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What Are Investor Visas?

According to the U.S. Department of State, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are granted each fiscal year. One type of employment-based immigrant visa is called the Employment Fifth Preference Immigrant Investors (E5) visa. The goal of investor visas is to encourage immigrant investors to create new commercial enterprises. Ideally, these enterprises are going to benefit the U.S. economy through capital investment and job creation.

Here are some important facts about qualifying as an immigrant investor:

  • A foreign national must invest in a qualifying commercial enterprise.
  • The minimum investment amount is $1 million, or $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area. High-unemployment and rural areas are considered targeted employment areas.
  • The investor may not borrow to achieve the minimum investment amounts.
  • A qualifying investment must create full-time jobs within two years for at least 10 U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents or other immigrants authorized to work in the United States. The 10-person minimum does not include the investor and the investor’s spouse, sons or daughters.
  • Once an application has been approved, an investor’s spouse and any minor unmarried children under 21 may apply for immigrant visas.
  • There are four types of immigrant investor visa categories:
    • The C5 is for employment creation outside of a targeted area.
    • The T5 is for employment creation in a targeted rural and high- unemployment area.
    • The R5 is for an Investor Pilot Program not in a targeted area.
    • The I5 is for an Investor Pilot Program in a targeted area.

If you would like to know more about visas, or any aspect of immigration law, a Florida attorney who is experienced in this specific practice area can assist you. Our firm offers consultations in English, Spanish, Creole or Portuguese.

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