How to Obtain a United States Investment Visa

Since Oppenhuizen Law entered the EB-5 space almost two years ago, we have been asked by many contacts for a description of EB-5, because many people have not heard of the program.  So, we decided to provide a broad view of what EB-5 looks like.  Of course, we invite direct questions in relation to this exciting area of law from anyone who would like more specific information.  Here is the 30,000 foot view.

For anyone expecting to immigrate to the United States, one of the requirements they will need to fulfill is obtaining a visa. For foreign investors, there is an EB-5 investment visa that is a type of immigration visa. What is required for these investment visas differs from country to country, but in the U.S. there are two types of investment visas: the EB-5 visa and the E-2 visa.

Requirements for an E-2 Investment Visa

One investment visa is an E-2 Treaty Investors visa. This is a non-immigrant visa that can be obtained by an investor from a country maintaining a treaty of navigation and commerce with the U.S. To receive an E-2 visa, applicants need to invest into a business within the United States. Employees of the investor or organization are then also allowed to apply for the visa. On top of that, there is also the option for family members of the investor to apply for the visa as well.

For E-2 approval, the minimum amount of investment needed must cover at least the beginning financial necessities (to start and operate the business for a given amount of time). The E-2 visa also must be renewed to keep U.S. visitation available, but although it does not lead to citizenship like the EB-5 visa does, there is no limit on how many times it can be renewed.

Requirements for an EB-5 Investment Visa

With strong popularity in China, and gaining popularity throughout the world of investment based immigration the EB-5 investment visa is a great way to gain access for one’s family into the United States. It’s unique to other immigration visas because it is the only one of the U.S. employment-based visas that require a set minimum monetary investment. Obtaining an EB-5 visa is a way for foreigners to obtain a U.S. green card. Eventually, this can lead to a United States citizenship.

The U.S. Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the EB-5 program, is directed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).  USCIS offers the investment visas for those who are able and willing to invest a million dollars or more into a new commercial enterprise. However, exceptions can be made if $500,000 is put toward an investment in a Targeted Employment Area (“TEA”).  Nearly all visas in the EB-5 category are obtained through investment in a TEA based project. The investment needs to create at least 10 full-time employment opportunities for U.S. workers. After completing all necessary requirements, the investor will be able to apply for a conditional green card, and within two years after the conditional green card is issued, the investor can apply to have the conditions removed.  To have the conditions removed, the requisite jobs must have been created.

Oppenhuizen Law Assists with the EB-5 Investment Process

If you are considering the options with investment based immigration, Oppenhuizen Law attorneys are more than qualified when it comes to assessing your business situation. We work with regional centers and project developers to ease any challenges during the EB-5 investment process and perform critical analysis and due diligence of your immigration opportunity. Learn more with our downloadable EB-5 and application brochures.  We also directly serve project developers in relation to deal structure, documentation and negotiation.  We never engage in dual representation or request conflict of interest waivers from immigrants who use us for immigration petitions, because when a client engaged Oppenhuizen, our unwavering commitment is to that client.

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