Investor Visas: E-1, E-2, EB-5
Lim Law – Orlando & Central Florida Immigration Attorney
Citizens of foreign countries who wish to enter the United States must first obtain a visa. This can be either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.
Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation.
Who Qualifies For An E-1 Treaty Trader Visa?
- Individuals or companies with the nationality of the treaty country (at least half of the company must be owned by nationals of the treaty country.)
- If there is substantial trade between the United States and the treaty country.
- If the individual is either the principal trader who is coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade, or an executive manager, manager, or employee with special skills essential to the company.
Who Qualifies For An E-2 Treaty Investor Visa?
- Individuals or companies with the nationality of the treaty country.
- The individual or company has made or is in the process of making a substantial capital investment (relative to the total value of the company) in a bona fide business enterprise in the United States.
- The individual is either the principal investor who will direct and develop the enterprise, or an executive, supervisor, or employee whose services are essential to the efficient operation of the U.S. company.
Who Qualifies for an EB-5 Treaty Investor Visa?
Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories.
This webpage explains the visa application process for Employment Fifth Preference (E5) Immigrant Investors, also called Immigrant Entrepreneurs. Select Employment Based Immigrant Visas for additional employment based immigrant visa categories. U.S. immigration law makes visas available to immigrant investors seeking to enter the United States to engage in new commercial enterprises that benefit the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment. E5 investors receive up to 7.1 percent of all employment based immigrant visas issued worldwide each year.
To qualify as an immigrant investor, a foreign national must invest, without borrowing, the following minimum qualifying capital dollar amounts in a qualifying commercial enterprise:
- $1,000,000 US; or
- $500,000 US in a high-unemployment or rural area, considered a targeted employment area.
A qualifying investment must, within two years, create full-time jobs for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized to work in the United States, not including the investor and the investor’s spouse, sons, or daughters.
Immigrant investor visa categories:
- Employment creation outside a targeted area – C5
- Employment creation in a targeted rural/high unemployment area – T5
- Investor Pilot Program not in a targeted area – R5
- Investor Pilot Program in a targeted area – I5
For more information on business investment in the United States, see the U.S. Department of Commerce website SelectUSA.
At Lim Law, we have battled many cases in Central Florida and Orlando Immigration courts. With over 19 years of experience in Florida immigration cases, we are the types of attorneys that will help you get your problems resolved.
EB-5 Employment Based Visas
The EB-5 visa is for foreign investors who wish to make a significant investment in the United States in order to receive permanent residency for themselves, their spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21. There are different requirements and forms depending on where you choose to invest your money.
Navigating the process of investing in a business and applying for the EB-5 visa is complicated. Having a lawyer who is experienced and trustworthy may improve your application experience and help you achieve your goal of becoming a permanent resident of the United States.
The EB-5 Visa Process
Once you have made your investment in the United States and satisfied the qualifications, the first step of applying for the EB-5 visa is to file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. Once it has been approved, there are two ways to proceed.
- To adjust your current immigration status to a conditional permanent resident within the United States, file Form I-485, the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- To file for the visa without having previous immigration status, file the DS-230 or DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the U.S. Department of State to obtain an EB-5 visa for admission to the United States.
Once your Form I-485 is approved or you enter the United States with your EB-5 visa, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age will be eligible for their conditional permanent residency as well.
Your conditional permanent residency lasts for two years. Within 90 days of the end of the two-year period, you must apply to remove the conditions from your visa.
To do this, file Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions.
If approved, the conditions will be removed, and you and your family will have permanent residence in the United States.
EB-5 Visa Facts
- Minimum investment in a targeted employment area: $500,000 USD
- Minimum investment not in a targeted employment area: $1,000,000 USD
- Investment must create or preserve 10 full-time jobs over a 2 year period
- Created jobs do not include employment for the immigrant investor, his or her spouse, sons, or daughters
- Investment must be in a new
- Investment must not be borrowed
- 7.1% of US employment-based visas awarded are EB-5 visas
- The visa allows your spouse and
unmarried children under the age of
21 to receive permanent residence as well
EB-5 Visa Requirements
To qualify for an EB-5 visa, you must invest either $1,000,000 (U.S.) or $500,000 (U.S.) in a high-unemployment or rural area (considered a targeted employment area) in a qualifying commercial enterprise.
Your investment must create full-time jobs within two years for at least 10 individuals. These employees may be U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized to work in the United States, but not the investor, the investor’s spouse, sons, or daughters.
C5: Employment creation outside a targeted area
T5: Employment creation in a targeted rural/high-unemployment area
R5: Investor Pilot Program not in a targeted area
I5: Investor Pilot Program in a targeted area