Investor Visa Frequently Asked Questions

In this page, one of the experienced investor visa attorneys at our firm answers important questions about what it takes to get an investor visa. The truth is that every visa application process is as unique as the individual applying, which is why it’s absolutely crucial to work with an experienced attorney early on in the process. Contact our firm to speak with someone about how to approach this process.

Below, we’ll answer a few of the most common questions to help you get started.

What is an investor visa?

There are different types of investor visas, but one kind that is gaining popularity is the EB-5 Visa. That is for individuals who are making investments in United States businesses or infrastructure. They need to be investments of either half of a million dollars or $1 million, depending on the location. It’s a way for them to gain legal status through that investment.

How are investor visas typically issued?

It’s very important to evaluate the investment with an immigration attorney before you make the investment, because it has to meet a number of very specific criteria in order to qualify. You don’t want to invest, and then check if it qualifies afterwards. It’s very important to ensure that the investment meets the criteria for the EB-5 visa before you make it. Once you make the investment, you apply for the investor visa, and then you’re issued a probationary visa that is granted for two years and you have to reevaluate the investment, to make sure that it met the goals it was supposed to meet. Once that has been done, you’ll receive your permanent legal status, without restrictions.

What are the different types of investment visas for which someone can apply?

For the EB-5 visa, there are different geographical areas of the United States that have been identified as target areas. These are areas that have elevated levels of unemployment and the amount that you need to invest in those areas is lower. Also, the investment has to create a certain number of jobs, and the number of jobs it needs to create depends on where the investment is made. The number of jobs you need to create through your investment is lower if you’re in one of these targeted economic regions. Once you make the investment, you apply for the visa in your home country, and you can enter on that visa. Eventually, once you’ve gone through the probationary period, you can apply for your legal permanent residence.

What requirements does someone have to meet in order to be issued an investor visa?

It depends on the geographic area where you’re applying, but the investments that you make have to create at least ten new jobs in the United States, and those jobs generally have to be permanent positions. When the visa is reevaluated in two years, those jobs still have to exist. There is also a monetary requirement for the amount you invest, which is $500,000 in the targeted economic regions, and $1 million outside the targeted economic regions. Aside from that, you have to be admissible as an immigrant. There is a long list of things that can make you inadmissible to the United States, and those also make you inadmissible to apply for the investor visa.

What is the process like to apply for an investor visa?

The first part of the process would be identifying an investment opportunity. That’s the first step. Step number two, if obtaining the investor visa is a priority, is bringing in an immigration attorney to evaluate whether or not that investment is going to meet the criteria of the EB-5. There are very specific criteria, and you would not want to take any initial steps for making an investment unless you are sure that it is going to qualify. It is very important to have an immigration attorney working in conjunction with the investment entity here in the United States. It’s not something you want to do as an afterthought or at the end of the process; it really needs to happen at the beginning.

How long does the process take to obtain an investor visa?

That varies from case to case, but it’s generally a matter of months. Once you’ve entered using the visa, the probationary period is two years before you can apply for permanent residence. For more information on the process of obtaining an investor visa, please contact one of the immigration attorneys at our firm and conduct your consultation today.

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