How to Get an Investor Visa in the US
The United States has a thriving economy and is a magnet for investors worldwide. If you’re eager to start a business and contribute to the growth of the American economy, an investor visa could be an excellent option for you and your family.
Investor visas are non-immigrant visas that allow citizens of certain countries to travel to the US to engage in substantial trade or investment activities. These visas are an option for entrepreneurs and investors who want to start or expand their businesses and build a life in the US.
Types of Investor Visas
An investor visa allows foreign investors to live and work in the US if they meet specific eligibility requirements.
Some of the most common types of investor visas include:
- E-1 visas: These visas are for people going to the US to engage in substantial trade between America and their home country.
- E-2 visas: These visas are for people going to the US to invest a substantial amount of capital in a business that is at least 50% owned by citizens of their home country.
- EB-5 visas: These visas are for people investing $1.8 million (or $900,000 in a targeted employment area) in a new commercial enterprise that will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for US citizens.
The advantages of investor visas differ depending on the specific type you get. Benefits include the ability to live and work in the US, bring family members with you and the potential to obtain a green card.
If you are interested in obtaining an investor visa, you should consult with an immigration lawyer to discuss your eligibility.
Investor Visa Criteria
It is best to speak with an immigration lawyer to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements before beginning the application process. To be eligible, you must:
- be a citizen of a treaty country: The E-2 visa is available to people from countries that have a commerce and navigation treaty with the United States. These countries have qualifying treaties of commerce and navigation or bilateral investment treaties with the US. Consulting with an immigration lawyer or visiting the State Department’s website can help verify if your country is on the list.
- make a substantial investment: The investment must be enough to ensure the successful operation of your investment business. That amount varies depending on the nature of the enterprise, but it should be significant and at risk if the business fails.
- be an active manager: You must actively manage and direct your business operations. People with passive investments or who own shares in the company without involvement do not qualify.
- have a legitimate business: The business you invest in must be legal and active in commercial activities. Speculative or marginal businesses are ineligible.
- disclose source of funds: You must provide detailed documentation proving that the investment funds have a lawful source. Transparency is crucial; your funds must not come from criminal activities.
The Application Process
The application process for investor visas can be complex and time-consuming. To apply, you need to:
- file the relevant forms and pay the required fees for your visa category with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- gather and organize the necessary documents, including business plans, financial records and evidence of the legitimacy of your investment company.
- if your application is approved, you will likely be required to attend an interview at the US embassy or consulate in your country.
- once you have received approval, you can speak with your immigration lawyer about the steps required to have your spouse and unmarried children apply for non-immigrant visas.
Get Your E-2 Visa in Ottawa
Securing a US investor visa presents a wealth of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. At Silver Immigration, we can guide you through your investor visa application process successfully.
Call 1 (888) 799-4769 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.