Foreign investors have different options when it comes to moving to the United States. Among the best ways are E-2 visas and EB-5 green cards. Each of these avenues have different requirements and your choice will depend on your individual situation.
In order to be eligible for an E-2 visa you must be from one of the treaty countries. You must invest substantial funds, generally around $150,000, and have at least 50% ownership in the business. You must also have a strong business plan and work on developing and directing the business. There are no quotas on E-2 visas and the processing time is fairly quick. However, there is no long-term certainty with an E-2 visa and they are only approved for up to five years at a time. However, they can be renewed indefinitely in five-year increments. The main advantage of E-2 visas is the speed of entry.
Nationals of all countries are eligible for EB-5 green cards, however there may be a quota depending on the country. There must be an investment of $900,000 for five years in a regional center or $1.8 million in your own business. The investment must create ten U.S. jobs within two years. The investment can be passive and there is no requirement for development or direction of the business. Processing time can take two years or more and there are detailed and very stringent requirements. The delay can be longer for Chinese and Indian applicants. The advantages of an EB-5 green card is that the investor and their family will have permanent residency status.
An investor could consider applying for an E-2 visa and an EB-5 green card simultaneously. This would allow for quick entry into the United States. Then the investor could be in the country while awaiting word on their green card application.
If you are interested in exploring your options as a foreign investor, you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney. At Serving Immigrants, Inc., we have the experience and the knowledge to guide you through the application process and we’re not afraid to think outside the box. Contact us online or call us at (305) 907-6151 to schedule a strategy session.