Four Common Visa Options for Foreign Investors and Entrepreneurs

As a foreign investor or entrepreneur, you have a multitude of options for entering the United States and starting your new venture. However, you must apply and be approved for a visa. Luckily, the United States recognizes the value of foreign investors and their benefit to the economy, so you have four common visa options for foreign investors and entrepreneurs available to you that can help you enter the country legally.

Four Standard Visas for Entrepreneurs and Investors from Foreign Countries

  1. EB-5 Regional Center Investor

This form of the EB5 visa requires the lower end of the investment threshold, requiring only $500,000 (if investing in certain physical areas) and passive involvement in the business. However, someone must manage your funds, and you must invest in a five-year stint to obtain your green card. You can also bring conditional green card status for family members after 18 months.

This is a passive investment, however, so your investment is in someone else’s commercial project, such as a hotel or apartment complex. The caveat, however, is that you must create ten full-time jobs for United States workers.

  1. EB-5 Direct Investor Visa

With the EB-5 direct, you are in control of your money because you are making a direct investment in your own business that will start in the U.S. However, you are required a minimum of $1 million, and you must be actively involved in the firm to qualify.

  1. Inter-Corporate Transferee Status

This is the more economical way to obtain a green card, but you must be transferred from a company that is affiliated with a United States company to work in an executive or management role. Your business could own a subsidiary in the United States, and you must be sent to the country to manage that subsidiary. This would qualify for inter-corporate transferee status.

  1. E-2 Work Visa

An E-2 visa is the fastest way to start operating in the United States, but it is complicated to achieve permanent residency after you receive a work visa. If, however, your country has an investment treaty in the U.S., you could obtain the E-2 work visa status. Not all countries have an investment treaty, but common countries that do include Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Iran, and South Korea.

If you are a foreign investor and schedule an appointment to discuss these visa options with the attorneys at Udall Shumway, PLC.

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 Visa Options for Foreign Investors and Entrepreneurs, 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.