The terminology “investment immigration” applies to specific visas that are issued to individuals who wish to establish residency in the US based on a significant monetary investment being made to existing or new companies and the US economy. There are different types of immigration visas based on investment but the two more common ones are the E2 and the EB5. Additionally, it is always recommended that the individual seeking entry into the US under these visas consult with a licensed, experienced immigration attorney.
Types of immigration visas
There are three categories of immigration visas that the US normally grants which includes one of the following:
o Student visas allow limited numbers of students to enter the US to attend a college or university in order to pursue their education
o Visitation visas entitle an individual to enter and stay in the US for a limited period of time whether the purpose is for business or pleasure
o Work visas are issued based on the individual meeting certification requirements as prescribed by the US Labor Department or other federal government agency so they can live and work in the US depending on the person’s field of employment
The US Citizenship and Immigration Service categorizes these documents as permanent residency visas based on the purpose and reasons that an individual is applying for one. In the case of investment immigration, it is based on a significant amount of money that is invested into the US economy and existing or new businesses. Once the criteria has been met, an additional importance or priority is assigned to the immigrants in question.
The categories include employment-based immigration as well as immigration that is family-based, humanitarian, and scientific classifications. Top priority is usually awarded to family and marriage-based visa petitions whereas other types of family-based petitions oftentimes receive lengthier waiting times (sometimes multiple years).
The investment immigration process
In order to receive an EB5 investment immigration visa, there is a multi-step process that is currently required which includes:
o Being eligible for a green card (lawful permanent residency) status based on the amount of the investment made
o Approval of an investment immigration visa petition by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
o A US State Department issued immigrant visa number which means that you are being assigned an investment immigration visa
o Once the individual is in the US, they can apply for a change in visa status to “lawful permanent residence” after a visa number has been made available to the individual.
Completing these steps and meeting the requirements prescribed are necessary for anyone who is applying for investment immigration status in the US.
It is always recommended that a person who is desirous of obtaining an immigration visa based on investment hire the services of a professional immigration attorney. Due to the complexity of this type of visa, the individual is usually not aware of all that is involved and must have professional assistance in order to interpret the applicable immigration laws and follow the correct procedure.