The Eb-5 program has been getting renewed attention lately. Congress has been trying to reform the program specifically to counter the alleged fraud that has plagued the program since 1990. One thing remains true however, there is an influx of interest by Chinese and South American investors who are shelling hundreds of thousands of dollars for a chance to attain the American dream. The EB-5 program allows foreign investors who invest at least $500,000 ($1,000,000 in most areas) in a “new business to receive permanent residence in the United States. The amount of investment depends on the location of the investment. The lower amount is for investments in Targeted Employment areas, or areas where unemployment is 150% of the national unemployment number. The $1,000,000 investment requirement is for areas where unemployment is less than 150%. EB-5 investments could be in what is called a stand-alone investment, or through a regional center. A stand-alone investment is one where the investor invests his money into his own business and tries to meet all the program’s requirements through that company. A regional center investment is an investment where the investor invests his money into a pre-approved investment center, with limited control over the investment. As of today, there are 480 regional centers. You can access the regional center list by visiting this link. The EB-5 program is not for everyone. It is important to consult with an immigration attorney before taking on this endeavor. Please feel free to leave me a comment through the form below, add me on twitter, Linkedin and Google Plus. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
One of the options that investors and traders could have to open businesses and gain entry into the United States is to apply for an E1 or and E2 visa. E1 and E2 visas are treaty based visas that allow investors (E2) or traders (E1) to come to the United States, open businesses, and remain in the United States as long as their business is ongoing. For a list of countries whose nationals qualify for these visas visit this link
There are some differences between the two visas. A trader is a person who is entering the United States to trade in goods and services, among other things. An investor is someone who is coming to the United States to invest his money in an existing or a new business.
One of the drawbacks for the visas is the limited circumstances where the visa could lead to permanent residence. For example, a holder of these visas could qualify for an Eb-5 visa when their investment reaches $500,000 or $1,000,000. That is one of the reasons that lead me to consider an L1 visa, if the requirements are met. Please comment on this post if you have any questions.