Permanent Residency Through Investment
There are two ways to immigrate to the United States (become a permanent resident) based upon investing in a business:
- Under the “First Preference” quota (as a manager or executive in an established multinational company)
- Under the “Fifth Preference” quota (as an entrepreneur starting a new business).
Temporary Visas based on Investment
Temporary visas allow the investor and family to live in the US during the duration of the visa status. The investor is authorized to work only in the business that is the basis for the visa. Under some visas (E-1, E-2, L-1) the investor’s spouse is eligible for an unrestricted work permit. These visas allow the investor to bring a household employee to the US (nanny, housekeeper, personal cook, etc.). There are three main categories of temporary visas appropriate for foreign investors:
- Treaty Trader Visa (E-1): The E-1 visa allows the investor to establish and operate an import or export company in the US. There is no minimum investment amount, nor target number of US workers required. However, the trade volume should be greater than $1 million per year and a majority of the trade must be between the US and the investor’s country of citizenship. More Information.
- Treaty Investor Visa (E-2): The E-2 visa allows the investor to establish and operate any type of business in the US. The business should create employment for at least 3-5 US workers and be sufficiently capitalized. The amount of capital varies according to the type and size of the enterprise. More Information.
- Intracompany Transferee Visa (L-1): The L-1 visa allows the investor to establish and operate any type of business in the US if the investor also has an operating business in the home country. The US business should create employment for at least 5-7 US workers. The home country business should maintain employment for at least 5-7 workers throughout the period the investor holds the L-1 visa. More Information.
For more information, or to schedule a consultation with the immigration attorneys at Visawolf, simply click here. Our multi-lingual team provides immigration services in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
From our offices in Concord, located in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, we serve clients throughout the United States and the world. We provide immigration expertise to clients in all parts of the U.S., including Texas, Hawaii, New York, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Washington, and Ohio. We serve clients in all parts of California, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, Berkeley, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Redding.
Many foreign investors are attracted to the following sectors:
- Consumer products and services: With a population of nearly 300 million high income consumers, the US is the largest single unified consumer market in the world. Every day new consumer products and services are tested, introduced and sold on a mass scale
- Advanced Technology: America’s technology infrastructure weaves together a world class education system, sophisticated and deep financial markets, and the synergy created over 50 years of technical innovation. The US continues to draw the best and the brightest seeking to develop the ‘next best thing.’
- Real Estate: While every market has its ups and downs, American real estate has outperformed real estate in other world markets in the past 50 years, without any significant bubble. Perhaps due to the depth and breadth of its economy, real estate has provided strong long term investment returns throughout the economic cycle, especially in the coastal states.