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The Top 3 Visas for Foreign Investors in the United States

Posted by Maisha Dyson on August 1, 2016
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Planning from the Beginning

  • With thousands of new businesses starting in the U.S. every year, many entrepreneurs are confused with the legal ramifications involved.
  • Today, the right choice of a business structure may simply depend on whether you have a partner or not.
  • Organizational options offer different tax structures and liabilities, which also include other details.
  • Every legal structure has its own details to be addressed, but if you are not aware of these subtle legal issues, you could make the wrong decisions.
  • Research the structure that you desire, and consult a professional attorney or business counselor. We provide you with a vetted network of immigration/corporate/real estate attorneys in South Florida that can assist you in identifying the best legal structure for you.

    Immigration through Investment Visas

    When investing in Real Estate:

  • Clients will need work space
  • Clients will need a place to live
  • Clients may start a business that specializes in buying and selling real estate
  • Clients will need to buy or start the business

There are 3 types of visas available:

• L-1
• E-2
• EB-5



Non-immigrant visa

  • Goal: To expand a foreign business in the U.S.
  • Intra-Company transferees
  • New Company or Existing Company


  • Travel outside U.S. and Re-enter
  • You can bring your children and spouse (L2)
  • Provides opportunity to obtain a Green Card


  • Qualifying relationship between sending company and receiving company (parent, subsidiary, affiliate or branch)
  • Employed by sending company for at least one year
  • Executive, manager or employee with special knowledge Length of stay:
  • You can work in the U.S. for 1 year on your initial visa
  • After that first period, your visa can be renewed for 2 years at a time
  • Limit: maximum stay of 7 years as a manager or executive
  • You can apply for EB-1 Visa (for residency)

Why Choose An L1-visa?

  • If you plan to apply for a green card
  • If your spouse (L2) needs a work permit => Needs an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)



Non-immigrant visa

  • Minimum investment (should be at least $100,000.00)
  • Investor has to be a national of a treaty country


  • Alien must be national of a treaty country
  • Investment of substantial amount in U.S. enterprise
  • Intention to develop and direct this investment enterprise. Foreign national owns at least 50% of the Enterprise or possesses operational control
  • Capital must be subject to loss if investment fails
  • Treaty investor must prove that the funds were not obtained from criminal activity
  • Investment enterprise cannot be marginal. It must possess the potential to generate more than enough profit to provide for the living expenses of the investor.

Substantial Amount:

  • Cost of investment compared to the total cost
  • Investment must be large enough to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment
  • Investment must be large enough to make it likely that the investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise

Length of Stay:

Length of stay is determined by time granted by the client’s country of nationality

  • Maximum time is usually 5 years
  • Extension requests can be granted for 2 years at a time
  • There are no limits to the number of extensions

Why Choose An E2-Visa?

  • If it’s important that your spouse works during your stay in the U.S. (EAD)
  • If you don’t want to apply for a green card
  • If you want to invest a minimum investment
  • If you have children under 21 that want to attend a U.S. school
  • If you need to travel a lot outside the U.S.



Immigrant visa

       Purpose: To stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors

  • Investment in a new commercial enterprise
  • Entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for a green card

Two Types of EB-5

1. Direct

  • Create 10 full time jobs
  • Actively involved in investment

         2. Regional Center

  • Sponsors capital investment projects
  • Advantage of indirect job creation (formula)
  • Not actively involved in investment

Investment Requirements:

  • General minimum is $1million
  • Targeted employment area: high-unemployment area or rural area investment of minimum $500,00.00
  • Investment capital can be borrowed under special circumstances
  • Job creation requirements (Direct)
  • At least 10 full-time jobs (35 working hours per week)
  • Within 2 years
  • Qualified employees(persons authorized to work in U.S.)

Targeted Employment Area:

  • Rural area: any area outside a metropolitan statistical area or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more than 90% of the US.
  • High unemployment area: an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 % of the national average rate


Length of Stay:

  • Conditional green card: with approval of the EB- 5 visa, Investor is granted a 2 year conditional residency
  • Permanent green card: a green card without conditions. Investor must apply for a removal of conditions.

Why Choose For A EB-5 Visa?

This information is a general summary of Foreign investor requirements. It is not to be relied upon for any immigration decisions as it may result in adverse consequences. The advice of an attorney is essential for immigration decisions. Please notify our office at (305) 587-1334 for a list of our preferred Immigration/Corporate Attorneys in the South Florida area.