Many countries around the world have some kind of investment visa program, such as the Portugal D7 Visa, and some offer financial advantages to increase immigration, like Portugal’s Non Habitual Resident tax incentive program. The United States is no exception, having different types of visas that a foreigner who makes a significant investment into the country can obtain. The amount of capital and requirements vary depending on your investment and your situation.
As opposed to other countries with an investment visa program, the requirements to obtain these visas in the United States are much stricter and much more costly. Still, if you have the capital, a strong business plan, good investment opportunity, and the desire to open a business that will impact the economy and create jobs the United States will welcome you into the country with open hands. Here are the different types of Investment Visas that you can obtain in the United States.
E-2 WORK VISA
In order to be approved for the E-2 Visa the foreign applicant must make a robust investment in an active and ongoing commercial enterprise. If you manage to get your E-2 application approved you will be given the authority to live and work in the United States as you please without dealing with some of the tax requirements that green card holders and US citizens have to go through.
The reason for this is that an E-2 work visa is a non-immigrant visa. As opposed to other types of investment visas offered by the United States the E-2 is much less costly, but the type of business that you plan to open must need your physical presence in the country. Meaning that buying shares in a company will not qualify you for an E-2, you may start a new business, or purchase an existing one.
Besides the substantial investment necessary to get approved for the E-2 visa you will also have to show the following documents:
Employment Chart with their payroll summaries and job description
Basically, you must prove that your business is in good standing with the IRS by functioning in a manner proper to what is accustomed in the United States. Also, before applying for the E-2 it would be wise to make sure that your country of origin has a treaty with the United States, otherwise your E-2 application will be denied.
There is no investment minimum that you must make in order to be qualified for the visa, the amount of capital depends entirely on your type of business. Having said that, I have never heard of a foreign individual obtaining a visa with less than $100,000 dollars and a more than solid business plan.
Once you obtain the visa you need to keep renewing it for a period of 2 years. Your business needs to be in order and profitable for USCIS to keep renewing your visa. Your spouse and children under 21 also qualify once you obtain the E-2 visa.
EB-5 Regional Center Investment
To be approved for this type of EB-5 visa you must make a $500,000 dollar investment at a government approved EB-5 regional center. An EB-5 Regional Investment Center is a government institution that promotes capital investment by attracting foreign investment through the EB-5 program.
There are a number of EB-5 Regional Investment Centers located all over the United States. What are great about these centers is that as long as you make the investment, they will take care of the job creation part and show USCIS that your investment is making a sizable impact in the economy.
One detail that differs this type of investment via with the other is that the applicant does not control the capital. The capital will be invested into an industrial sector in need of investment and will be returned to the applicant in a period of 5 years.
For this reason, the EB-5 is considered as the type of visa best suitable to those whose only purpose for the investment is to obtain a green card. As your money is managed by someone else this type of visa is considered a huge risk because you will not be returned any of the capital if your investment goes under.
Requirements for the EB-5 tend to be considerably lower than other non-immigrant visas. All you have to do is prove that the $500,000 dollars was obtained legally by showing the source of funds, tax documents, financial statements, etcetera.
This type of visa is fairly easy and fast to obtain, all you have to do is have the capital. If you are not worried about the risk of losing it then I highly recommend you pay a visit to a regional center to begin the application.
EB-5 Direct Investment
The most popular type of investment visa offered in the United States, and one I am sure you have heard about, is the EB-5 Direct Investment Visa. Much has been said about this investment visa in the past few years, specifically because of the large influx of Chinese Investors who used it to come into the United States.
Because of this reason, the number of EB-5 visas given to Chinese investors were put on hold and some stricter requirements have been added to the application, but the core of the visa has stayed the same. You must make an investment of at least $1,000,000 into the country and create a minimum of 10 American jobs.
You are in complete control of your money and must prove to USCIS that everything you are doing is legal and in accordance with how businesses operate in the United States. Because f this you must include a detailed business plan with a coherent financial plan in your application, along with all the permits and documents needed to prove that you have a legal and good standing business operation.
An active role in the company is needed if you want to be approved, you must show this by presenting an organizational chart showing that the applicant is the CEO and the job description of what you will be doing in your company. You must also operate this business from the United States, a lot of visits to your country of origin will be looked at with questionable eyes. This visa takes approximately 18 months to process, so you need to make sure that everything is in order before submitting your application. Once you are approved and you can prove that you have maintained 10 American jobs in a period of 2 years you can obtain permanent green card status.
Any type of business will do in this situation, many foreign investors opt for a franchise or a hotel chain. This is also a great opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to move their business to the United States to gain an advantage in today’s hyper competitive market.