How To Apply For America Investment Visa

Are you dreaming of living and working in the United States? Do you have a business idea or a project that can create jobs and boost the economy? If yes, then you might be interested in applying for an American investment visa.

An American investment visa is a type of immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to obtain a green card and permanent residency in the United States by investing in a new commercial enterprise that meets certain criteria.

How To Apply For America Investment Visa

There are two main categories of American investment visas: EB-5 and E-2.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa

The EB-5 visa is also known as the Immigrant Entrepreneur visa or the Golden Visa. Congress created it in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.

To qualify for an EB-5 visa, you must:

  • Invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise in the United States, or $500,000 if the enterprise is located in a rural area or an area with high unemployment (called a targeted employment area).
  • Create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers within two years of your investment (or within a reasonable time after that if the project is still ongoing).
  • Demonstrate that your investment comes from a lawful source and that you are actively involved in the management of the enterprise.
  • You can invest in your own business or a regional center, an organization approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to pool investments from multiple investors and allocate them to projects that meet the EB-5 requirements.

Benefits of an EB-5 Visa

The benefits of an EB-5 visa include:

  • You and your dependents (spouse and unmarried children under 21) can access the U.S. education system.
  • The right to live, work, study, and retire anywhere in the United States.
  • The ability to receive your investment back upon the completion of the project (subject to market conditions and business performance).
  • The possibility of applying for U.S. citizenship after five years of permanent residency.

Steps To Apply For An EB-5 Visa

The steps to apply for an EB-5 visa are:

  • File Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, with USCIS, and supporting documents proving your eligibility.
  • Wait for USCIS to approve your petition, which may take several months or years, depending on the backlog and complexity of your case.
  • Apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country, or adjust your status to permanent resident if you are already in the United States on another visa.
  • Attend an interview and a medical examination, and submit additional documents as required by the consular officer or USCIS officer.
  • Receive your immigrant visa or green card, and enter or remain in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 visa is also known as the Nonimmigrant Investor visa or the Treaty Investor visa. It was created by bilateral treaties between the United States and certain countries to facilitate trade and investment between them.

To qualify for an E-2 visa, you must:

  • Be a national of a treaty country that has an agreement with the United States regarding commerce and navigation (you can check the list of treaty countries here).
  • Invest a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States that is not marginal (meaning that it generates more than enough income to support you and your family or has a significant economic impact on the local community).
  • Own at least 50% of the enterprise or have operational control over it as a manager or executive.
  • Intend to depart from the United States when your E-2 status expires or changes.
  • You can invest in any type of business that is lawful and active, such as a restaurant, a hotel, a manufacturing company, or a consulting firm. The amount of capital required depends on the nature and size of the business, but it should be proportional to the total value of the enterprise or the cost of establishing it.

Benefits of an E-2 Visa

The benefits of an E-2 visa include:

  • The ability to work legally in the United States for your own business or for an employer that is owned by treaty nationals.
  • The flexibility to travel in and out of the United States without restrictions.
  • The possibility of extending your E-2 status indefinitely as long as you maintain your investment and meet the requirements.
  • The option of bringing your spouse and unmarried children under 21 with you as dependents, who can also work and study in the United States with authorization.

Steps To Apply for an E-2 Visa

The steps to apply for an E-2 visa are:

  • Prepare a comprehensive business plan outlining your investment, qualifications, and enterprise benefits for the U.S. economy and society.
  • Apply for an E-2 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country, or change your status to E-2 if you are already in the United States on another visa.
  • Submit the required forms, fees, and documents, including evidence of your nationality, investment, ownership or control of the enterprise, and intention to depart.
  • Attend an interview and a medical examination, and answer any questions that the consular officer may have about your application.
  • Receive your E-2 visa or approval notice, and enter or remain in the United States as a treaty investor.

Conclusion

An American investment visa can be a great opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs and investors who want to pursue their business goals and enjoy the benefits of living in the United States. However, applying for an investment visa can be a complex and lengthy process that requires careful planning, preparation, and professional guidance.

If you are interested in applying for an American investment visa, you should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer who can help you determine which visa category is best suited for your situation, advise you on the requirements and procedures, and assist you with every step of your application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for an American investment visa even if I’m not a billionaire?

Absolutely! You don’t have to be a billionaire to apply for an American investment visa. The United States offers various investment visa options that cater to different investment amounts, so there are opportunities for investors with varying budgets.

Do I need to have a specific business background to apply for an American investment visa?

Not necessarily. While having a business background can be beneficial, it’s not a strict requirement. The American investment visa programs focus more on the potential economic benefits your investment can bring to the country rather than your specific business background.

Can I start any type of business with an American investment visa?

A: Yes, you have the freedom to start a wide range of businesses with an American investment visa. Whether you’re interested in technology, hospitality, manufacturing, or any other industry, you can pursue your entrepreneurial dreams in the United States.

How long does it take to get an American investment visa approved?

The processing time for an American investment visa can vary depending on the specific visa program and other factors. Generally, it can take several months to a year or more to complete the application process, including the required documentation, interviews, and background checks.

Can my family join me in the United States with an investment visa?

Yes, many American investment visa programs allow your immediate family members, such as your spouse and unmarried children under a certain age, to accompany you to the United States. They can often apply for dependent visas to join you during your entrepreneurial journey.

Is there a minimum investment requirement for an American investment visa?

Yes, each investment visa program has its own minimum investment requirement. The amount varies depending on the specific program, industry, and location of the investment. It’s important to research and understand the investment criteria associated with the visa program you are interested in.

Can I apply for an American investment visa if I have already started a business in my home country?

Yes, having an existing business in your home country doesn’t disqualify you from applying for an American investment visa. In fact, it can demonstrate your entrepreneurial experience and contribute to your overall application. The key is to show how your investment in the United States will bring economic benefits and create job opportunities.

Are there any limitations on the type of investment funds I can use for an American investment visa?

Generally, the investment funds for an American investment visa must come from legal and legitimate sources. They should be obtained through lawful business activities, investments, inheritances, or other lawful means. It’s essential to provide documentation and evidence to demonstrate the lawful source of your investment funds.

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