The EB-5 visa will now require a $900,000 minimum investment from wealthy foreigners. This is an increase from the previous minimum of $500,000 in 1993. It is part of a long-overdue overhaul. The new requirements should help prevent fraud by putting in place more robust checks on investors and companies.
There are three types of visas available to foreign citizens: B1/B2, TN, and O-1. Each type has its own set of requirements that must be met before an applicant can be approved for residence status. The cost of these visas varies depending on how long an applicant wishes to stay in the U.S. In addition, certain other factors may affect the cost of the visa application process including the country from which the applicant comes, how well-connected the applicant's family is, where the applicant lives and works before coming to the U.S., and so forth.
The B-1/B-2 visa allows for business travelers who have enough money to pay for their own trip to the United States. These visas are valid for six months and cannot be extended.
The TN visa is only valid for two years and can be renewed once. It is best used by people who want to travel with their families and look for a longer period of time.
The eligible investment amount for an EB-5 project in a Targeted Employment Area ("TEA") is presently $900,000. To get a green card outside of a TEA, investors must deposit $1.8MM... EB-5 Visa Fees and Requirements
|EB-5 Visa Typical Costs||Paid to||Amount*|
|Processing Fees||USCIS||≈ $7,000**|
$100,000 in US dollars To have a successful E2 visa application, the applicant should be willing to invest at least $100,000 USD in the firm. The precise amount required will be determined on the sort of business chosen by the investor. Some low-cost start-up enterprises may accept investments of less than $100,000. However, these firms tend to seek smaller amounts from many investors so as not to raise regulatory concerns.
In addition to the investment, certain other requirements must be met before an E-2 visa can be issued. Among them are: proof of sufficient income to satisfy tax requirements; and demonstration that the investment is purely commercial in nature (i.e., does not serve any political purpose). The applicant must also provide evidence of how he or she intends to use the investment permission.
The Department of State has specific guidelines for investments made with the intention of creating jobs. For example, if the employer is based in another country and there is no intent to establish a presence in the United States, then the investment may qualify as a "job creation" visa. Applicants should consult with a visa attorney to determine whether their particular investment meets all of the necessary criteria.
The cost of applying for a visa can vary significantly depending on several factors such as the number of pages in the file and the level of expertise needed to prepare it. Generally, more pages means higher fees.
The amount required for a U.S. resident visa varies and is determined on the kind of the business that the investor establishes or directs. While there is no minimum amount required to invest in a firm to qualify for an E-2 visa, finances often begin at approximately $100,000. There are two types of E-2 visas: those for persons of "extraordinary ability" in science or art and those for individuals who will contribute "significantly" to a particular industry through their efforts.
In addition to the financial requirement, E-2 investors must also show that they intend to leave the country after the investment has been made. The government looks at several factors when determining if an individual is likely to remain in the United States after making an investment. This includes whether the person is eligible to become a U.S. citizen, whether he or she already owns real property in the United States, and whether the person intends to return to his or her home country after living in America. If any of these factors is not true, then the person is likely to go back to his or her native land.
It is very difficult for individuals who do not hold any special authority over foreign companies to secure E-2 visas. The only way around this rule is by establishing a "world-wide" company that has offices in more than one country.
EB-3 visas cost $345 and take around six months to get. EB-3 visa holders are granted automatic lawful permanent residency (green cards) and may be eligible to naturalize in the future. The Department of State has more information on fees for visa applications.
The fee is subject to change by Congress. When it was first introduced in 1999, the EB-3 visa was free. However, because many people applied for the visa, the government began charging a fee to cover the costs of processing applications.
There are two types of EB-3 visas available: those for qualified multinational executives/managers and those for qualified scientists/engineers. The former category requires that you have been employed by a company that has filed an expression of interest with the Department of Labor (DOL). You must maintain job availability at the employer until a decision is made on your petition. If your position is not kept open or if your employer terminates its relationship with DOL, you will need to reapply for a new three-year period.
The latter category does not require a job offer nor does it have any job availability requirement. However, you must be able to prove that there is no one else who is physically and mentally capable of performing the work. The Secretary of Homeland Security can grant these petitions even if there is someone else interested in the position.
Some of these investors may choose to apply for the EB-5 program after obtaining an E-2 visa, if they can do so without losing their present citizenship. This page may be useful for such people, as well as anybody who presently has a U.S. E-2 visa. However, anyone who wants to become an investor should be aware that there are requirements for this program, including a minimum investment amount and a need for proof of reliable income.
In addition, anyone who intends to apply for the EB-5 program must also fulfill other requirements, such as having a residence credit score of at least 700 based on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) standards, being a lawful permanent resident of the United States, and not having been convicted of certain crimes. The process of applying for an EB-5 visa and establishing a business in order to qualify for immigration benefits can be difficult and requires careful consideration of one's options.
Those who meet the necessary criteria can apply for an EB-5 visa by submitting an Application for Alien Entrepreneur (Form I-526) along with various other required documents.
Processing and cost. For both the business and the candidate, the initial E-3 application is a low-cost choice. The application price for an E-3 visa is presently $205, with no related expenses for the company. The process takes about 10 working days.
The E-3 visa applicant must complete a detailed questionnaire to provide information on their background, qualifications, skills, experience, intentions after entering the U.S., and other factors that may affect their eligibility to apply for a visa. The form can be completed online at http://evisa.cbp.dhs.gov/ or by mail or in person at any CBP office. The form must be completed by someone who has authority to make decisions on behalf of the company (for example, an executive director or board chairperson). If the manager reviewing the employee's application is not the same person who completed the application form, then the applicant should include his or her signature as well as that of the authorizing official.
Once the application is received by CBP, it will be reviewed by a visa officer to determine if the employee is eligible to apply for a visa. If the applicant meets all requirements, a decision will be made on whether to grant the E-3 visa. If approved, the employer would then be notified and given an opportunity to interview the candidate in person.