How to Apply
Duration of Visa
Status of Spouse and Minor Children
The Million Dollar Investor Visa
An international investor who invests $1 million in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy, and creates at least 10 full-time employment positions for lawful U.S. workers may qualify for permanent residence for himself, his spouse, and his/her minor children. An investment of only $500,000 is required if the commercial enterprise is in a targeted employment area. The alien must be actively involved in the management of the business, either through the exercise of day-to-day managerial control, or through policy formulation.
The petition to obtain permanent resident status under this classification must be filed on Form I 526, "Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur". The petition must be filed with the INS Service Center having jurisdiction over the area in which the new commercial enterprise is, or will principally be doing business.
- The investment required to be made in a commercial enterprise varies
depending on where the commercial enterprise is located and the unemployment
rate in the geographic area. In most areas a qualifying investment is
$1 million. Areas requiring this amount of investment are called "high
employment areas." Other areas are called "targeted employment areas." These
areas are in a rural area, or an area which has experienced unemployment
of at least 150% of the national average. A qualifying investment in
a "targeted employment areas" is only $500,000.
MUST CREATE 10 FULL-TIME JOBS - The jobs may be held by any non-immediate family member including U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or other lawfully authorized workers to be employed in the United States.
MONEY MUST BE FROM LEGITIMATE SOURCES - The investor must be able to show the legal source of investment capital.
MONEY PUT AT RISK - The investor must irrevocably commit his/her assets to the enterprise. May not design an arrangement in which the full amount is not put toward the investment or not at risk. "Capital" is defined by the INS as cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, cash equivalents, and indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien, provided the alien is personally and primarily liable.
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN THE OPERATIONS OF THE BUSINESS - The alien must be actively involved in the management of the business, either through the exercise of day-to-day managerial control, or through policy formulation.
MUST BE ACTIVE ENTERPRISE - A commercial enterprise is any for profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business. It may be a sole proprietorship, a partnership (limited or general), a holding company, a joint venture, a corporation, a business trust, or other entity that may be publicly or privately owned. A commercial enterprise does not include a non-commercial activity such as owning and operating a personal residence.
CONDITIONAL RESIDENCE - An investor is admitted for permanent residence initially in a two-year conditional resident status. At the end of two years residence the investor must petition for removal of the conditions from his/her permanent residence. To obtain removal the investor must show that:
the business is still viable;
the requisite amount of money was irrevocably committed to the enterprise;
10 US jobs were created and still exist in the enterprise.
C. ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE:
The investor must show that he/she has invested or is actively in the process of investing the required amount of lawfully obtained capital in a new commercial enterprise in the U.S. which will create at least 10 full-time positions for qualifying employees.
To show that a new commercial enterprise has been established in the United States, the investor must submit:
Business plan which includes an organizational document for the new enterprise such as articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, or joint venture agreement, other similar documentation;
State and local licensura and tax certificates.
To show the required investment, the petitioner must show he/she has placed the required amount of capital at risk. The investor must show actual commitment of the required amount of capital. Such evidence may include but is not limited to:
Bank statement(s) showing the amount(s) deposited in U.S. business account(s) for the enterprise;
Evidence of assets which have been purchased for use in the U.S. enterprise;
Evidence of monies transferred or committed to be transferred to the new commercial enterprise; or
Evidence of any debt undertaken by the investor for the new enterprise for which the petitioner is personally and primarily liable.
To show that a new commercial enterprise will create no fewer than 10 full-time positions for qualifying employees, the petition must be accompanied by:
Documentation such as tax records, Forms I-9, showing that 10 qualifying employees have been hired following the establishment of the new commercial enterprise; or
A business plan that shows the need for not fewer than 10 qualifying employees to be hired within the next two years.
Investor Visa is a permanent residence Visa; however, the investor
must petition to remove conditions from his/her status two-years
after the issuance of the permanent residence. To remove conditional
status the investor must show:
The enterprise is viable;
That 10 full-time U.S. jobs were created;
The requisite amount of investment was made into the enterprise.
Petitioner may request admission for spouse and children as derivative beneficiaries of permanent residence status. Dependents may enter upon showing proof of immediate relation and admissibility to principal. Dependents may not engage in employment upon receipt of an Employment Authorization Document which may be obtained from the INS. Dependents may attend school or college.
Depending on the backlog at the INS Service Center which receives your petition, the petition should take between 30 and 60 to approve or deny. (Click VISA BULLETIN to view your Service Areas reported processing times)