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Can Investors Get Immigrant Visas to America?

For a foreign investor looking to settle in America, there are investor-based visas available. They fall under the Employment Fifth Preference, EB-5 category, visas for individuals who are going to provide capital investment in new commercial enterprises in the country and this would create jobs.

The first type of investor immigration is that of regional center investment. The individual looking to immigrate would invest $500,000 in a government-approved regional center for around five years. A conditional green card can be obtained within 18 months and the investor and his or her immediate family members can enter America.

 


There are no geographic restrictions and no language or education requirements, so immigrants can also settle in California. The investment can be passive, that is, a situation where the investor invests money in someone else’s enterprise that is managed by someone else. The money is returned to the investor in five years.

There is also a separate provision in which an investor puts $1 million in their own business and employs at least 10 people for at least two years. Though processing takes 18 months, this type of visa can be combined with an employment visa, which would entail employing one’s own self to work in one’s own business. However, to receive an employment-based visa, the immigrant’s country should be in an investment treaty with America.

There are also other categories of investment immigrant visas and as demonstrated above, they can be combined to gain quicker entry into the country. The law surrounding immigration is complicated and one does not want their process delayed because they did not invest the requisite amount of money. An experienced attorney should be able to guide potential immigrants through the process.

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Sweta Khandelwal

Sweta completed her Masters in Law from the University of California, Los Angeles and her JD from the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in India and has been practicing law for 15+ years getting visas, green cards, and citizenship for 1000+ clients, 100+ companies across 50+ nationalities.

Sweta has been recognized as a ” Super Lawyer, Rising Star,” and as amongst the ” Top 40 under 40″ immigration attorneys in California (American Society of Legal Advocates). She is also the recipient of the Advocacy Award by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Sweta is also a chartered accountant — the equivalent of a CPA. This makes her uniquely positioned to understand the immigration needs of her business clients in the broader context of their corporate objectives.

Sweta is actively involved with immigration issues and immigrant communities in various capacities. She has assumed key roles at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), both at the local and national level. She has been a past chair at the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at AILA and has also been involved in various practice area committees at AILA National. Sweta has addressed multiple conferences/forums in the United States and worldwide on immigration and business issues.

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