A business and investor visa is an option that you can choose to enter the United States for investment purposes. If you are a California investor or a business person and want to move to the United States, you will be admitted through an investor visa program. In the United States, you can continue with your investment business or start a new one. The program is meant for different people from different countries who intend to make substantial investments in the United States.
The business and investor visa is renewable upon expiry, and it will depend on the time you will spend in the United States. If you have challenges in making a successful application in California or need help ensuring that all the requirements are met, you should hire an attorney. We at California Immigration Attorney have experts who understand the immigration laws and will help you collect all the documents and information required for the application.
How Will I Qualify for A Business and Investor Visa?
If you want to qualify for an investor visa, there are things that you need to show for the approval process. These are:
- You need to show citizenship of the treaty country. A treaty country is one that has an agreement with the U.S government
- The business should be owned by one or more people from the treaty country.
- You should prove that the investment business is real
- It would be best if you showed that the investment you intend to make is irrevocable and committed
- The investment you intend to make will be sustainable
- You must show that you have control over the investment money, show the commercial/financial risks. The reason being, you will not always secure your investment with your assets.
- Your intention to invest in the United States is aimed at developing it
- The investment must be significant to the United States economy
Investors' visas are available for three to five years and can be renewed for two years, depending on your country of origin. The U.S government has no limit for the number of times you will want to expand your stay in the United States, but you will only have to work for the specific purpose that made you be granted your visa. If your business and investor’s visa expires and wants to leave, you must prove why you want to go. If you succeed in getting a visa and want your spouse to come with you, they can apply for a visa to go and work and not be limited to the place and type of work they want to engage in.
Requirements for an Investor & Business Visa
The business and investor visa is the most flexible visa that you can quickly get if you are interested in establishing a business in the United States. The visa does not take long to be approved. It takes several weeks and will go for months to years. For you to have your investor visa approved, you have to meet several requirements.
- Your nationality must be that of a visa country. For you to be eligible for an investor and business visa, you must be from a country with an agreement with the U.S government. That does not mean that you have to be living in that country. As long as you have the documents that will help prove that you are from a visa country, your visa will be processed. You can check to see if your country is among the visa countries through the department of state website.
In this case, your nationality means the country in which you are considered a citizen, and you have the necessary documents to prove. If you have dual citizenship, the USCIS will look at the country you have made your application and consider your nationality. In many cases, dual citizenship is not recognized. If you do not come from one of the visa countries, you will be required to invest in a new or existing business to profit.
- Your investment in the business must be substantial. Therefore, the location and the type of business you are operating will be considered
- Your investment must be active daily. It shows that you are committed to your investment and looking forward to having it mature.
- Your investment business should not be marginal. It means that it has to sustain you and your family members. Therefore you should ensure that your business is sustainable and profitable daily.
- You must prove that you have the funds to be spent on your business. In this criterion, you must also prove that you lawfully got the money and not through criminal activities and that it belongs to you and not any other party.
- You must show that you can develop and direct the business. By this, you have to show that your share in the business is at least 51%
If you successfully apply for a business and investor visa, you can have your children come with you to the United States if they are below 21. If you bring your children with you to the United States and then get married, they must return to their home country. If you also brought your child with you for education purposes, they will have to go back to their country of origin once they have completed their studies.
To apply for your investor and business visa, it is good that you do it while you are in your home country. The reason being, once you make the application while in the United States, you will be forced to apply again if, by any chance, you move out of the U.S before your visa expires. In that case, you will not have a guarantee that your visa application will be approved, and you will have to change your status to that of an investor.
The USCIS is the department that will determine if you qualify to be given an investor visa by assessing if you meet the minimum qualification for an investor or a business person. Depending on your country and the fact of your case, there are instances where you are interested in buying an existing business for a U.S citizen. You can still apply for an investor visa. You only have to prove you meet the requirement as an investor. You need an evaluation letter for the business and proof that you can sustain it. You also need to have the previous owner's documents that show the profits and expenses of the business. When you successfully start your investment business, you have no limitation on the number of employees you will hire. The decision depends on your ability to sustain them.
