s okay! If you’re entrepreneurial-minded, and/or have a pre-existing business in your country of origin, there may be other ways for you to Immigrate to the United States, or at least live in the United States for a few years while you create/develop an enterprise.
The L-1A Visa:
This visa is typically thought of as a visa for sending foreign Executives and Managers of business entities that have affiliated parent or subsidiary entities in the United States, to the United States in order to live and work for the related U.S. business entity, in an Executive or Managerial capacity. However, this visa can be used in a creative fashion in some circumstances, to allow a foreign national entrepreneur the opportunity to live and work in the United States, and to even provide a potential pathway to a Green Card and eventually Citizenship (unlike the E-1 and E-2 Visas discussed below). Thus, if you yourself can qualify for the L-1A Visa, it might be a better option than pursuing an E-1 or an E-2 Visa. To qualify for this visa however, you will first have to have an existing business or enterprise in your home country. If you are a successful business owner in your foreign country, then you can most likely come to the U.S. to live and work, in order to establish an affiliated United States-based Parent or Subsidiary company to your foreign business. This visa has certain strict eligibility requirements to adhere to, but unlike with the EB-5 visa, it can allow a small business owner the possibility to live and work in the U.S., without having to make a capital investment of at least $500,000 dollars.
Additionally, if you qualify for this visa, then your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 can come along with you as dependents, and yourself as well as your family will have a path to a Green Card (unlike with the E-1 and E-2 Visas discussed below). The key question to ask yourself in deciding if this is the right visa for you, is are you are looking to expand your current business? If so, then this visa might be the right choice. If you are looking to start a completely new business however, then there are other more applicable options, such as the E-2 Visa discussed below. For more information on the L-1A Visa, please click on the button below:
E-1 Treaty Trader Visa:
If you are a national from certain countries, and if you have a pre-existing business in your country in which you are involved in substantial international trade with the United States; or you wish to live and work in the United States to develop such an operation in international trade, then this might be the visa for you. Trade is even thought of as a broader concept than just the international exchange of goods for this visa, so think of consulting services, insurance, banking, and tourism as all potentially qualifying industries (among others). If you meet the visa requirements, you will be able to live and work in the United States indefinitely as long as you continue to work for and maintain your trading enterprise; as the visa is initially granted for two years, and can be extended easily and indefinitely for two year increments (oftentimes automatically by just traveling abroad and reentering the U.S.). You must however, maintain the intention to depart the United States when your status expires or is terminated. Additionally, with this visa you can even bring certain foreign employees, your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21 along for your journey. For more information on E-1 Treaty Trader Visa, please click the button below:
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa:
If you are a foreign national from certain countries, and you are interested in living and working in the United States in order to start a new, for-profit commercial enterprise, then this visa might be right for you. Or, if you are not interested in starting a new business, but are interested in investing in an existing U.S. visa and then taking a primary role in directing or controlling the operations of that business, then this visa also might be right for you. In either case, you will have to make a substantial investment (but it can be less than $500,000 unlike with EB-5), and you will have to take a leading role in the enterprise (also unlike with EB-5).
However, growing a business, and particularly your own, can be incredibly rewarding and also provide you with the means to live and work in the United States for years. If you meet the visa requirements, you will be able to live and work in the United States indefinitely as long as you continue to work for and maintain the enterprise; as the visa is initially granted for two years, and can be extended easily and indefinitely for two year increments (oftentimes automatically by just traveling abroad and reentering the U.S.). You must however, maintain the intention to depart the United States when your status expires or is terminated. Additionally, with this visa you can even bring certain foreign employees, your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21 along for your journey. For more information on E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, please click the button below: