The E-2, EB5 and L-1 Visas open a world of opportunities for foreign investors. We can help you achieve your AMERICAN DREAM of living and running a successful business in the U.S.
Luckily, the U.S. government has created programs to allow foreign entrepreneurs to invest in a business in the U.S. and use this investment as an opportunity to live in the U.S. and even earn citizenship. This model has worked exceptionally well in franchising for several brands. Think of Subway, 7-11 and many other franchise brands.
We strive to understand each entrepreneur’s investment goals, desired location, and industries of preference, among other important factors, in order to find the best U.S. business opportunities for them and their family based on their own unique goals. We coordinate with their immigration and corporate attorneys to ensure their U.S. immigration and investment objectives are met.
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa grants nationals of a qualifying country temporary stay in the United States in exchange for investment in a U.S. business. To qualify for the Visa, investors must:
Be a national from a qualifying treaty country (A full list of qualifying countries can be found at the U.S. Department of State website, (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/treaty.html).
Invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. commercial enterprise.
Maintain equity ownership and be in control of the business.
Be a national of a country which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States.
Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
Investment is the treaty investor’s placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails. The treaty investor must show that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity. See 8 CFR for more information.
A substantial amount of capital is:
Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one.
Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.
A bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.
Different visas to which you can apply as an investor
Belong to a country that has a trade agreement with the United States; the solicitor must have invested or be actively in the investment process; The investor must go to the United States to develop and run the company. For this reason the candidate must be substantial and in a position to develop and run the business.
A substantial and sufficient investment must be made to ensure the successful operation of the business. We recommend an investment of $120,000 to $180,000 USD. Your investment will depend on the business you choose, the industry, location, equipment and/or vehicles necessary to operate the business,
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Paraguay, maintain bilateral treaties with the U.S., which allows investors from these countries to qualify for E-2 visas
Canada and Most of the European countries qualify as well. The full list can be found: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/treaty.html
Yes, your spouse and unmarried children (under the age of 21) also qualify to reside in the United States as E-2 dependents. The spouse can apply for a work permit and the children can attend public and private schools.
Established businesses, starting a company from scratch or a franchise in different industries: food and beverage, cleaning and maintenance, finance, consulting, beauty, among others.
It depends on the consulate of each country. The expedited status change can be 2 weeks.
EB-5 refers to “Employment-based fifth preference,” which is a category of immigrant visa classification based on employment creation, under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The fifth preference refers to the numerical quotas that apply to most employment-based immigrant visas.
. A “targeted employment area” is a rural area (a geographic boundary outside a metropolitan area, with a population of 20,000 or less) or a political or geographic subdivision that has suffered at least 150% of the federal unemployment rate for the preceding twelve (12) months.
Unlike other visas that require the investor to have a nationality of a country that maintains a Free Trade and Navigation Agreement with the United States, the EB-5 visa is available to all foreign citizens who meet its requirements.
To qualify for the EB-5 visa, you must invest at least $800,000 USD in a designated regional center or $1.5 million USD anywhere in the United States.
In order for a large capital project to be eligible to accept EB-5 financing, it must be associated with an approved EB-5 Regional Center. A project developer may apply for its own Regional Center designation; however, this is a long and expensive proposition which takes a minimum of twelve months and has no guarantee of being approved. Often, a more viable solution is to become associated with an existing Regional Center as a business affiliate, for a fee.
Either way, the project will need to put together a proposal, which will consist of the following:
Comprehensive business plan that complies with EB-5 policy and regulations and includes a marketing plan.
The above should be prepared by experienced professionals to ensure proper compliance with EB-5 and securities regulations.
Once the project developer has completed the above, he/she can begin marketing the project to potential investors. This is normally done using the services of overseas agents.
From my experience working with EB-5 Franchise Buyers, we recommend a qualified attorney or counsel who has experience in this particular segment of work.
Some businesses are particularly well-suited to receive EB-5 financing, because of the types and numbers of jobs they require, and because of their financing structure. These include:
Incubation and loan program with wholly-owned subsidiaries;
Real estate development with property ownership and management;
Mixed-use commercial/residential developments;
Health services (hospitals, assisted living facilities);
Media software and development;
Large residential developments, including single family homes and condominiums;
Personal services (spas, health clubs);
Certain agricultural uses;
Public works projects and infrastructure;
Logistics and warehousing;
Importing and distribution;
The above list is by no means exhaustive.
Being an owner, or being a worker in a foreign company.
The company must be solvent enough to be able to invest in the United States and help the company financially, that you want to create in the US, until it can be self-sustaining. Lease agreement, corporate documents of both companies, photographs of both companies and the products to be sold, licenses to operate, a business plan and payslip from the foreign company, pay stubs showing the employee’s salary abroad for a whole year, among others.
If you are a company worker you would need:
It is recommended that the overseas company owns 90%-80% of the United States Company with a investment above USD 150,000, the recommended amount may be more depending on the type of business.
First, your employer must file an I-140 petition on your behalf. Must have a job offer in the States
States to be able to file a petition.
Your relatives can request admission with an L-2 classification visa, if approved, it will be granted by the same amount of stay time as the employee with L-1.
L-1 Visas are dual intent visas. This means that beneficiaries can apply for a green card after they had obtained an L1 visa.
-You must hire at least 7 employees with college degrees for you to qualify as an executive or manager. Keep in mind that the larger your investment and the number of employees you hire in the United States, the better your chances of getting a visa are.
-It is recommended that the overseas company owns 90%-80% of the United States Company with a investment of $150,000.00, the recommended amount may be more depending on the type of business.
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