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Visa options for those seeking to invest in the U.S.

What U.S. visa options are available for a foreign national depends on a range of circumstances. One is if their desire to come to the U.S. is tied to an intent to invest in U.S. businesses. Among the visas that are available here in America are investor visas.

Two of the notable types of investor visas are the E-2 visa and the EB-5 visa.

The E-2 visa program is a nonimmigrant visa program. So, it is for investors who are seeking a temporary stay in America. Meanwhile, the EB-5 visa program is a green card program. So, it is for investors who are seeking to become a permanent resident of the United States.

Now, the differences between these two types of investor visas are not limited to whether they are for temporary stays or permanent residency. E-2 visas and EB-5 visas also vary greatly in their eligibility requirements and the process for applying for them.

For example, E-2 visas are limited to investors from certain countries. Only investors from countries that the U.S. has a qualifying treaty with are eligible for this type of visa.

The different investor visas also vary in their requirements for how much a person has to invest in an American enterprise to qualify for them. For E-2 visas, there is no specific minimum investment amount. Rather the requirement is that the investment must be “substantial.” For EB-5 visas, on the other hand, there is a specific minimum. Generally, an investment has to be at least $1 million for a person to have EB-5 eligibility. As a note, there are certain circumstances in which this threshold would be lowered to $500,000.

Also, for EB-5 visas, the investment generally must be found to meet a job creation requirement.

As this discussion illustrates, what sort of investor visa would be a good fit for a person seeking to invest in the U.S. depends on their circumstances, their investment goals and their immigration goals. Investors can go to skilled immigration attorneys for help with getting a picture of what investor visa options would be available to them and would be consistent with their goals. Such lawyers can also help investors that have decided to pursue a certain type of investor visa with explanations of the different steps of the application process and guidance throughout these steps.

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