North Carolina Investor Visa Attorney
Helping Foreign Investors Set Up Shop in the US
If you are a foreign investor looking to do business in the United States, you may be eligible for an investor visa. Likewise, if you are an entrepreneur wishing to start a company in the US, you may also be able to obtain a visa that allows you to do so. At Brown Immigration Law, we provide experienced, knowledgeable legal guidance to investors and entrepreneurs throughout North Carolina and worldwide.
E-5 Immigrant Investor Program
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program is a program administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows foreign investors to obtain permanent residency (green card) in the United States by investing a minimum amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs for U.S. workers.
Here are some key points about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program:
- Eligibility: To qualify for an EB-5 visa, the investor must make a capital investment of either $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise or $900,000 if the investment is made in a targeted employment area (TEA), which is an area with high unemployment rates or rural areas. The investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the investor's admission to the United States.
- Types of Investments: The investment can take various forms, including the creation of a new business, the expansion of an existing business, or the purchase of a troubled business. The investor can choose to invest directly in the enterprise or through a USCIS-designated Regional Center, which is an organization that pools EB-5 investments for larger-scale projects.
- Conditional Permanent Residency: Initially, successful EB-5 applicants receive conditional permanent residency status, which is valid for two years. To remove the conditions and obtain unconditional permanent residency, the investor must demonstrate that the investment has been sustained, and the job creation requirements have been met.
- Job Creation Requirements: The investment must result in the creation or preservation of at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers. These jobs must be created within two years of the investor's admission to the United States.
- Processing Time and Backlogs: The processing time for EB-5 petitions can vary, and there have been periods of backlog due to the popularity of the program. Additionally, the program has undergone periodic changes and updates in its requirements and regulations.
E-1 Treaty Trader Visa
The E-1 Treaty Trader Visa is a nonimmigrant visa category that allows individuals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States to enter the country for the purpose of engaging in substantial trade between their home country and the United States. This visa is specifically designed for traders who conduct a significant amount of trade in goods, services, or technology between the U.S. and their home country.
Here are some key points about the E-1 Treaty Trader Visa:
- Eligibility: To qualify for an E-1 visa, the applicant must be a national of a country that has a qualifying treaty with the United States. The applicant must also be coming to the U.S. to engage in substantial trade, which generally refers to continuous and substantial trade in goods, services, or technology. The trade must be principally between the United States and the treaty country.
- Substantial Trade: The term "substantial trade" typically refers to a continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time. There is no specific dollar amount or volume of trade required, but the trade activity should be sufficient to support the trader and his or her family in the United States.
- Principal Trade: The trade must be primarily between the United States and the treaty country that the applicant represents. More than 50% of the total volume of international trade must be between the U.S. and the treaty country.
- Ownership: The trader must be an owner of the trade or have a supervisory or executive role within the company engaged in trade between the U.S. and the treaty country. Employees who do not hold a managerial or executive position may not qualify for the E-1 visa.
- Renewability: E-1 visas are typically issued for a period of up to two years initially and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the trading activities continue and the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria.
- Family Members: Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of E-1 visa holders are eligible for derivative E visas and can accompany the principal applicant to the United States.
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a nonimmigrant visa category that allows individuals from countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States to enter the country for the purpose of investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. This visa is specifically designed for investors who wish to develop and direct the operations of a business in which they have invested.
Here are some key points about the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa:
- Eligibility: To qualify for an E-2 visa, the applicant must be a national of a country that has a qualifying treaty with the United States. The applicant must also be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of a bona fide enterprise in which they have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.
- Substantial Investment: The investment must be "substantial" in relation to the total cost of either purchasing an existing business or establishing a new one. While there is no fixed minimum amount required, the investment must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The investment must also be at risk, meaning the investor stands to lose the funds if the business fails.
- Developing and Directing Operations: The applicant must play an active role in developing and directing the operations of the business. This typically involves being involved in the day-to-day management or having a managerial or executive role within the company.
- Investor's Nationality: The investor must hold the nationality of the treaty country. If the investor is a dual national, they must choose to enter the U.S. using the passport of the treaty country.
- Renewability: E-2 visas are typically issued for a period of up to five years initially and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investor continues to meet the eligibility criteria and the business remains operational.
- Dependents: Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of E-2 visa holders are eligible for derivative E visas and can accompany the principal applicant to the United States. Spouses are also eligible to apply for work authorization.
How We Can Help
At Brown Immigration Law, we understand that navigating the investor visa process can be complex and overwhelming. Our team of experienced immigration attorneys is here to guide you through every step of the process, providing expert advice and support to ensure a smooth and successful application.
Here's how we can help you with the investor visa process:
- Initial Consultation: We begin by scheduling an initial consultation to discuss your goals, circumstances, and eligibility for the investor visa category. During this meeting, we will review your investment plans, assess your qualifications, and provide personalized guidance on the most suitable visa option for you.
- Strategic Planning: Based on our in-depth understanding of immigration laws and regulations, we will develop a strategic plan tailored to your specific needs and objectives. We will help you determine the optimal investment structure and provide advice on how to meet the requirements of the chosen visa category.
- Document Preparation: Our team will assist you in gathering and organizing the necessary documentation required for your investor visa application. This may include financial records, business plans, investment agreements, and other supporting evidence to demonstrate your eligibility and qualifications.
- Application Submission: We will prepare and submit your investor visa application package to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or other relevant government agencies. Our attention to detail and thoroughness in document preparation help minimize the risk of delays or denials.
- Communication and Follow-up: Throughout the application process, we maintain open communication with you, providing updates on the status of your case and promptly addressing any questions or concerns you may have. We also liaise with USCIS or other authorities on your behalf, ensuring that your application receives proper attention and consideration.
- Responding to Requests for Evidence (RFEs): In the event that USCIS requests additional evidence or clarification regarding your application, we will promptly respond to such requests, preparing comprehensive and persuasive responses to address any concerns raised by the immigration authorities.
- Representation in Interviews: If required, we will prepare you for any interviews or meetings with USCIS officers, accompanying you to the interview and advocating on your behalf to ensure a favorable outcome.
- Post-Approval Services: Upon approval of your investor visa application, we will continue to support you with any additional immigration-related needs, such as obtaining visas for family members, adjusting your status to permanent residency, or navigating other aspects of U.S. immigration law.