Community Law Firm

Immigration

EB-5 Investment Visa

Visitors from all over the world come to visit Orlando every day. Whether it is to visit our many attractions, or the draw of the warm, sunny weather, Orlando is a prime destination for international travelers. After experiencing the Florida life style and studying the vibrant economy, many of our guests decide that this would be an ideal place to relocate and perhaps open a business. The United States government, always interested in expanding the economy, has helped make this possible by making an EB-5 Investment Visa available.

The Immigrant Investor program is administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The program was enacted by the US Congress as a mean to stimulate job creation and capital investment.

The first criteria for the issuance of the so-called “Investor Visa” is that a new commercial enterprise must be created. The “new commercial enterprise” is defined as an enterprise established after November 29th, 1990, or the purchase of pre-existing business that is then “restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results”. The business can also be expanded so that “a 40% increase in the net worth or the number of employees occurs.”

According to the USCIS, a commercial enterprise is considered a lawful, for profit business that is :

  • a sole proprietorship
  • a partnership that can be either a limited partnership or a general partnership
  • a holding company
  • a joint venture
  • a corporation
  • a business trust or other entity that may be either publicly or privately owned.

The definition covers those commercial ventures that are made up of a holding company and all of its wholly owned subsidiaries. Each of the subsidiaries must be engaged in a for profit activity “formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business.”

Once the business entity has been established, jobs must be created. According to the guidelines, within the first two years of operation, the new business must create or maintain at least 10 full time jobs for qualifying United States citizens. According to USCIS guidelines, the jobs that have been created can be classified as either direct or indirect jobs. A direct job would be hiring qualified U.S. Citizens to work on site at the enterprise where the EB-5 Visa holder is an owner or investor. Indirect jobs are those jobs created by suppliers or as part of the investment in a commercial enterprise that is associated with a regional center by the EB-5 investor.

If the foreign investor has taken over a troubled company, then the jobs may be counted as preserved.

In addition to the business and job creation criteria, there are also capital investment guidelines that must be met. The guidelines call for a general minimum qualifying investment in the United States of $1 million. If the business is located in a hardship are with high unemployment or a rural area, the minimum is reduced to $500 thousand.

If you interested in learning more about acquiring a EB-5 Investor Visa, you would be wise to consult with a knowledgeable Attorney to help you navigate the government bureaucracy and ever changing rules. EB-5 Investment Visa Attorney in Orlando, Joe Knape has the background and experience to help you get your Visa and maintain it while you are in the United States building your business.

Attorney Joe Knape can be reached for a Free Consultation at 407-508-7774.

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