Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

Ashley Dees LLC is now Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Please visit www.bal.com for more information.

What Kind of Business Visa Do I Need as an Investor?

Many business people are interested in starting a business in the United States. Becoming the owner of your own company might have been something you have wanted to do for a long time. However, to start one in the United States, you need to apply for a specific type of visa for people in your situation. As an investor, you have a couple of options—the EB-5 and EB-2 visas.

The EB-5 visa, also known as the employment-based fifth preference category, is part of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. This visa provides a method for qualified immigrant investors to become lawful permanent residents. To qualify, a person must invest at least $1 million to finance a business in the United States that will employ at least 10 U.S. workers.

Likewise, most immigrant investors who use the EB-5 program invest in a targeted employment area (TEA), a rural or high-unemployment area. If they start a business in a TEA, the investment threshold is lowered to 500,000.

For those who can’t afford that much money, you might want to consider the E-2 visa. The E-2 visa is known as the Treaty Investor Visa. It is of infinite duration, and your family can come with you to work in the United States. To qualify for an E-2 visa, you need to spend about $15,000. You also need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must be a national of a treaty country
  • You must have invested or be actively in the process of investing
  • You must be in a position to develop and direct the business with skills
  • Your investment must be substantial
  • Your investment & company cannot be marginal
  • You must intend to return to your home country after the visa expires

The government doesn’t have a predetermined amount it considers substantial. Your initial investment could be as low as $50,000, but you might only spend about $15,000 for equipment, furniture, and other items while depositing another $35,000 into your business account as operating working capital.

If you have questions about the best visa to apply for, talk to our skilled Lake Charles immigration attorneys as soon as possible. Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP is ready to help you achieve your legal goals.

Contact us by phone or fill out our online form today to schedule a case consultation.