Immigration Options for Investors

Businesses and individual entrepreneurs often require specialized immigration planning that is tailored to their unique needs. Goel & Anderson regularly develops highly sophisticated plans for individuals and businesses with short term needs in the U.S., as well as investors who seek permanent residence in the U.S. for themselves and immediate family members.

Goel & Anderson also has long experience coordinating case strategy with international tax and financial professionals to ensure that clients consider all the relevant economic implications associated with investing in the U.S.

The E Visa Category

The E nonimmigrant visa category applies to business owners, managers and employees who need to remain in the United States for extended periods of time in order to oversee or work in an enterprise engaged in trade between the United States and a foreign state, or that represents a major investment in the United States.

The E visa category was established to give effect to treaties between the United States and foreign countries that provide immigration benefits to nationals of each country who invest in the other country or who conduct trade between the two countries. Therefore, a treaty of commerce and navigation or a bilateral investment treaty that provides for nonimmigrant entries must exist between the United States and the applicable foreign state in order to apply for the E visa. The E visa category can be used for purposes of conducting trade between the United States and the country of majority ownership of the company (E-1), or overseeing investment in the United States (E-2).

The category can be used by many different types of companies, both small and large, and can be used by the company's principals, or by its employees, as long as they perform functions approved by applicable rules and regulations. More info.

EB-5 Visas - U.S. Permanent Residence for Investors

Individual investors may qualify for U.S. permanent residence (Green Card) through the EB-5 immigrant investor program. Under the EB-5 visa category, an investor is required to make an active investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area) in a commercial enterprise that will employ 10 full-time U.S. workers. There are no restrictions on the type of business that will qualify, and previously approved investments have included hotels, residential care homes, leisure facilities, office buildings, agricultural facilities, films, and numerous others.

The EB-5 program allows a foreign national, and his/her spouse and children, to obtain employment authorization relatively quickly. Similarly, the children of the investor are permitted to enroll in school in the U.S. After a two-year period of conditional permanent residence when the investment must remain in place and the employment creation goals must be met, the investor and dependent family members will qualify for unconditional U.S. permanent residence.

The EB-5 Regional Center Program

Investors may also choose to invest in a pre-approved Regional Center, which is an investment program in a geographical area for which USCIS has determined that investments will create the necessary 10 jobs per investor, whether directly or indirectly, in the geographical area. The required amount of investment in a Regional Center is generally $500,000.

Most of the Regional Centers are structured as limited partnership investments, and the rights of a limited partner are considered sufficient to qualify as an “active” investor. The EB-5 Regional Center program allows a foreign national, and his/her spouse and children, to obtain employment authorization relatively promptly. Children of a successful EB-5 regional center candidate can also go to school in the U.S. and are allowed to pay in-state tuition.