How Do I Qualify for an Investment Visa?

Each year, many people immigrate to the United States for various reasons. Some seek refuge, some come to attend college and others come for the investment potential. It is not enough to want to invest in the United States; there are certain criteria that must be met before one can qualify for an investment visa. There are two main types of investment visas – the EB-5 and the E-2 – both of which have different criteria. The two types of investment visas are examined in further depth below.

EB-5 Investment Visa

There are three different criteria that you can meet in order to qualify for an EB-5 Investment Visa. You do not have to qualify for all three, qualifying for one will increase your chances of being approved for the visa.

  • Minimum of $500,000 must be invested in a regional center. This regional center must be on a list of approved centers of the United States Immigration Agency.
  • Minimum of $500,000 invested in a US business with at least 10 employees and is located in an economically distressed location or it can be a farm that has 10 employees.
  • Minimum of $1,000,000 must be invested in any US business that has at least 10 employees.

Meeting one of these conditions will qualify you for an EB-5 Investment Visa. Speak with an immigration attorney to ensure you meet any other criteria prior to applying for the EB-5.

Benefits of an EB-5 Investment Visa

Once you qualify for an EB-5, you have extensive freedoms in the US. For example you will not be restricted as to where you can live, and you can become a US citizen within five years. You will not be subjected to restricted travel, nor will you have to manage the business you invest in or its employees. If you have a family, your spouse and children under the age of 21 will qualify to live in the US under your EB-5 Investment Visa.

E-2 Investment Visa

The E-2 Investment Visa varies largely from the EB-5. While the EB-5 has little criteria to meet and virtually unrestricted freedoms when the visa is granted, the E-2 operates in a different manner. The main difference is outlined in the reason for investment. The E-2 is also known as a Treaty Investment Visa – the applicant is typically seeking entry in the US to complete business that involves trade between the US and the country in which the applicant is from. Other reasons for investment include to develop or direct a business that the applicant has already invested a significant amount of money into or if the applicant is seeking to facilitate a large investment.

To qualify under the E-2 Investment Visa:

  • Must bear national status in the treaty country
  • Have made or be in the process of making a substantial investment. This must meet the percentage requirements based on the size of the business.
  • Must not be a projected investment – business must already be operational
  • The investment must bear a good influence on the American economy
  • Must be an “at-risk” investment and the investor must remain in control of their funds.
  • Cannot enter the US as an unskilled worker or an ordinary worker –must be entering with the purpose of developing or directing business.

Speak with an immigration attorney today to see which of the above mentioned investment visas is more beneficial for you to apply for.

Individuals who are looking for legal assistance on this matter can call us at San Diego Immigration Law Center at: 619-827- 8777 or visit us online at

Posted in Uncategorized.