Investors, entrepreneurs and businesses willing to invest in the United States have an opportunity to immigrate to the United States. Simply put, the United States is interested in those who are willingly to invest in the United States’ economy and create American employment.
Two opportunities offered to investors are the E-2 Visa and the EB-5 Investor Status. Outlined below are descriptions of both of these opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact Gafner Law Firm.
The E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows investors from certain countries to enter the United States to pursue a business operation in which they have made a substantial investment.
There is no statutory minimum investment, however the investment amount is a contributing factor for determining eligibility. Practically speaking, a truly minimum investment amount is $50,000, but most successful petitions have substantially larger investments.
The investment must be into an ongoing business (i.e. not an investment in property or stocks) and is expected to employ American workers.
The E-2 Visa is called the “Treaty Investor” visa because it can only be obtained by nationals from countries that have signed a “Friendship” treaty with the United States. The list of countries whose nationals are eligible for the E-2 Visa is constantly changing and growing. These countries include:
Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus,Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, The Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Moldovia, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, The Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Uzbekistan.
EB-5 investor status creates permanent residency for investors who demonstrate that they have made, or will make, a substantial investment in an American business that creates American jobs.
Investors must demonstrate that they have invested, or are actively investing, into a new commercial enterprise. The investment amount must be at least $1 million in most locations, or $500,000 in targeted employment areas. Targeted employment areas are areas designated by the government that have high unemployment rates or are rural areas within the United States. Additionally, the investor must demonstrate that the investment business will benefit the United States economy and will create at least ten full-time positions for American workers. These requirements may differ sightly based upon unique circumstances and additional requirements may exist.
EB-5 status affords conditional permanent residency status to the investor, his or her spouse, and any unmarried children under the age of twenty-one. After two years of conditional permanent residency the investor can petition for removal of the conditions of residency. Afterwards, the investor will have permanent residency that is renewable every ten years.
Each year ten thousand visas are available for EB-5 investors.