U.S. immigration policy supports investors and foreign commerce in a variety of ways. The E-1 visa is one method for ensuring healthy commerce through international trade. The E-1 Visa is issued to individuals known as ‘treaty traders,’ defined as a national of a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. E-1 treaty traders enter the U.S. to carry on substantial trade and principal trade between the U.S. and their home country.
Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 are allowed to accompany or join an E-1 worker in the U.S., in E dependent status. Spouses may seek work authorization from USCIS upon entry in E dependent status by applying for an employment authorization document. Spouses and children may also attend school.
Employees of treaty companies may also qualify for an E-1 visa. Please contact our office for more information about qualifying treaty countries and/or how to qualify for an E-1 visa.
The E-2 visa is another visa category furthering U.S. immigration policy to support commerce through investments in U.S. businesses. The E-2 visa category allows foreign nationals of a treaty country to temporarily live and work in the U.S. To qualify for an E-2 investment visa, foreign nationals must make a substantial investment in a U.S. business or enterprise. Investor applicants must also show the investment funds have been legitimately derived and have been or will be subjected to real risk of loss as part of the investment.
Spouses and unmarried children under age 21 are allowed to accompany or join an E-2 worker in the U.S., in E dependent status. Spouses may seek work authorization from USCIS upon entry in E dependent status by applying for an employment authorization document. Spouses and children may also attend school.
Employees of investment companies may also qualify for an E-2 visa. Please contact our office for more information about qualifying treaty countries and/or how to qualify for an E-2 visa.
The EB-5 investor visa allows individuals who are interested in investing a substantial amount in a U.S. based enterprise or business to seek permanent residence in the U.S. Accompanying spouses and children are permitted to immigrate with the primary investor individual.
The EB-5 investment visa must be made for a new business or enterprise that is for profit. The investor must be actively involved in the operations of the business. Capital investments must be at least $1 million (or $500,000 in certain designated areas through approved regional centers) which can be in cash, equipment, inventory, etc. The business must directly create at least 10 new jobs for U.S. workers (or indirectly create 10 new jobs if approved through a regional center) within two years of the investment.
Permanent residence based on EB-5 investments is granted by USCIS on a two-year conditional basis. After the two-year period is over, the EB-5 investor must demonstrate that all conditions continue to be met in order for conditional residence to be removed.
EB-5 investment visas are highly complex. For assistance or for questions about this category, please contact our office.
The United States of America is widely regarded as the land of opportunities, with a rich and diverse culture as well as one of the strongest currencies in the world equal to one of the most desirable passports on the planet. The United States remains as one of the most desired destinations for migrants and investors from all over the world.
Section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), allocates 10,000 “EB-5” immigrant visas per year to qualified individuals seeking Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status on the basis of their capital investment in a commercial enterprise.
The EB-5 regulations may be found at 8 CFR 204.6 and 8 CFR 216.6, respectively.
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