Can you secure a green card by investing in a U.S. company?

In your efforts to become a permanent U.S. resident, you explore all your options for getting a green card. Entrepreneurs who invest in U.S. companies may apply for a green card, but you must understand the details.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains how the EB-5 investor visa works. You could be one investment away from permanent residency.

Requirements for the visa

To qualify for the investor visa, you must invest in a company set up after Nov. 29, 1990. You may invest in companies established before or on Nov. 29, 1990, but they must meet specific requirements:

  • Someone bought the business and reorganized it into a new entity.
  • A business expansion investment created a net worth or employee increase of at least 40%.

You may make investments through USCIS-designated regional centers.

Examples of commercial enterprises you may invest in include corporations, joint ventures, sole proprietorships and partnerships. Business trusts represent another viable investment.

Requirements for job creation

You must invest enough capital in a new business that creates full-time jobs for at least 10 workers. Only qualified workers count for the quota. That means lawful permanent residents, U.S. citizens and other immigrants with the authority to work in the United States. Immigrant investors and their families do not meet the qualification.

Requirements for capital investment

Only equipment, inventory and cash count as capital investments. The definition also includes cash equivalents and tangible property. Assets gained through unlawful means do not meet the requirements. It makes no difference if the visa applicant secured the ill-gotten assets directly or indirectly.

Supporting a U.S. business could secure you a green card and become a viable investment. Let your entrepreneurial spirit help you become a U.S citizen.