The United States issues both immigrant and nonimmigrant investment visas.
Immigrant investor visas for available to individuals seeking permanent residence are available for qualified individuals and their family members based on their investment in a new commercial enterprise which results in the creation of 10 full time jobs for US citizens or lawful permanent residents. The minimum investment under the EB5 investor visa program is $500,000 if the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area. These areas are designated by USCIS. Otherwise the required investment amount is $1,000,000.
Many intending immigrant investors choose to invest through participation in the Regional Center EB5 investor visa program. These Regional Centers allow qualified investors to meet the employment requirement through indirect employment methods which are generally pre-approved by the USCIS. Most Regional Center investments are located in Targeted Employment Areas which allow the EB5 investor to qualify for the minimum investor amount.
Nonimmigrant investor visas are also available through the E-1 Treaty Trader and E-2 Treaty Investor programs. These visas are available to nationals of certain nations with whom we have treaties of commerce and who arecoming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade, principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. These visascan be extended in two year periods indefinitely but neither visa leads to permanent residence. In fact the E visa holders must demonstrate a continuous intent to return to the native country upon expiration of the E visa.
Both the nonimmigrant and immigrant visa programs require careful planning on the part of the investor, as there are business and taxation issues to consider. For these reasons, it is extremely advisable to have an experienced immigration attorney who can help the potential investor find the best solution for his or her needs.