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An American Investor Visa Guide (Miami, FL)

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It’s not uncommon for foreign investors to set their eyes on the United States. Thankfully, entrepreneurs who have this desire can conduct their capital investment freely, provided that they meet the requirements for the investor visa program.

The visas available to immigrant investors fall under the “E” umbrella and have three different classifications. Treaty traders can opt for the E1 category, while others can opt for the E2 investor visa and the EB-5 entrepreneur visa,

E1 and E2 visas, while they provide a great opportunity for direct investment from the perspective of the investor, were designed to allow for a more streamlined economic exchange process between various countries and the USA. To this end, those with these classes can develop and direct their businesses, which are categorized by a substantial investment of cash.

EB 5 visas are for foreigners who either wish to start their own businesses or wish to invest in existing businesses in the United States. The capital requirement here is quite significant, standing at $800,000 or $1,100,000 depending on the specific circumstances covered below. Note that this visa is particularly aimed at creating employment.

Qualifications for Different Foreign Investor Visa Types

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As investors chart their path through immigration services, they will need to keep abreast of the conditions that apply to each of the visa types. Here is a quick overview of what these look like.

E1 Visa for Nonimmigrant Treaty Traders

Any individuals who wish to apply must demonstrate unquestionable professionalism and must demonstrate the aptitude necessary to successfully develop the company and stay on top of its operations.

There must be a detailed plan of international trade that must be followed throughout the operation of the business, and employment must be created.

Any immediate family members of the applicant that are under 21 years old can also apply for an investment visa, but the process must be completed independently.

The principal trade (over 50%) must take place between the treaty country and the USA.

E2 Visa for Nonimmigrant Treaty Traders

The visa holder’s country must maintain a navigation and commerce treaty with the USA. Any individual requiring the visa must be a company leader and stay within the territory. On that note, as an E2 visa holder, one is only allowed to work for the sponsoring business.

To ensure negotiation security, the budgeted minimum investment must exceed any amount allocated to substantial company costs.

EB 5 Investor Visa for Immigrant Employment-based Alien Entrepreneurs

As indicated before, a substantial investment is required of any investor hoping to secure an EB 5 investor visa. The use of the term “substantial investment” here speaks to an investment of $1,100,000. However, depending on the circumstances, this amount may be reduced to $800,000.

This applies where the applicant is investing in a targeted employment area. This is a location in the United States that either has a high unemployment rate or is a rural area. A high unemployment rate is defined as one that is no less than 150% more than the national average.

Investment valuation here considers cash, equipment, and inventory, alongside other assets and property of the business. Of course, no illegally acquired assets can be factored into the equation.

Apart from the minimum investment, an EB 5 immigrant investor must also select and invest in a “new commercial enterprise” with a qualifying amount. New commercial enterprises are those established after November 1990 or those seeing the number of employees or net worth increase by 40% from investment. This requirement can be satisfied by the purchase of an existing business that is then reorganized to achieve the new enterprise conditions.

Any new company must yield no less than 10 full-time jobs for US workers, categorized by 2-year contracts.


What Does the USA Immigrant Visa Process Look Like?

Pile of Dollars
While the end goal of directing investment capital into the USA may seem straightforward at a glance, the actual application process is quite involved for those with their eyes on the Miami, Florida locale or other similar USA cities.

Realistically, the conditions are worded simply. However, there is a complex information-gathering process that is necessary to ensure that the conditions are adequately met.

A review and confirmation will then be conducted at the appropriate applicant Embassy by its migration team. Of course, if there are any stipulations not being adhered to, the visa application will be denied.

Bear in mind that depending on the country, the document submission and information-gathering process will need to be supplemented by formal interviews to discuss essential areas of the requirements, such as business plans.

A Bit of Background on US Investor Visas

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The current state of investment visas can be traced back to 1990, a year in which the “Visa for investors” immigration law would’ve been enacted. In an attempt to bolster the economy in the United States, the idea behind it was that foreign trade could lead to greater capital gains and more employment opportunities for citizens.

This led to the development of the E1, E2, and EB-5 immigrant investor visas. The program started out including only countries that have economic treaties with the USA.

By the time 1993 came, the “Program Regional Centers” initiative was started, which included any private or public entity. This was done for the sake of rural areas that were synonymous with high unemployment rates.

1998 was a rough time. The EB-5 success rates were low, and even those who already got through and had their families would sometimes see themselves being deported and losing their holdings in the process.

Thankfully, modifications were made in 2002 to directly benefit those affected by the previous policy iteration. This led to the current requirements and even collaboration between immigration services and new regional centers.

How the Immigrant Investor Visas Work in Different Countries

Globe with dollars
Treaties have been mentioned several times so far. However, a one size fits all approach isn’t used. Depending on the country, the establishment and applications differ. Here are a few of the most notable examples:

  1. The free trade agreement with Colombia came about in 1948. This allowed those who wished to head large US-based companies following investment to do so via E1 and E2 visas. The tenure is five years. However, so long as the applicant remains in compliance with the requirements and the agreement remains mutually beneficial, renewal is allowed perpetually.
  2. Mexico and the USA signed the North American Free Trade Treaty in 1994. This allows Mexican citizens to apply for the E1, E2, and EB 5 visa classes. For the easiest possible time, Mexican ap[plicants will want to be leaders in their companies and own a controlling interest (at least 51% of the total shares). There are additional requirements such as job creation, strategic business plans, etc.
    The effective period is only a year, and once the investor leaves the country, applying again will mean going through the same process required in the initial phase.
  3. Spain’s agreement with the United States is one of several that’s in place with European countries. Spanish citizens are free to apply for E-class visas so long as they meet the established requirements. The tenure of the visa here is five years, with an option for permanent residence becoming available with a spend of no less than $1 million in the business.

How Does a US Immigration Lawyer Fit into Your Investment Interests?

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How does an immigration lawyer come into the picture? Much of the value clients will derive comes from the nuances of the application process. Realistically it’s very easy to miss a minute requirement, and even in meeting them, things don’t stop there.

With an immigration lawyer on your side, not only does it become possible to hit the mark, but there are also other valuable insights. What kinds of alterations are being made to the conditions? What are some of the best places to invest? What are some of the elements of litigation to pay attention to? Is obtaining an employment-based green card possible? Don’t wait until things start getting unfavorable.

Ensuring the best possible outcome means bringing a qualified lawyer into the mix.

Hans Burgos Law Firm has a team with the relevant experience and qualifications necessary to assist direct investors who want to make a difference in the USA. Schedule an insightful consultation with us by calling 305-442-1240 today or sending a text via WhatsApp at +1 (305) 432-0290.


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What Makes a US Investment Visa Desirable?

The United States of America currently stands among the countries with the biggest economies worldwide. This is complemented by the most accepted currency worldwide, as well as a host of development potential and the kind of innovation that allows businesses and private individuals alike to stay ahead in a dynamic world.

Bear in mind that there is the potential for a high standard of living, complete with a possible green card through the avenue of investment.

Can an EB 5 Investor Visa Holder Opt for a Green Card Via Business?

It is possible; however, the process is not immediate and will require five years of residence. It’s best to discuss this with your immigration lawyer to understand the requirements you will need to meet and the associate process.