U.S. IMMIGRANT INVESTOR PROGRAM
The Immigrant Investor Program allows entrepreneurs (as well as their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21) to apply for a green card (permanent residency) if they satisfy the following criteria:
This amount may be either in the form of cash, tangible property, inventory, equipment, secured indebtedness or any cash equivalent. The options are numerous.
The required amount of $1,000,000 USD can be reduced to $500,000 if the required investment is made into a new commercial entity that is located in a targeted employment area (usually an area of high unemployment rate or a rural area).
The application process to obtain a green card after entering the US on an EB-5 Visa can take about 18-24 months. Initially, the applicant will apply for approval of the I-526 petition, which can take approximately 6 months to receive. You will then obtain a conditional green card, meaning that it is temporary, and afterwards, you will be able to apply for removal of conditions and obtain a permanent green card.
The B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visa
If you wish to enter the US temporarily for business, you may be eligible to apply for a B-1 Visa. In order to be eligible to apply for the B-1 Visa, you will need to demonstrate the following:
The B-1 visa allows entry for business purposes for up to six months, and it may be renewed for an additional six months upon expiry.
Yes, dependent children under the age of 21 and your spouse may obtain a dependents visa in order to travel with you. However, they will each need to apply for a B-2 visa (see below).
A B-2 visa can be granted to an individual who wishes to enter the US for tourism purposes. If you wish to visit the US solely for tourism, and not in order to work or study, you may apply for a B-2 tourist visa. Please note that if you are a citizen from a US Visa Waiver Program, for example if you are a Canadian citizen, you do not require a visitor visa to enter Canada.
For visitors whose country is not exempt from obtaining a B-2 visa to enter, you will need to demonstrate the following to be eligible:
The B-2 visa allows entry into the US for up to six months and the visa may be renewed for up to an additional six months upon expiry.
Unfortunately, the B-2 visa is exclusive to the applicant and you may not bring any dependents with you if you are entering the US for tourism purposes. However, your dependents, if they qualify, can also apply for and obtain their own B-2 visa.
The E-1 visa allows individuals or employees of a company to enter the US in order to carry out international business or trade. The definition of trade is not strict and can include goods, services and even banking. An important advantage of this visa is that it will also allow immediate family, such as your spouse and children under the age of 21 to enter the US with you and will further grant your spouse the right to work in the US.
The E-2 visa is designed for certain treaty country investors who wish to come to the US and operate a business enterprise which will generate income, and one which the business owner will control. Furthermore, the commercial enterprise ought to generate jobs in the US and be of an important initial investment. Although no specific amount is indicated as to what “substantial investment” is, the average investment made used the E-2 Visa program is about $200,000 USD. An E-2 visa can initially be granted for up to five years and can be renewed indefinitely. As is the case with an E-1 visa, immediate family, such as a spouse and children under the age of 21 may enter the US with the visa holder and will grant a spouse the right to work in the US.
The E-1 and E-2 visas are available to citizens of countries with which the US maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. For a complete list of treaty countries, please visit.
Once you establish that your country of origin is on the list of treaty countries, you must demonstrate that you are planning to come to the US in order to either engage in a substantial trade, meaning in a qualifying activity principally between the US and the treaty country or develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital.
According to the US Department of State, in order to qualify for an E-1 visa, you must:
Finally, you will also need to demonstrate your intent to return to your home country at the end of the visa period.
If you are a citizen of one of the 30 or so countries which have a treaty with the US, you may qualify for an E-2 visa which would allow you to enter the US in order to invest or set-up a business.
Although the E-2 visa does not grant the investor the right to obtain residency by way of a green card, it does offer the great advantage in that it is renewable indefinitely, as long as you can demonstrate that you have a viable business in the US.
According to the US Department of State, in order to qualify for an E-2 visa, you must meet the following criteria:
Unfortunately, at the moment the above listed countries do not qualify for the E-1 or E-2 visas as the US did not yet ratify their treaties.
For further information, to inquire whether you are eligible to apply for the EB-5, B, or E Visas described above or any other US business visas, and to obtain a free consultation with an immigration attorney specialized in business visas to the US, call us today at 1(888) 603-3003.