Investor and business visa applications may take longer, depending on the time you take to give and receive the necessary information. The time you take to have your visa approved will also depend on the office that is receiving your application. Some offices will take a shorter time to respond to your issues, while others may take months. Once the application is approved, your investor visa will be processed within five days.
What Can and Cannot be Used to Show an Investment
You can use many things to prove that you can invest or are in a position to start an investment. You can also use some equipment or properties to confirm your buy or a plan to invest but fail. Some of the things that you can use to prove that you can start and sustain an investment are:
Rental Payments and Leases
Rental payments and leases can be used as investments in some circumstances. However, you cannot use a future value for a certain amount to prove your ability to start or sustain an investment.
Equipment and Goods Used For Businesses.
If you have used a certain amount of money to buy items or equipment for the business, you can use the money spent to prove that you can invest or sustain an investment already running. The type of equipment you will use to confirm your investment ability will depend on the business type.
Different Types of Intangible Goods
There are intangible properties that you can use as investment proof. For example, you can use trademarks and domains for investment. Although it can be difficult for USCIS to determine the value of the intangible properties, some companies can help you value your property to save your visa approval. For your business and investor visa application to be a success, it is essential to hire an attorney to prove your ability to invest if you use the intangible goods as proof. The reason being, you need to give enough evidence to the department that you have a chance to have your business contribute to the economy of the United States.
The U.S government usually looks at three things to determine if your investment business is substantial. It will look if:
- There is any substantial relationship to the cost of purchasing an enterprise that is already established, or you can create the enterprise under specific consideration.
- The business is sufficient to ensure that you commit yourself financially to the business to ensure the operations' success
- The magnitude of the business is good enough to support you to have a chance to develop it
- There is also a proportionality test that will compare different elements to further appraisal of your investment ability. The test will compare the amount of funds that will qualify for investment, the cost of establishing a new investment, or an already established business.
Special Exemptions for Investor Visa
It’s a regulation that after your visa expires, you must move out of the United States. However, you can be exempted if you have a pending petition. The instances that may make you have a pending petition are:
- Diversity lottery – The USCIS will know that you have applied for it. This will help you even if you have not yet been chosen in the lottery. You need to tell the officers that your pending petition's approval will not make you adjust your status in any way.
- Family petition – Your family members might have submitted a petition for you. The petition could take a long time, and you should tell the officers that there is a pending family petition before you move out of the United States.
- Child petition – If your child petitions you, you need to wait for your green card to be processed. In that case, you also need to communicate to the officer about the pending petition. It will help the officers allow you to remain in the U.S as you wait for its approval.
- Work petition – It is a challenging petition to convince the officers that you have a pending work petition. The company that wants you to work for them is the one to petition for you, and you also do not know for how long you will be working for them.
- Investor green card – There are times when you will apply for a green card, in addition to the investor visa that you have. In that case, after your investor and business visa expires and you need to go back to your home country, you must tell the officers that there is a pending petition and that they should allow you to remain in the United States.
Source of Funds for Your Investment in the United States
When applying for an investor and business visa, you need to prove to the USCIS that you have enough money to invest, and you also can take care of your family member. The legal way of getting money is the most accessible. You should also be ready to commit the funds to the investment business to ensure that it is sustainable in all ways. After you have proven to the department that you have the cash with you, convince them that your money is at risk, meaning the business may go well and have your capital back, or the business may fail and lose your capital. Some of the funding risks include:
Inheriting the Business
It is a risk to inherit a business from another person because you have to ensure that people do not realize a change in the way services are offered. In terms of investor visa application, it is wise to sell the business you inherited and then start a new investment. However, you can keep the business and don’t mention it during the visa application interview. In cases where you have inherited a business and want to apply for an investor visa, contact your attorney to guide you on the best way to go about your application and ensure that it is successful.
