Investor Visa Cases in Houston
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Entrepreneurs who wish to become permanent residents in the United States can apply for investor visas. The entrepreneurs, their spouses, and any unmarried children under 21 may be able to receive a green card if they want to invest in a commercial enterprise or who plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. Each year, up to 10,000 visas can be authorized for eligible people.
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Types of Investor Visas
There are two different types of investor visa’s to look at. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the organization that administers the EB-5 Program, some of which requirements have been briefly mentioned below. With this program, entrepreneurs are eligible to apply for permanent residence if they meet the above specifications. The EB-5 Program was created in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job growth and capital investment.
In 1992, Congress also created the Immigrant Investor Program (Regional Center Program), which sets aside EB-5 visas for participates who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers that need economic growth.
E-2 Classification Visas
Another option is the E-2 classification. This classification allows the citizen of a treaty country (a country the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with) to be granted a visa when investing a substantial amount of capital in U.S. business. In order to qualify for E-2 classification, the immigrant must be a national of a treaty country, must have invested or be in the process of investing a significant amount of money in a bona fide enterprise in the United States, and be seeking to enter the country solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.
In order to establish your intent, you must show at least 50% ownership of the business or possession of operational control through a managerial position or another similar job. Please note that an E-2 visa may be renewed, but it cannot directly lead to legal permanent residence (or “green card”).
Who’s Eligible for an EB-5 Investor Visa?
People who have an approved Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, can apply for an investor green card. In addition, you must be admissible to the United States. Moreover, there must be an immigrant visa immediately available for your use upon application. In terms of finances, you must also invest $1 million, or at least $500,000 in a targeted employment area.
A targeted employment area is a place in the U.S. with high unemployment, or that is rural. Note that there are two types of EB-5 investor visas, direct investments where an individual is directly invested in a business and controls more of it and indirect investments whereby the application is through a Regional Center. Further details of the differences between each can be described during a legal consultation.
EB-5 Application Process
In order to petition for a visa under the EB- 5 Program, you must file Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. After filing, you must either:
- File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS in order to change your status to a conditional permanent resident of the United States
- File DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the U.S. Department of State to get an EB-5 visa abroad to seek entry to the United States
After approval of a Form I-485 application, you and your family will be granted conditional permanent residence for 2 years.
In order to apply for the E-2, you must be a national or citizen of a treaty investor country with the U.S., gather the required documentation, fill out Form DS-160, complete the online visa application, and print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview. You must also upload a photo while completing Form DS-160 online. After submitting the application, you must schedule an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Following the scheduling, you must prepare for your interview, pay the non-refundable application fee, gather the required documentation, and attend the visa interview. Qualified investors will be allowed to stay for a maximum of 2 years; however, you may ask for an extension of residence and could be granted an additional 2 years each time you request it.
How Can We Help?
It’s sometimes incredibly complicated to apply for permanent residence for an EB-5 or an E-2 visa. However, if you work with a Houston investor visa attorney from The Modi Law Firm, PLLC, we can help you through the process. Our immigration law team is knowledgeable, thorough, and committed to your best interests. The above information carries some of the general requirements that may apply, only in overview form.
We are truly invested in helping the individuals who come into our office, and we refused to settle for anything less than the best outcome for your immigration case.
There are likely additional requirements that may apply including, but not limited to, tracing the source of the funds used, evaluating potential business plans, structuring the corporation or business entity, discussing processing times, additional filing requirements and fees. Our knowledgeable investment visa lawyer can discuss these general requirements with a detailed consultation at our boutique law firm.
Get the Legal Help You Need
If you need help with the paperwork, we can help you complete and file all of it. Our founding attorney Susham M. Modi is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston, so you can trust his skillful representation of your case.
Ready to begin? Call our firm at (832) 514-4030 or fill out our online form to tell us about your situation today. Our visa attorneys in Houston are ready to help.