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The Immigration Law Center
EB-5 Investor visa grant Green Card
This immigrant visa (green card) is available for investors in the US economy.
A green card entitles an alien to almost all the same rights as a US citizen. In
addition to the investor, his spouse and unmarried children under 21 receive
green cards at the same time with the investor. An EB-5 investor can be from
any country in the world.
The minimal investment is around $500,000. The EB-5 investor is not required
to participate in the routine operations of the business in managerial capacity.
Therefore, he does not have to reside in the proximity to the business. EB-5
investors, their spouses and children are permitted to lawfully work in the US.
The investor has to prove that the funds that he or she is planning to invest in
the US economy were obtained by lawful means. To prove that, a prospective
investor provides his income tax statements, pay stubs, real estate sale
contracts, inheritance paperwork, etc. A prospective investor should
understand that he is accepting all common business risks associated with
making an investment.
If the petition is approved, the investor first starts off with a conditional
green card. If the funds were in fact invested and the jobs created, then after
one year and nine months of the date the conditional green card was issued,
investor can apply for a permanent green card. After the investor receives his
permanent green card for a period of four years and nine months, he or she
can apply for US citizenship. As soon as EB-5 investor obtains US citizenship,
he and his spouse can apply for green cards for the members of their
immediate family who did not get green cards simultaneously with them –
their parents, children over 21(with their spouses and children) and siblings.
Therefore, the EB-5 investment can serve as a convenient immigration
vehicle for big well-to-do families.
The treaty countries are:
Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon,
Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo
(Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia,
Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran,
Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea,
Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico,
Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan,
Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Slovak
Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland,
Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United
Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.
The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa
The Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa is for a national of a
country with which the United States (U.S.) maintains a treaty of commerce
and navigation who is coming to the U.S. to carry on substantial trade,
including trade in services or technology, principally between the U.S. and the
treaty country, or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in
which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial
amount of capital, under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality
Treaty trader applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for a
treaty trader (E-1) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will
determine whether a treaty trader applicant qualifies for a visa.
The applicant must be a national of a treaty country.
The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U. S. must have the
The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that there is a
sizable and continuing volume of trade.
The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, which
is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade
involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's
Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology.
Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or
possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the
firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
This nonimmigrant visa is available to petitioners (investors) who make an
investment in the US economy. It is very common for investors on E-2 visas
and their spouses and children to adjust their status to become US lawful
permanent residents (green card holders) and US citizens.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, the investment has to be real and active and come
from documented legitimate sources (real estate transactions, inheritance,
salary and bonuses, sales commissions etc). The investor should fully control
the funds and accept the common entrepreneurial risks associated with
becoming an investor.
The funds invested in the US economy should not be the only funds available
to the investor. The investor will have to prove that the investment funds are
“at risk” and that he has other funds readily available to him. It is required
that the investment not be marginal, i.e. it should be substantial enough to
generate more income than is sufficient to provide the means of living for
the investor and investor’s family.
E-2 visas are available to the nationals of the countries with which the US has
Compared to other non-immigrant and immigrant visas, the E-2 visa has
It “covers” the investor, his spouse and all his children under 21.
It is initially issued for 5 years, but can be renewed indefinitely.
There is a relatively short processing time, including premium proceedings
that allow an investor to receive a decision within one week
An investor can legally work in the US in his enterprise.
Investor’s spouse can apply for employment authorization and lawfully work
either for the spouse’s enterprise or elsewhere.
The investor, his spouse and children can freely travel outside the US and re-
enter the US as they please.