The Investor Visa: What You Need To Know

Smart And Reliable

A growing trend among wealthy foreign nationals is that of gaining a smart and reliable pathway into the United States via what is known as an investor’s visa. The U.S. Immigration website offers a detailed description of the EB-5 visa and its use in achieving U.S. citizenship. While high-net-worth foreign nationals see this as a clear opportunity for a well-defined pathway to citizenship, the U.S. government sees it as a great way to not only create new jobs but as a way to re-energize a struggling economy.

American Jobs

In essence, any foreign national who is willing and able to invest $1 million dollars or more into any sector of the American economy is by default eligible to receive what is known as a conditional residence card. One stipulation is that the investment must generate at least 5 new American jobs. The information found here goes on to state that once an individual has been a conditional resident for at least 2 years they are then entitled to earn a legal permanent resident card. This is what is ubiquitously called the green card.

A Regional Center

Once a foreign national has maintained a green card in good standing for a minimum of 5 years they are then able to apply for actual American citizenship. As a note, any time investment funds are dedicated to what is considered to be an economically depressed area of the American economy, the investment requirement drops to only $500,000. The definition of an economically depressed area is one where the total unemployment rate is 150 percent or more of the national unemployment rate. This type of economically depressed area of the country is often referred to as a “regional center.”

Construction And Development Projects

Investments by foreigners into these types of areas can be used to assist in the recovery from natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Foreign national investments can also be instrumental in funding vital and important construction and development projects. For example, projects that are intended to strengthen national infrastructure and local economies are well received. In fact, almost every state in the country has at least one and in many cases several regional centers that stand to gain directly from funding associated with foreign national investing.

Genuine Risk

Most inviting with regard to EB-5 investing is that those who are participating in this kind of investment program can live virtually anywhere in the U.S., irrespective of the regional area where the investment is made. One key distinction is that the invested funds must not be viewed as a loan but must rather be inherent with an expected level of risk. In other words, there must be an obvious potential for a foreign investor to loose their money. While a loss is obviously not the intention or goal, the risk must always be present.

Closely Scrutinized

Those seeking an investor visa should know that any money used to attain an EB-5 visa will typically be closely scrutinized to ascertain that the funds will fully and legally obtained. Further, the progression of the funding project is carefully monitored to ensure that all requirements such as job creation associated with the investment are successfully met. Investors should also consider the necessity of life insurance for foreign nationals as a long term financial strategy.

Resolving Issues Or Problems

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) continually works to improve the program and has even created a task force that includes special intake teams. These teams are designed to assist foreigners in resolving issues or problems when pursuing the EB-5 visa program. On staff within these teams are experts such as economists who are easily accessible for answering questions and providing general assistance to foreign investors.

Intended To Expedite

The USCIS also offers foreigners investing in the United States the option to take advantage of an expedited decision process (proposed) that would involve additional fees, but that would assure a decision related to an EB-5 application in less than 15 days. Another proposal by the USCIS is that of a decision board that would include experts put in place to expedite the EB-5 visa application process in general. While up to 10,000 visas of this type are made available annually, actual requests are typically far less in number.

Competitive Edge

When unique economic recovery strategies are combined with stimulating foreign immigration and investment in the U.S. it is a clear win-win situation for all involved. At the very core, these concepts are what have always driven U.S. innovation and earned America the competitive edge it is so well known for around the world. Inviting investments by individuals from across globe is one more way in which the United States has maintained its leadership role over the centuries.