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Each year up to 10,000 qualified foreign nationals have the opportunity to obtain permanent residence status in the United States by investing in a business.
Who Is Qualified to Be an Investor?
A qualified investor is a person, their spouse and children who:
- Establish a new business; and
- Invest or are in the process of investing in the business; and
- The business will benefit the United States economy.
What Qualifies as a New Business?
Besides creating an original business, there are a few other ways for an individual to have a business that qualifies for immigration through investment. For example, you may purchase an existing business and simultaneously or subsequently restructure it so a new business is created. Another way is by retaining all existing jobs in a distressed business.
What Qualifies as an Investment?
An investment that qualifies for immigration must be at least one million dollars or at least a half-million dollars if the business is located in a region where unemployment exceeds the national average by 150 percent. The capital investment can be in many forms including cash, equipment and inventory.
What Qualifies as Benefiting the Economy?
The economy will be considered to have benefited from your investment if it either creates at least ten full-time jobs or all jobs in a distressed business are maintained.
How Do I Apply?
You will be required to demonstrate to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that your investment will meet the standards of a qualified investor. Some of what you will be required to demonstrate include:
- Establishment of a new commercial enterprise
- The funds used for investment come from lawful sources
- Jobs will be created in the targeted region
- Investor will be actively involved in the business
What is the Process after Applying?
If you meet the requirements, and your application is approved, you will receive conditional immigrant status. Shortly before the second anniversary of receiving the conditional status, you must apply to remove it. Should you fail to do this you will lose your permanent resident status.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Obtain Residence through Investment?
An experienced immigration attorney is essential for anyone planning to obtain permanent residency through investment. An immigration lawyer can help you determine if the business you want to invest in qualifies and how much capital is required.
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Last Modified: 11-09-2012 11:59 AM PST
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