Business owners seeking to bolster company resources do not have to rely solely on domestic banks or financiers and should consider foreign capital investments. In 1990, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created the EB-5 visa program to stimulate new jobs and business growth through investments by foreign nationals. In return for contributing to the U.S. economy, investors can receive permanent resident status. Not everyone will qualify and if you are seeking a business partnership through the EB-5 program, it is important to understand the requirements for applicant eligibility.
Requirements for an EB 5 visa can include:
- Investment requirements: Typically, a minimum investment of $1 million must be made into a new or existing U.S. business. However, this amount may be lowered to $500,000 in the case that a business is located in a specifically targeted employment area. Capital investments can include cash, inventory, equipment, and other tangible property.
- Job creation requirements: Capital investments must lead to the direct or indirect creation of at least 10 qualifying U.S. jobs within a two year time period. Investors may also meet this requirement through the preservation of existing jobs in a qualifying troubled business.
- Business qualifications: Investments can be made (1) into a newly created business, (2) with the purpose of restructuring an existing business, or (3) with the intention of growing an existing business by 40% of its net worth. Additionally, investors must also maintain an active role in the day-to-day operations of the company.
If accepted, applicants will be granted conditional permanent resident status for a period of two years. After this time, immigrants can apply for the removal of the “conditional” status. Investors who are unsure if they will qualify should not be immediately dissuaded from applying as there is typically flexibility in the interpretation of UCSIS guideline requirements.
Additional Options for Acquiring Foreign Capital
While the EB-5 visa may not be right for every situation, it is also not the only opportunity to partner with foreign investors. The E-1 (treaty trader) and E-2 (treaty investor) visas can also be viable options for citizens of countries which the U.S maintains active treaties of commerce. To qualify, investors must be entering the United States to (1) conduct or facilitate substantial trade between the U.S and the treaty country, or (2) direct the operations of a business enterprise in which a substantial investment has been made. Generally, both non-immigrant visas allow investors to stay within the U.S. for an initial two year period with the possibility of extensions.
About Akula & Associates, P.C.
At Akula & Associates, we provide effective immigration and visa solutions to businesses, individuals, and families worldwide. Our Dallas immigration lawyers possess more than two decades of legal experience and strongly believe in the benefits that immigration can provide to both businesses and their employees.
If you are interested in learning more about foreign investor visas or the services that our firm offers, we invite you to contact us today.