Setting up visas in the United States

A visa is simply a written permission to enter a country. Having a U.S. visa allows you to travel to a port of entry, airport, or land border crossing and to request permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector to enter the country.

While having a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States, it does indicate a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad has determined you are eligible to seek entry for that specific purpose.

Visas you may need

There are two main types of visas: immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas. For people who wish to reside in the country on a permanent basis, they will need an immigrant visa. For those who wish to enter the country on a temporary basis, a nonimmigrant visa will be required.

EB-5 Visa or investor visa

An EB-5 Visa deals with foreign nationals who wish to invest a substantial sum into a United States business, resulting in job creation.

There are two different levels of investments - general and targeted. Required minimum investments are general. They ask for a qualifying investment of $1 million. Targeted employment area investments, which could go to high unemployment or rural areas in the United States, begin at $500,000.

The EB-5 investment capital cannot be borrowed.

A targeted employment area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area (outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more) or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.

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Job Creation Requirements for EB-5 visas

An EB-5 applicant will need to create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the 2-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident. The qualified employees do not include the immigrant investor, spouse or children of the applicant, any foreign national in any nonimmigrant status (such as an H-1B visa holder), or a person who is not authorized to work in the United States.

If the EB-5 applicant is investing in a troubled business, the applicant may show that the applicant is preserving at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified employees.

For purposes of an EB-5 application, a "troubled business" is considered a business that is at least two years old and has incurred a net loss during the 12- or 24-month period prior to the priority date on the immigrant investor’s Form I-526. The losses for prior period must be at least 20% of the troubled business’ net worth prior to the loss.

Seek an experienced Texas immigration attorney

There are a variety of reasons to seek a visa in the United States. To ensure your visa is processed correctly, you need to speak with an experienced attorney with resources helpful to immigration-related issues. As a law firm in Dallas, Texas, the Law Offices of David L. Leon, PC receives a number of inquires regarding business immigration, family-based immigration, and investor-based immigration. Set up a consultation with immigration attorney David Leon today for options related to your immigration issue.


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