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Understanding Visas

If you are an entrepreneur and want to be a temporary or permanent resident in the U.S., you should consider applying for an investor visa.  There are many types of investor visas and you should consult with an attorney to discuss your options.  Generally, entrepreneurs can apply for an investment visa if they plan to invest in a commercial enterprise in the United States and if they plan to create or preserve jobs in the United States.  Investment visas typically extend to the entrepreneur’s immediate family members.

E-2: Temporary Residency

To qualify for an E-2 visa, the applicant must be a citizen of a country that the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce. These countries are commonly referred to as E-2 Treaty Countries.  Similarly, If your country is one of the E2 treaty countries, then you may be eligible for an E-2 visa.

If you are willing to take on the exciting process of creating this bona-fide enterprise, then the next step is to look at your financial situation and determine how much of an investment you can make. Although it is important to be financially prudent so that you will have funds to both support yourself and your family and reinvest in the business, it is also important to invest as much into the enterprise at the beginning as possible.

An E-2 visa requires a “substantial” investment. Although there is no minimum for an investment, generally, the more you invest in your business, the better your chance is of getting your visa.  This investment MUST be a real investment, meaning that your money could be subject to partial or complete loss.  The E-2 visa application process can be very complex and time consuming.

Qualified treaty investors and employees can get a temporary visa lasting for a maximum of 2 years.  In addition, there is no limit to the number of extensions the USCIS may grant an E-2 visa; however, all E-2 non-immigrants must maintain an intention to depart the U.S. when their status expires.

You can see the USCIS requirements for the E-2 visa here.

EB-5: Permanent Residency

The purpose of EB-5 is to increase job creation and to increase capital investment by immigrant visitors.  In return for investing in the U.S., an immigrant investor can gain permanent residence for themselves and their immediate family.

There are two basic requirements to be eligible to apply for EB-5.  The first requirement is that the investor must make a capital investment of either $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a new business enterprise in the U.S.  The second requirement is that the new business must create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the United States.

The main advantage of an EB-5 visa is that it allows the beneficiary to have permanent residency in the U.S.

You can see the USCIS requirements for the EB-5 visa here.

Contact Us

If you are an investor seeking to attain either temporary or permanent residency in the U.S. please Francis Boyer law firm.

About the Author

Kim Deas

Kim Deas

Kimberly Deas, Business broker, has a career which spans 20+ years in the business of business. As a marketing professional and experienced business owner, she understands all marketing and selling aspects of businesses across multiple industries. If you are considering selling or buying a business, or want to learn more about the process of planning your exit strategy, contact Kim. She will arrange a confidential meeting to help you determine what needs to be done to get you the results you are seeking.


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