US Investment Immigration

IMMIGRATE TO THE US THROUGH INVESTMENT

Permanent Residency through Investment Program



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Investment immigration is where an individual can invest a set amount of money into the country they wish to reside in thus allowing them to qualify for permanent residency. The investment can be placed into a struggling existing business or in a new business startup, but in both situations, the investment must be for the benefit of the country’s economy.

Why immigrate to the US?

The US is a popular jurisdiction for investment immigration as the country is widely respected due to its high standard of living, strong financial framework and legal infrastructure. Education and health care is good in the US and the employment opportunities are endless. A US passport is also internationally recognized and so obtaining US citizenship is competitively sought.

The EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 category was created in 1990 by the US Congress to encourage foreign investors to invest in the US economy through the establishment of a commercial enterprise. The visa will be valid for 2 years.

Foreign investors are eligible for the EB-5 visa provided they satisfy the relevant following criteria:

  • Invest a substantial amount of money
  • Create or take over a commercial enterprise
  • Have an active role managing enterprise

Investment options available to obtain an EB-5 Visa

  • Create a new commercial enterprise, or
  • Purchase an existing enterprise and then restructure it to form a new business
  • Expand an existing troubled business by keeping all its existing employees

Requirements

  • The commercial enterprise can be a sole proprietorship, partnership, holding company, joint venture, corporation, business trust or other entity
  • Requires at least US$1,000,000 of investment and the creation of at least 10 new jobs anywhere in the US
  • Requires at least US$500,000 of investment and the creation of at least 10 jobs in an area which experiences unemployment of approximately 150% of the national average rate
  • If expanding a troubled business, at least 10 existing jobs must be maintained. The business must also have existed for at least 2 years and experienced a net loss during this period

It should be noted that it is also possible for the individual to invest in what is known as a ‘regional centre’. This is a region which is designated by the INS for the purpose of immigration investment, this regional centre can benefit from indirect employment as opposed to the investor having to hire ten new employees directly.

Benefits of the EB-5 Visa

  • A suitable solution for individuals who seek to obtain a green card through investment
  • Can lead to a permanent resident status
  • Once a permanent resident, investors will be entitled to live and work in the US, freely travel outside the US and be protected by US laws
  • Family members are entitled to join the investor in the US

The investment immigration visa process is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act, statute 203 and provides in detail the specific requirements to satisfy to obtain permanent residency in the US.