the basics of investment visa

The Basics of Investment Visas

There are many kinds of investment visas but the most difficult one to obtain is the E-B5 investment visa. The difficulty in obtaining this visa lies in the requirements that have been instituted to those seeking to obtain this visa to the United States.

The E-B5 investment visa has an initial qualification process to determine if the individual is able to comply with the legal requirements of the visa. The primary qualification is the availability of financial resources for investment in the amount between US$500,000 to US$1,000,000. These financial resources would be invested in a commercial enterprise that has been approved by the USCIS. These USCIS areas of business have been identified to decrease unemployment in the area together as a contribution to economic growth not only in the area but for the country as well.

Investment visa


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Such investment must be active in nature, not just passive such as rental income or stock dividends. As such, the investment involves active participation in the operations of the business. It must either be a new business venture formed or an investment in a currently existing business. Furthermore, the investment must result in the creation of at least ten jobs within the area. These jobs can either be directly or indirectly for the business or its subsidiaries.

Because of the very stringent criteria, the approvals have been few and far between. Thus, the desired bounty that this visa regime brings in would not be achieved. In order to correct this, there have been few modifications instituted in the E-B5 visa system. While there are many, the following are the major modifications instituted as of late:

  • The so-called “Regional Centers” requirement, where specific areas for investment have been identified where the funds would help in economic and employment growth has been lifted. This means the E-B5 visa applicant can infuse their money anywhere in the country.
  • The requirement that the visa investor needs to be an active member of the operations of the business or even its managing partner has been modified to allow investments as limited partnership. This modification substantially complies with the active management rule stated in the policy even though such participation is at best limited.

The E-B5 visa system was created primarily to entice individuals with the available finances to invest and live in the United States. The goal of this visa is to allow the individual granted entry to become a legal permanent resident in the country paving the way to become a naturalized citizen of the United States of America.

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