People from all over the world look to emigrate to the US to improve their lives. Many are from countries whose standard of living is far lower than the average American’s. However, there are also well-to-do people who would like their piece of the American Dream. Even though they are already well to do, the lure of investing in America is very great.

Luckily, for them, the path to getting into the US is much easier because they will be bringing money with them. There are many visas for investors that will allow them to stay in the US. In this article, we will go over what several of the scenarios are for investors looking to emigrate to the US for business. 

What to know before coming

There are some things to consider before coming to the US to invest or start a business. For starters, there is no universal healthcare despite the ACA (aka Obamacare) being available.

Many Americans have health care covered mainly through their job. Their employee pays most of it with the rest of the premium being paid directly out of their paycheck. Since an investor will be coming on their own and not hired by a company, they will need to find their own insurance.

For instance, health insurance for Canadian citizens living abroad is an option if that is where the investor is from. Or, there are many American private insurance companies to choose from if the investor is from a country other than Canada. 

The E5-B Regional Center Investment

This is an immigration scheme that is ideal for people who want a green card but are not looking for their own business to run. In fact, there is no return on the investment aside from the principle put up in the beginning. It is a totally passive program in which an investor’s money is used for somebody else’s project. 

For $500,000 an applicant can come to the US and get a green card followed by their family members if they have any. It is used by the EB-5 government-approved regional center to invest in somebody else’s business that is run without any input from the investor. It needs to be a business that employs at least 10 people for a period of two years. 

After the first 18 months since the time of the money being deposited, the applicant can get a green card for themselves and their immediate family. This allows them to stay in the US and work or study without any age, education, or English language requirements. 

If the requirement of the business employing 10 employees for two years is satisfied, at that point the applicant can get a permanent green card allowing them to live indefinitely in the US. at the end of five years, the money is returned to you.

The downside to this scheme is that there is no interest gained from this money after those five years. And, there is a risk of the money being lost as it is going toward a commercial enterprise. 

EB-5 Direct Investment

An entrepreneur looking to come to the US to make money as an investor will likely not be interested in the E5-B Regional Center Investment as it doesn’t generate any profit. 

Those looking to have their money generate an income need to look into the EB-5 Direct Investment. This is not passive and the applicant has total control over the investment. 

This time the amount is doubled that is required to invest. For $1 million dollars the investor and their family get conditional green cards as long as the business employs the usual ten employees for a minimum of two years. 

Once it can be shown that the employment requirement has been fulfilled, permanent green cards become available. At this point, the investor is free to continue the business or withdraw their investment. 

E-2 Work Visa

The most complicated of the investment visas to secure is this E-2 Work Visa. with this, the required investment drops to around $75,000 depending on the sector the business is in. it can go up to $200,000. 

What makes it complicated is the fact that an investor starts a business and then hires themselves to run it. Usually, an immigrant needs a sponsor to be able to come work in the country. In this case, the investor is their own sponsor. 

Many use it as a quick way to gain entry into the US and then go for one of the other E5-B visas for a more straightforward way to gain entry. They can establish themselves with a small business to bypass the wait time for the other investment schemes and renew indefinitely. Spouses are allowed to come and have work authorization as well.