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How the US Investor Visas Work

The United States offers a range of investor visas designed to attract foreign investors and entrepreneurs who can contribute to the country's economic growth. These visas provide a valuable opportunity for individuals to invest in the U.S. economy and, in some cases, obtain permanent residency. Among the multiple visa categories, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa are prominent avenues for foreign nationals seeking to invest in the United States.

How the US Investor Visas Work

The EB-5 visa program is a path that allows investors and their immediate family members to obtain a green card, and eventually permanent residency, by investing a substantial amount of capital in U.S.-based enterprises. Specifically, the program requires an investment of at least $900,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA) or $1.8 million in other areas, leading to the creation or preservation of at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

Understanding the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program provides a pathway for investors and their immediate family members to become lawful permanent residents — commonly known as green card holders — by investing in the economic growth and job creation within the United States.

Eligibility and Investment Requirements

To qualify for the EB-5 Visa, investors must meet specific criteria. Capital investment is a key requirement, with a minimum investment of $1.8 million, or $900,000 if the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). This invested amount must be used in a new commercial enterprise and must come from a legitimate source. Foreign investors must be ready to prove the lawful nature of their capital.

The EB-5 Application Process

The application process begins with the submission of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). After approval, candidates residing outside the U.S. must proceed with Form DS-260 to obtain a visa, while those within must file for an adjustment of status. An EB-5 Visa lawyer can guide investors through the complexities of this process to address all concerns of national security and compliance.

Job Creation and Targeted Employment Areas

An EB-5 investor must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the investor’s admission to the U.S as a conditional permanent resident. In a Targeted Employment Area, an area of high unemployment or rural area, the investment requirement is lowered to further incentivize investment in these regions, and to spur economic growth.

Regional Centers and Direct Investment

Investors have the option to invest directly in a business or through a Regional Center. A Regional Center is a third-party intermediary that pools investments and is focused on specific commercial enterprise projects. Direct investment requires the investor to manage the business and job creation. Meanwhile, Regional Centers aim to simplify the process but require thorough scrutiny to ensure legitimacy and the safeguarding of the pathway to permanent residence for the investors and their family members.

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