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EB-5 Investor Visas

Allows for permanent, US residence for persons who, after Nov. 29, 1990, invested $1,000,000 into a single corporation or $500,000 into a US CIS-recognized Regional Center, to employ 10 US citizens or residents full-time and to engage in the business through day-to-day management or policy formation.

Visa Checkpoints Evaluation with Lang Wallace.

Obtain an evaluation by one of our attorneys to determine if the EB-5 is really your best option. Notably, investors are often not best suited to the EB-5 visa. If there are concerns with taxation on worldwide income, or you have no real need to be a resident of the US, then another visa might be better for you and your family members. Also, many wealthy investors do not need to take the EB-5 visa route to a US green card. Let us talk to you about other options, such as:

E-2 Investor Visas. The E-2 Investor Visa will allow investment at a much lower level (exceeding $100K in most metro areas of the US) and will provide the ability to live and earn in the United States for an “unlimited time” (provided the business continues to actively do business and the person intends to ultimately return to their home country). Granted, this does not lead to a green card in any immediate way, but it often accomplishes the goals of the investor allowing them and their family members to live in the United States and manage their business here freely – provided that the US investment enterprise stays active. The country of origin must be listed on the Department of State E Visa list to qualify. See E -2 Page here.

L-1A Intracompany Transfer Visas. A potential EB-5 investor might discover that they have an easier road to green card. Their company may already have a branch office ( or subsidiary, parent, joint venture) in the United States. And transferring oneself as an intracompany manager/executive works to qualify for L-1A Intracompany Visa status, good for 7 years – and leads to a green card. The green card is available using the same legal qualifications as for an L-1A and is quickly obtained – usually within one year (although that can be slowed due to complicating factors like viability of the US entity). This option costs much less than the EB-5 visa.

O-1 Visas for Extraordinary Businesspersons. As a potential high net-worth Investor, you might be an extraordinary businessperson. Let us evaluate your road to wealth to see if the evidence demonstrates that you qualify for an O-1 visa and its corresponding manner of obtaining Permanent Residence.

EB-5 New Business vs. Failing Business vs. Regional Center. The following comments are a cursory analysis on the difference in using a New Business versus a Regional Center to ride the EB-5 to the green card finish line. Notably, an EB-5 goes through two stages of approval and personal qualifications to obtain EB-5 approval are laid out here.

New Businesses have many risks inherent in the immigration approval process. On top of that, new businesses have pure odds working against them because a large percentage of new business fail within the first few years. We generally do NOT recommend using a new business, which is NOT owned by a Regional Center, as the EB-5 model.

Buying a failing business and resuscitating it is more likely to survive.  US CIS allows investment in a "40% failing" business.  Remember that retirees getting out may drive the business down first but still be healthy for resuscitation and to hire (or debatably, to save) 10 new full-time US jobs.  We trust only certain brokers and valuation analysts to make this determination for a single investor or for a group of pooled investors.

If a person has an existing business which meets the qualifications for EB-5 status and has business indicators showing it will continue to meet EB-5 requirements two years after initial green card approval, then definitely file a non-Regional Center application. Example: existing E-2 or L-1 Temporary Visa holders can upgrade to green cards using EB-5 status after $1,000,000 invested in a business since November 1990 .  This person typically is an individual already working pursuant to E-2 Treaty Investor status or an L-1A Multinational Manager. He or she owns a decent business and wishes to upgrade visa status by filing an EB-5 petition based on BOTH existing or prospective business success of the entity in which he is invested. This person may file for EB-5 status using their own company.

Regional Center EB-5s are if one has money to put at risk ($2.4 million in assets minimum please, put it into a Regional Center; and not into any Regional Center either.

Note that Regional Centers can contain multiple investments under their umbrella name, so an investor wants to be certain that he or she is signing up for an investment that is sound on its immigration credentials.  Within the Regional Center, a person is placed with a Project.

This does not predict approval for any individual because each person comes with his own set of background issues.  On the business side, an investment project might not stand up under its own business model over time, nor up against economic forces that are out of the control of the Regional Center.

At a minimum, one should obtain advice from three distinct and independent sources when applying for a visa based on investment in a Regional Center: (1) an Immigration Attorney who is NOT affiliated with the Regional Center to make sure that all immigration venues for the family, immediate and extended, are explored, (2) a Tax Attorney who has global tax experience and preferably affiliates overseas to obtain first-hand information about source of money problems and restrictions in other countries, and (3) a Valuations or Economic Analyst who can draw on knowledge of the local market as well as the nature of the investment vehicle.


Lang Wallace LLC is based in Falls Church Virginia, USA near Washington D.C. and serves clients throughout the United States and globally.



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Practice Areas | Immigration for Corporations | Immigration for Individuals | I-9 Compliance | EB-5 Investor Visas | E-1 and E-2 Visas | H-1B Specialty Workers Visa | L-1 Company Transfer Visas | Permanent Residence | U.S. Citizenship | | About Us

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