Investors can get different visas to live in the United States and even a green card. Check out the tips to start or Invest in the USA.

Learn how to get your investment visa in the USA

Many Brazilians dream of living in the United States. If you plan to invest in a business in the country, know that there are some specific visas that can guarantee your stay there for years. In some cases, there is even the possibility of obtaining a green card and guarantee permanent residence. 

There are three specific visa types for investors: L-1, E-2, and EB-5. The main differences between them are the type of business you want to create, the amount to be invested and the duration of the visa. To make the request, you must present, among other documents, a business plan. To apply for visa renewal, you will need to show the US government that the company is in operation.

There are no requirements as to the type of business that the applicant intends to open, but it is worth remembering that in the United States there are regulated professions and whose professionals need a license to practice them – doctors, accountants, lawyers, engineers, and nurses.

According to the lawyer, the average time for applying for these visas is 90 days (with the exception of EB-5). If approved, the visa is extended to the spouse and children up to 21 years. In the case of spouses, one must be married on paper. Stable unions are not considered valid.

E-2 visa

This visa is granted to citizens of countries that have trade and shipping treaties with the United States. 

 In this case, it is not necessary to have a company in another country. You can simply open a business in the United States. The applicant for a visa must have at least a 50% stake in the company. It is not necessary to hire Americans. To apply, the investor must work directly in the business.

There is also no minimum amount of investment defined by law to get the visa, but, according to the lawyer, in practice, investments above the US $ 70,000 are more likely to be approved. The first grant of the visa is two years, and it can be renewed for another two years, indefinitely.

Seen L-1

The L1 visa is intended for companies that want to expand their business to the United States, and for this, they intend to send Brazilian employees and professionals to the country. To apply, the company must be incorporated in Brazil for more than two years. 

There is no definition of a minimum investment value but, according to the lawyer, investments above $ 70,000 are more likely to be approved by immigration. “Of course this also depends on the type of company and the business plan. If the company is a consultancy, opening an office in one room may be enough, but to open a store, the investment needed is greater, “he says.

The first grant of the visa is valid for one year. After this period, it is possible to ask for the renewal for three years, but it will be necessary to prove that the business is still standing. Some of the documents that may help show that the office is running are purchase orders, contracts, and evidence of economic activity, such as employee payroll, bank statement, financial statements showing monthly income, and even stories that came out in the press about the company. After the fourth year, the person has the right to make another application for renewal for three years, which may be replaced by a green card application.

Seen EB-5

Known as a ‘million dollar visa’, the EB-5 is intended for investors who want to contribute at least $ 1 million of capital in the United States in projects that can generate jobs in the country. You do not have to start your own business. Money can be invested in an existing company. If approved, the applicant receives a provisional two-year green card, which may be replaced after that period by a definite green card. The deadline for obtaining this visa is longer than the previous ones: from 16 months to issue the provisional green card, on average.

Currently, in addition to the possibility of investing the US $ 1 million in business in the country, which can be allocated over two years, there is another option for those seeking the EB-5 visa. These are the EB-5 centers – regions with a high unemployment rate or rural areas with less than 20 thousand inhabitants. In these places, where the US government seeks to encourage job creation, the minimum investment value drops to the US $ 500,000. 

The investor does not need to work directly on the investment, just making a capital contribution. However, the project must create or prevent the loss of at least 10 jobs.