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Investor

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    Temporary/Nonimmigrant Visas

    Permanent Residence

     

     

     

     

     

TEMPORARY/NONIMMIGRANT VISAS

E-1 Visa

  • Allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States to engage in international trade. 
  • Certain employees of such individuals or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification. 
  • A “treaty country” is a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
  • To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:
    • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
    • Carry on substantial trade.
    • Carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.
    • Spouses and unmarried children may obtain derivative E visas.
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E-2 Visa

  • Allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
  • Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
  • A “treaty country” is a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
  • To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:
    • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
    • Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States
    • Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.  This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device
    • Spouses and unmarried children may obtain derivative E visas.
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PERMANENT RESIDENCE

EB-5 Immigrant Visa

  • The EB-5 Category was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 for foreign nationals who invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and create at least 10 full time jobs.
  • Congress set aside 10,000 immigrant visas annually for investors and their immediate family members. There is no quota waiting list for EB-5, unlike H1-B and H2-B nonimmigrant visa classifications, and most EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant classifications where the demand far exceeds the supply.
  • At least 3,000 of the 10,000 EB-5 Green Cards are set aside for qualifying immigrants who participate in the EB-5 Regional Center Program that targets high unemployment or rural areas across the US.
  • All EB-5 investors must:
    • Invest capital
    • In a new commercial enterprise
    • Engage in management
    • Create or save 10 full-time jobs
Capital:
  • The general investment amount is $1 million for the EB-5 Program.
  • Alternatively, $500,000 is acceptable if the business is situated in a targeted employment area. A targeted employment area is defined as an area with unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate OR a rural area, an area not within a MSA or outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more.
  • Law requires an investor to have invested or be in the process of investing required capital.
  • No provisions for guaranteed returns or redemptions may be made.
  • Capital may include cash or cash equivalents, equipment, inventory, and other tangible property.
  • Capital invested must be “at risk”, with focus on actual and intended uses of capital to confirm that it will be used for job creation and profit generating activity.
  • Must be able to trace the capital to the investor.
  • Must provide evidence that the source of investment funds is lawful.

New Commercial Enterprise – the law requires that investor-petitioner invest in a “new commercial enterprise”

  • “New “= formed after 11/29/1990
  • Investment in a business formed prior to 11/29/1990 may be acceptable if two situations:
  • Substantial reorganization/restructuring of existing business. Complete transformation
  • Expansion of existing business resulting in increase of at least 40% of net worth of business or in the number of employees in business.
  • “Commercial Enterprise” = any for profit entity formed for ongoing conduct of lawful business.
  • Excluded non-commercial activity (personal residence)

Engage in Management – the law requires that the investor is “engaged in the management” of the business

  • Investor must be involved in either day-to-day managerial control of enterprise or in management of enterprise through policy formulation
  • Corporate officer, board member, limited partner with rights and responsibilities of ULPA

Create or Save 10 Full-Time Jobs:

  • In general, the investor must create 10 full time jobs for US workers
  • Investor, spouse and children do not count toward the 10 employee minimum
  • Jobs must be F/T (min 35 hrs/week). P/T jobs do not count.
  • If the investment is through a Regional Center, the creation on indirect jobs resulting from investment may be considered
  • Jobs must be created by the end of the 2 year conditional residence period.

REGULAR EB-5 PROGRAM v. REGIONAL CENTERS

  • Regular EB-5 Program - In order for applicant to qualify under the regular EB-5 Program, must meet three requirements:
    • Invest in new commercial enterprise
    • Invest at least a minimum of $1 million into the business, or $500,000 if business is located in a targeted employment area or a rural area.
    • Create employment for at least 10 full-time US workers
  • Regional Centers - Entities, organizations or agencies that focus on one specific geographic area within the US in order to promote economic growth there.
    • Most regional centers are in targeted employment areas.
    • Regional Centers are designated by USCIS. The Centers do not guarantee profit or the return of an investor’s principal investment.
    • Different from the Regular EB-5 Program in that:
  • Generally less upfront investment capital is needed ($500,000 v. $1 million)
  • No day to day management of business is required
  • The 10 jobs created from the investment can be direct or indirect
  • The investor can live and work anywhere in the US

For more information please contact Olivia Orza. at 404.602.0106 or oorza@goimmigrationlaw.com

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