IMMIGRANT VISA INVESTORS
In 1990, the United States Congress passed the Immigration Act of 1990, which created the immigrant investor visa, also known as the EB-5 visa. This allowed more foreigners to stay in the U.S., but only if they had intentions to invest in the country. Under the Immigration Act of 1990, immigrant investors could stay in the US for two years under certain conditions, after which they could apply for a green card.
It is relatively easy to apply for an investor visa. You will qualify for an EB-5 visa if:
(1) You have legally obtained $1,000,000 and invested it in a business; and promoted employment in your area, by employing at least ten individuals; OR
(2) You have legally obtained $500,000 and invested it in a business in a rural area, or a Targeted Employment Area, and hired at least ten individuals; OR
(3) You have invested in a USCIS Regional Center. A USCIS Regional Center is an economic unit that promotes investment in key cities and towns that need improvements in regional productivity, employment rate, and domestic capital investment.
Now, you may think that a million dollars is a lot of money, and that creating ten jobs is too much. But there are actually good reasons why these are requirements. The main reason is that the U.S. government acknowledges that immigrants who invest in the U.S. do create jobs, which, of course, help the U.S. economy.
Do not worry, though, if you are not successful in your investment. You only need to establish or own a business, make half a million or a million dollar investment, and hire ten full-time workers. You also do not have to be a manager, a supervisor, or any officer that is directly involved with the business. You could run a business while having a part-time job. You could also run your existing business in your home country while owning a business in the U.S.
Qualified immigrants, who have invested in the U.S., and helped promote employment, do not automatically get permanent residency. Instead, they are given conditional permanent residence status for two years. When the two years are almost over, the USCIS will review the EB-5 visa requirements, such as the amount of investment and the number of full-time employees. If the investor has not fulfilled the requirements, his or her residency status will be revoked. But if the investor has fulfilled all the necessary requirements, he or she will then be able to apply to have the condition removed. If that application is approved, the investor will obtain permanent residence status.