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What are three Popular U.S. Investor Visas for Entrepreneurs

By May 22, 2024E-2 Visa

Navigating the landscape of U.S. investor visas can be daunting for aspiring international entrepreneurs. Understanding the different types of visas available is crucial for those looking to invest in the U.S. and potentially secure a path to residency. Here, we break down three popular investor visas that cater to a diverse range of business needs and investment capabilities.

1. E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 visa is ideal for entrepreneurs from countries with a treaty of commerce with the United States. It requires a “substantial” investment in a U.S. business, although the exact amount isn’t specified, providing some flexibility. Crucially, there is no set minimum number of U.S. workers you must employ, offering further leeway in how you structure your enterprise. However, the flexibility of the E-2 visa is balanced by its limitation to nationals from approximately 80 treaty countries.

2. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

In contrast to the E-2, the EB-5 visa has more stringent requirements but offers a green card — permanent residency — upon successful application. Investors need to contribute either $800,000 or $1,050,000, depending on the economic status of the area where the business is located. Additionally, the investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers, making this visa a significant commitment to both the investor and the U.S. labor market.

3. National Interest Waiver (NIW)

The National Interest Waiver is another pathway for entrepreneurs who can demonstrate that their business endeavors will significantly benefit the U.S. This visa does not require a specific investment amount or job creation metrics but needs a strong case that the enterprise serves the national interest. Successful NIW petitions often come from entrepreneurs who can show that their work has substantial implications in areas like technology, economic development, or public welfare. Entrepreneurs can also argue that job creation is in the national interest.  The bar is high but this can be a great green card option.

Whether you are drawn to the flexibility of the E-2 visa, the permanent residency offered by the EB-5, or the unique positioning of the National Interest Waiver, understanding each option’s requirements and benefits is key. Explore our resources or consult with us directly to navigate your investment journey effectively.

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