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Investor Visa Immigration – Frequently Asked Questions
Foreign investors who are looking to enter the United States market can do so using Investor Visa programs. These programs include the E-2 visa, L-1 Visa and the EB-5 visa. Investor visas are known to have many requirements and the approval process is normally long and sometimes challenging.
We highlight some of the most frequently asked questions about Investor Visas and their answers.
What are the minimum investment requirements for EB-5, E-2 and L-1 Visa?
For the E-1 and the L-1 Visas, there is no minimum requirement with regards to the amount of investment you are supposed to make. However, it is always advisable to invest a minimum of $150,000. For the EB-5 visa category, the minimum amount to invest depends on where you want to invest your resources. If you are investing in a targeted area, then the minimum amount you are required to invest is $500,000. If you are investing in a new commercial enterprise of your choice that is not in any of the targeted regions, then you have to invest a minimum of $1 million.
What are the advantages of having an E-2 Investor Visa?
One of the main benefits of the E-2 Investor Visa is that they can be extended indefinitely, meaning that with it you can stay in the United States for as long as you would wish to. The visa also allows you to sponsor some employers from your country of origin as well as your spouse and children to live, study, and work in the United States. The processing time for this visa is normally very short when compared to other visa types.
How can an “At Risk” EB-5 Investment be identified?
One of the requirements for getting an EB-5 Visa is that your investment must be “At Risk”. This basically means that you should have no guarantee that your investment will yield profits. The main reason behind this requirement is to ensure that investors gain more commitment to creating jobs through their investments.
What visa should I get if I do not want to be a United States citizen?
The EB-5 Visa and the L-1 Visa grant one a direct path to becoming a United States citizen. However, if you do not intend to be a United States citizen directly, then you should go for the E-2 visa. While that may be the case, it is important to know which investor visa you should obtain. The different visa types have different requirement and, therefore, it is important to know what visa exactly you should apply for. The advice of a qualified immigration attorney can go a long way in helping you know the type of visa to obtain.
Will I be deported to my country of origin if my investment fails?
This is one of the main concerns with investor visas. Whether or not you will be kicked out of the United States depends on the visa class your visa falls in. You may not be kicked out if you have the EB-5 or the L-1 visa. However, if you are in the United States under the E-2 Investor visa and your investment fails, then your visa automatically becomes invalid regardless of whether the franchise was closed voluntarily or for reasons beyond your control.
What are the minimum Job creation requirements for the EB-5 and E-2 Visas?
According to the visa policies available, there are no requirements for job creation for the E-2 visa category. It is, however, advisable to create at least 2 permanent jobs for United States citizens. As for the EB-5 visa, the requirements stipulate that your investment has to lead to the creation of a minimum of 10 permanent jobs for United States citizens. One of the main reasons for the creation of the EB-5 visa category was to create employment for United States citizens and hence foster the growth of the country’s economy.
Do I have to actively manage the operations of my business or franchise?
Most of the investor visas require the investor to develop and manage their franchise or business investment directly. However, it is possible to have a manager handle the daily management of your franchise or business. You can get the advice of an attorney to get more insight on whether or not you have to actually manage your franchise or business directly.
What documents are required to prove that the investment funds are legitimate?
One thing that cuts across all investment visas is that your investment funds have to have been obtained in a legitimate manner. The documents you provide should clearly show the path your money followed from its source to you. If you obtained you investment capital from your business then you need to compile all the financial reports and tax returns to show that you obtained the cash in a legitimate manner.
How long does an EB-5 visa petition take?
A petition can take as long as 18 months to be processed. As such, you need to be patient and work on other immigration requirements as the petition is being processed.
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