Supporting your investment

US Non-Immigrant Visas and Immigrant Investor Program

If you are considering investing in the United States, please contact us to discuss the various options which may be available to you as you move forward with your new venture. As an investor in the United States, you may have a number of immigration options available, but the criteria for these visas are extremely specific and very carefully controlled. Therefore, getting professional advice is essential. Green and Spiegel U.S. has significant expertise in helping international entrepreneurs make successful visa petitions and secure temporary and/or permanent status through investment.

It is also likely that new visa options for entrepreneurs will be introduced at some point during 2013/2014, as President Obama and Congress discuss the creation of ‘start-up’ visas as part of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, particularly for businesses in the technology and science fields. Green and Spiegel U.S has the expertise to guide you through the options which are currently available and to help you prepare for the future as developments in immigration law evolve.

Non-immigrant visa options (E-1, E-2)

You may be eligible to apply for the E visa category if you are a Treaty Trader or Investor and if you are a national of a foreign country that has signed a treaty of commerce or its equivalent with the United States.

Treaty Trader category (E-1)

This is for individuals who enter the United States to conduct trade between the United States and the country that has signed the treaty. To qualify, you must carry a passport from the country and meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant/trading firm must be a national of the treaty country;
  • There must be a substantial volume of trade between the U.S. and the treaty country (more than 50% of the firm’s international trade);
  • The international trade must be either exchange of goods, services, and/or technology;
  • The Applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive position.

Treaty Investor category (E-2)

This is for individuals who are coming to the United States to develop and direct the operation of a business in which the applicant is investing, or has a substantial investment in the U.S. (meaning that person or company has invested a significant amount of funds), and meet the following requirements:

  • The investor (either a real or corporate person) must be a national of a treaty country;
  • An investment must be substantial enough to ensure the successful operation of the business;
  • An investment must be a valid active business – idle investments such as real estate, uncommitted funds in a bank account or security will not qualify;
  • An investment must generate an income and employment for more than just the investor. Simply providing a basic living for the investor and his/her family, as self-employment, will not qualify.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

EB-5 visas are an employment-based category for Employment Creation Investors, a high profile program that attracts many potential investors.

The basic requirement for the program is that you must invest either USD$500,000 or USD$1,000,000 (depending on the unemployment rate/urbanization in the area of intended investment) in a new commercial enterprise in the United States that employs at least ten U.S. citizens, permanent residents or individuals holding valid temporary employment visas on a full-time basis.

While the EB-5 investor program has tremendous benefits, it is not for everyone, and it is important that you contact us for professional advice before you decide to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a commercial enterprise. We will help you make sure that this is the right option for you and your future.

Jonathan Grode has given an interview to the Legal Intelligencer regarding EB-5 visas. A summary of that interview can be viewed here.