Visa Options Through Investment
There are three primary Immigration options for starting and running a business in the U.S.
- E-1 Trade Visa/E-2 Investor Visa: The E visa category allows foreign nationals who are citizens of treaty countries to start businesses in the U.S. There are two types of E visas. The E-1 Visa is for foreign nationals who engage in substantial international trade of goods, services, or technology between their home country and the U.S. The E-2 Visa allows foreign investors to direct and develop a U.S. business in which the investor has either already invested or is in the process of investing substantial funds. E visas are valid for 5 years and E visa holders are admitted to the U.S. for two year periods. The foreign national can renew the E visa indefinitely as long as they continue to maintain an E business in the U.S.
- L-1 Multi-national Transfer Visas: The L-1 Visa enables foreign companies to transfer managerial, executive and specialized knowledge employees to a U.S. subsidiary, affiliate or branch who have been employed at the foreign company for at least one year. If the foreign company wishes to open a new U.S. branch, affiliate, or subsidiary, Immigration will allow for the transfer of one managerial or executive employee to open and manage the new U.S. entity through the initial start-up phase.
- EB5 Job Creation – Permanent Residency Visa: The EB5 program allows for permanent residency in the U.S. (Green Card) for foreign nationals who invest $1 Million in a new U.S. commercial enterprise (new is considered any business formed after 11/29/1990). The $1 Million investment must directly or indirectly create 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. The foreign investor is given a conditional two year green card based on the investor’s business plan and then must place all funds at risk and create the required jobs within the two year conditional period. Once Immigration is satisfied the funds have been invested and the jobs created, the conditions of permanent residency will be removed.