What type of investment visa is good for you? The answer is “It depends”!

Posted by Camilo Espinosa on December 17, 2013

Last week, my cousin asked me about the possibilities for an investor’s visa for her father. As I began to explain the different types of investors visas available in the U.S., she cut me off and told me she was aware of these visas. She mentioned that she was particularly interested in an investment visa in which foreign investors needed to invest between $500,000 or $1 million to get a visa and a possible green card. I told her that even though this information was accurate, it did not mean this was the best option for her father. I told her that in this case (as it is in any case) the best thing to do is to make an assessment as to what type of investor her father is, his short and long-term goals, and whether Colombia (“her father is from Colombia”) has executed a treaty with the United States. What my cousin was neglecting to see, is that each investor is unique, with different needs, resources and time availability. Every investor is not suited for the same type of immigration procedure, thus making a consultation to an immigration attorney essential when considering starting any type of immigration procedure.

First, my cousin is right. There is a visa option where an investor can invest $1 million in a business venture and receive a green card (with conditions) so long as the business venture creates at least 10 jobs within 2 years in the U.S. This visa category is called the EB-5. As my conversation with my cousin continued, I asked her, “is this the best option for your father? Does he have 1 million dollars available to invest? To which she replied “I don’t know.” An advantage to the EB-5 visa is that the applicant is given permanent residence status upon the issuance of the visa. However, it is contingent on a million dollar invest that must create at least 10 jobs .That’s a heavy burden for a foreign investors to carry and the main reason why many investors prefer to apply for other types of visas.

I told my cousin that there are other ways around to get an investor visa. For example, there are E-Visas. I explained to her that the E-Visa is based on a treaty between the U.S. and the investor’s home country. As a result, her father must be an investor from a country that the U.S. has signed a treaty with. My uncle is from Colombia and Colombia has signed a treaty with the United States. Bingo!!! It is worth emphasizing that there are two types of E-Visa. Those being the E-1 Treaty Traders and the E-2 Treaty Investors. The E-1 visa is for investors who intent to generate 50% of their revenue in trading goods and services to the investor’s home country. The E-2 is for investors that will simply invest somehow in the United States by creating a new business venture in the U.S. There is not specific amount of money that needs to be invested in the U.S. because it comes down to whether the investor’s business plan makes economic sense and whether the investment is substantial.

I ended the conversation with my cousin by explaining that the E-Visa is a non-immigrant visa that can be renewed indefinitely as g as the investor continues to operate the approved business venture. If the investor’s E-visa is approved, he may live in the United States and operate his business venture in

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the U.S. It is important to understand that every investor has different plans and goals. As an investor, you need to talk to your attorney to determine what your options are.

The immigration system in the United States can be complex and expensive. Getting it right the first time will prevent many headaches. Are you in need of legal advice pertaining to the U.S. immigration process? Contact our team of Miami immigration attorneys at LOIGICA today and we’ll help get you started.


Topics: E-2 Visas, Immigration Law, L-1 Visas, Miami Immigration Attorney