Here Are Some of the Basics of Investor Visas

Investor visas, called EB-5 visas, allow immigrants to live and work in the United States if they make an investment in a U.S. business. These visas are administered through the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. EB-5 visa holders are allowed green cards, which provide them permanent residency status. Investor visas were created through the Immigration Act of 1990 and the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program in 1993. EB-5 Regional Centers were set up to provide a way to better administrate investor visas. Any immigrant interested in an EB-5 visa needs to understand the basics of investor visas.

Requirements for Investor Visas

There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to qualify for an investor visa. The immigrant must make a required capital investment in a U.S. business. The amount of the investment varies, but is generally $500,000 or $1 million. The business must create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs for a period of no less than 2 years. Only approved businesses are allowed for investments. Those who are considering such a visa should consult with an experienced immigration attorney to learn which businesses and structure types are allowed.

Application Process

The EB-5 visa is a detailed process that begins with finding a business for investment. The required investment must then be made and the applicant needs to complete an I-526 petition. Then, the immigrant needs to get conditional permanent residency, which will give them temporary residency for an immediate period of at least 2 years. All requirements of the investor program must be met and the immigrant is required to provide proof.

Regional Centers

EB-5 Regional Centers provide some business investment opportunities. These are investment businesses that have already been approved through the USCIS. Applicants may alternatively choose to find their own business in which to invest. It is often easier to choose an investment project through the Regional Center because they have already taken care of much of the preliminary requirements and have met all the investment guidelines. Most EB-5 applicants make investments this way.

Permanent Residency

For many, the EB-5 visa is a good way to achieve permanent residency. Those who have EB-5 visas may apply for permanent residency by completing an I-829 form. If approved, the applicant will be provided a green card allowing him or her to reside and work in the U.S. on a permanent basis. Permanent status is also granted to the applicant’s spouse and minor children who are unmarried.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding The Basics of Investor Visas, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.