Investment Green Card: Residency Options for Foreign Investors


People exploring investment in an American business may wonder about getting investment green cards. There are a couple of US visas available for investors, including the E-2 and EB-5 visas.

U.S. Investment Green Card

There are a couple of U.S. visas available for those who want to invest in this country, including the E-2 and EB-5 visas.

The E-2 Investor Visa is a non-immigrant visa that can be obtained by investing a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business enterprise. It allows the investor and close family members to move to this country. But, investors must be citizens of countries that have special commerce treaties with the United States.

EB-5 Visa program gives permanent residency to the individual investing in government-approved Regional Centers throughout the U.S. It grants permanent residency providing all the necessary requirements are fulfilled.

However, the EB5 Immigrant Investor program is facing a backlog caused by oversubscribed countries. Certain countries, such as Vietnam and China, face lengthy retrogression delays through this program. For example, an investor from China may have to wait more than 15 years to receive their green cards. That results in people leaving the program due to immigration uncertainty. Although Indian investors see a reduction in the backlog, those from other countries may join the group of backlogged countries.

If you are an investor seeking to obtain a U.S. visa, E-2VisaWorld is here to help. We have helped many foreign individuals go through this process successfully, so you can rely on our knowledge and expertise.

Obtaining a Green Card Through Investment

EB-5 program basically means investors are obtaining green cards through investments. After two years of this program, investors and their immediate family members could become lawful permanent residents, if other conditions are met. For example, the investor has to prove that the EB-5 investment has created 10 full-time jobs.

But, this is usually a passive investment into a regional center that administers and manages your investment. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS designates what can be determined as a regional center. Their goal is to promote economic growth through improved productivity and the creation of new jobs.

On the other hand, for an E-2 visa, an investment should be sufficient to make your business successful. The business enterprise in which you invest should engage in active trade because passive investments, including investment into a regional center, don’t qualify for E-2 visa purposes. Also, this business enterprise has to create jobs for others and not just provide a livelihood for the investor.

Although there are other E-2 visa investment requirements, this is an effective alternative to an EB5 visa because it offers residency through business investment.

Can You Get a Green Card Through Investment in Real Estate?

Permanent residency or U.S. citizenship is not a necessary requirement for buying a real estate or a house in this country. However, buying real estate doesn’t mean that you will get any visa or other immigration benefits.


Is Getting a Green Card Through House Purchase Possible?

No, buying a house doesn’t somehow grant you and your family green cards. And an EB-5 visa has nothing to do with buying a house, either.

However, if you are a national of a treaty country, you are interested in setting up a small business in the U.S., and you meet other E-2 Visa requirements, you could pursue an E-2 investor visa. Although E-2 doesn’t automatically lead to a green card, you could apply for permanent residence while you are in E-2 visa status.

The E-2 visa is also renewable, so it is possible to stay long-term in the U.S. with it.

Investment Based Green Card Citizenship

Although the EB5 visa offers a green card, neither the E2 nor the EB5 visa offers a U.S. citizenship. But, after getting a green card, EB-5 investors may apply for citizenship after five years of permanent residency.

It takes around 1.5 years to get the conditional green card. But, be careful; while citizenship can’t be revoked, a green card can, and several reasons can be behind that decision.

The E-2 Visa is usually granted for five years. You can renew it as many times as you want, providing the initial requirements are fulfilled, and the enterprise is still active. The processing time for an E-2 Visa varies from 5 to 12 weeks.


Getting a Green Card by Investment: What Type of Visa Can You Pursue?

There are many pros for EB5 visas. Obtaining a permanent residency for an investor, his or her spouse, and children under 21 is certainly one of them. Being a permanent resident means having a right to live, study, work, and retire in the United States. There is also the ability to receive investment back when the project is finished.

However, many wouldn’t agree. One of the reasons is the fact that USCIS reserves only around 10,000 EB5 investor visas every fiscal year. Besides, EB5 investors have to reside in the USA for at least six months per year, while the E-2 investors don’t have to stay in the country and may come and go. There are also other reasons why an E-2 Visa Is Preferable to an EB-5 Visa.

If you still have doubts or questions, reach out to us. Our highly skilled legal experts are prepared to help you explore your investor and business visa options and guide you through each step of your journey.

How to Make a Green Card Investment?

Under U.S. Immigration law, some EB5 immigrants can apply for a green card if their investment is significant enough to create ten full-time jobs for qualified employees. The investment has to be made in a new business that will benefit the U.S. economy.


How Much Do You Need to Invest in US to Get a Green Card?

For years these employment-based or EB-5 immigrant investors had to invest $1 million or $500,000 in a targeted employment area. However, as of 2019, these amounts were raised to $1.8 million and $900,000 for a minimum investment in a targeted employment area. That area is defined as a place where an unemployment rate is at least 150% of the national average.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is in charge of determining which areas can qualify as high-unemployment areas.

On the other hand, for a successful E-2 visa application, your investment has to be substantially less than these amounts. Investing at least $80,000 is usually enough for a successful application. Although this is a non-immigrant visa, there are several ways for foreign investors to switch from an E-2 visa to permanent residency.

Before you invest any amount of money, make sure you contact E-2VisaWorld. Our experts can make sure your documentation is in order and filed properly in order to avoid your visa being denied. Schedule a free consultation and let us help you navigate through your E-2 visa process.