Immigration: A smart investment

Investor visas are a great option for immigrant investors and their families. These visas are available both for those that are outside of the United States, and for those that are currently in the United States on a different type of visa. Two programs stand out as great options that should be considered by any immigrant that is able to invest in a US enterprise. These programs are the E-2, and the EB-5 visa programs.
E-2 treaty investors
The E-2 visa program allows a foreign national of a treaty country (a list of treaty countries is available online) to receive a non-immigrant visa when they are investing a substantial amount of capital in a US business. This program is especially useful for small business owners and those seeking to invest into starting a business in the United States.
The first requirement for the E-2 program is for the applicant to be a citizen of a treaty country. Once that is established, the applicant must show that they have invested, or in the process of investing, a “substantial” amount into a US enterprise. The last requirement is that they been seeking to enter the US to develop and direct the investment enterprise. Whether your investment is “substantial” and other questions you might have about the E-2 program should be discussed with an immigration attorney.
EB-5 immigrant investor program
Entrepreneurs and their families are able to apply for permanent residency in the US (hold a green card) through this visa program. Many are drawn to this program because it grants permanent residency, which can lead to US citizenship. Many times, immigrants are already looking for a smart investment. This program allows that investment to be made, and has the added benefit of providing the immigrant investor with permanent residence in the U.S.
The first requirement for this program is for an investment to be made in a commercial enterprise in the United States. The investment amount often does not need to be as large as most people think. The amount of investment depends heavily on the type of investment that is made. The investment amount is very fact-specific, and should be discussed with an immigration attorney. The second requirement for this program is a plan to create or preserve 10 permanent, full-time jobs for US workers.
What is best for you?
Investor visa programs have multiple approaches and multiple options. It is important to speak with an immigration attorney in order to truly know what options are available for you. Investment visas are not exclusively for immigrant investors with millions of dollars. Often times, these visas are available for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Call and schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney at Wilner & O’Reilly, APLC. We specialize in all areas of immigration law, and we will be able to guide you through the process involved in the investor visa program that is best for you. Call our office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices in Orange, Riverside, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, and Salt Lake City.

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Kelly S. O’Reilly is a nationally known immigration expert and former immigration officer. He is a highly sought after speaker on immigration and employment compliance issues. Mr. O’Reilly serves as the current chair of the Riverside County Bar Association Immigration section and is a partner in the full-service immigration firm of the Wilner & O’Reilly where he provides free consultations. Mr. O’Reilly can be contacted at (714) 919-8880 and he welcomes email inquiries at

1 Comment
  1. Be very cautious. It appears another major fraud is being alleged by the SEC. This is said to involve approximately 250 Chinese investors who now risk losing their money and their chance at temporary and permanent Green Cards for their family.
    The SEC has taken some action alleging major Securities Fraud against Path America and Lobsang Dargey which include misusing investor funds to purchase a personal residence worth $2.5 Million and paying gambling expenses.
    What is still unaddressed is the fact that Path America & Lobsang Dargey flew Washington State’s Lt Governor, Brad Owen, to China. This was May 2014 and the Lt Governor told this group of investors gathered to evaluate Potala Tower that the 41 story tower was set to open “this summer.” The property was nothing but dirt. It did not even have shoring or excavation permits. This type of false information presented to a group that is about to make this investment seems materially misleading and fraudulent.
    Lt Governor Brad Owen and Governor Jay Inslee are also believed to have contacted USCIS to get Path America’s denial of a Regional Center overturned and approved (we need this investigated), and there are copies of a letter written by Brad Owen to USCIS staff encouraging a positive outcome for Path America LLC

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