Loans Based on Business
When applying for an investor and business visa, you cannot use the money loaned to prove your investment. The reason being, it is a requirement that you should be the owner of the money, and no third party is involved. This will convince the officers during the interview because you will show them that you can support the business and your family.
The adjudicator will review the likelihood of the success of your business. He or she will determine if:
- You have enough money on the line
- If you have used large amounts of money to invest. There will be a likelihood of your business's success because you will want the capital invested back.
- If you can invest more in other businesses, then there is a likelihood of success in your investment
Your investor and business visa application's timing does not necessarily have to be when the business is already established. It could be even a week old or can be set up but has not started its operations. It would be best to show that it is all set and waiting for your visa approval to get it in process.
At the time of application, you also have to have a lease with you and be a valid one. It will show that you have the business ready for operation.
Investor Visa Application Process
Every year, there are usually available visas for those who want to move to the United States for business purposes. If you wish to qualify as an investor immigrant, you need to create jobs for United States citizens or any lawful permanent residence. Investor visas are categorized into:
- C5- it is whereby you create employment outside the targeted area
- T5-where your business will create employment in areas with low job opportunities
- R5-where your pilot program is not situated in a targeted area
- I5- where your investment is situated in a targeted area
There are the steps you must follow to have your investor visa application approved. To be considered an investor and business immigrant, you must file a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Filing the petition involves filing a Form I-526, an Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneurship. the USCIS should approve the form before you continue with the U.S embassy application.
Visa Application and Payment of Fees
After the approval of the petition by the USCIS, your petition moves to the National Visa Center (NVC), where it is assigned a case number. If the NVC finds out that you meet the minimum criteria for investor visa application, you will be sent a Form DS-261, a choice of agent, and address. If you have an attorney at this stage, you will not be required to fill the form, and pre-processing will begin, and you will be requested to submit the application fees. You will then be asked to submit immigrant visa documents which include civil documents, application forms, and any other relevant document.
You will be charged fees for the following:
- Filing of Immigration petition by Alien Entrepreneur, Form I-526
- Processing form DS-260, which is for applying for an immigrant visa
- Vaccination and medical examination are required
- Other costs include photocopying, translation charges, among others
Fees are paid regardless of age and cannot be refunded under any circumstance.
Collecting the Required Documents
The documents required for an investor visa include:
- Passports that are valid for six months and are beyond the date you intend to enter the United States
- Form DS-260, which is an Immigrant Visa by Alien Application
- Two photographs of sizes 2*2
- Civil documents include marriage certificates and birth certificates.
- Financial support. It will help prove that you will not be dependent once you enter the United States
- Medical examination forms. The form must be completed by a physician and is issued after you complete your vaccinations and medical examinations
Once the National Visa center approves that your documents are complete and all of them have been presented, you will be appointed for an interview. Your documents will be sent to the embassy where you will take the interview. Together with your attorney, you will be sent your appointment letter, which contains the interview's time and date. During the interview, you should present your passport and any other relevant document for the interview.
Vaccination and Medical Examination
You should ensure that you complete the necessary vaccines and medical examination before attending the interview. Authorized panels of physicians are the one who carries out the medical examination. Despite the age, anyone applying for a visa must undergo a medical exam.
The time taken to have your investor visa approved will depend on different issues. If you don’t follow the instructions as instructed, the process may take time. There are also cases when the application may take longer because it will require administrative processing,
Ineligibility for a Visa
Some conditions and activities will make you not eligible to apply for an investor visa. They include overstaying a previous passport, drug trafficking, submitting fake documents. You will be notified in case your visa will not go through. You will also be informed if there is any waiver available for you, and if there is, you will be told on the way to go about it.
Get Help from an California Immigration Attorney Near Me
If you are experiencing difficulties in applying for a business and investor visa, contact our immigration attorneys at California Immigration Attorney and make your visa application easy. Reach out to us at 424-789-8809 today.