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What are investor based visas?

Not everyone who comes to Florida or anywhere in the U.S. as an immigrant is doing so to look for work or to join family members. Some would like to enter the U.S. to start a business as an investor. A person who does this might be eligible for investor based visas. There are certain rules for a person to receive a Green Card through investment. Knowing how to meet these rules is vital to getting this type of Green Card.

An entrepreneur who chooses to invest in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. or plans to create and maintain at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for U.S. workers who are qualified to do them can be granted permanent residence in the U.S. This also applies to their spouses and any child under age 21 who is not married. Each fiscal year, the U.S. will allow as many as 10,000 of these visas. The entrepreneur must invest $1 million or at least $500,000 in an area that is declared "targeted" meaning that it has high unemployment or is a rural area. In exchange for doing this, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may allow the entrepreneur and family to stay in the U.S. as permanent residents.

There is a form that must be filled out and approved: Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The person must be able to get admission to the U.S. And the immigrant visa must be immediately available for the person to enter the U.S. Those currently living outside the U.S. can receive permanent residence through consular processing. The USCIS will work with the Department of State to issue the visa once the form has been approved. Those who are already living in the U.S. can become permanent residents through adjustment of status. This happens when Form I-526 has been approved and there is a visa number available. Then the person can apply via Form I-485. This is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Those who are seeking to invest in the U.S. but are unsure as to whether they can live in the country legally after doing so should be aware of the rules for getting a Green Card through investment. Discussing a case with a legal professional experienced in a wide range of issues related to employment immigration in all its forms is essential to succeeding in getting a Green Card as an investor.

Source: uscis.gov, "Green Card Through Investment," accessed on June 12, 2017

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