Investment Visa: an Overview

What to know about Investment Visa?

Four (4) U.S. Investment visa categories

  • L-1 visa a
  • E-1 visa
  • E-2 visa
  • EB-5 visa

Investment visa; Where to file?

Investment visa help:  Find USA Citizenships

What to know about Investment visa?

Investment VisasThe United States (U.S.) immigration laws give allowance to foreign nationals to invest in the U.S. or manage a business subject to some requirements, limitations, and restrictions as discussed in this article.

An Investment visa provides an individual a chance to avail an immigrant or nonimmigrant status. For assistance on finding the right visa for you, find help with USA Citizenships.


Four (4) U.S. Investment visa categories, they are:

  • L-1 visa – Intracompany Transferee Visa

This is a non-immigrant category visa, which is valid for three (3) years only. This is available to employees of a company with offices in the United States and abroad. The visa will allow the foreign worker to transfer to its U.S. office provided the worker had been working with the foreign corporation for at least one year prior to its application for L-1 visa. The U.S. office may be a parent company, a subsidiary or a sister company of the foreign company.

Applicants must possess the following qualifications:

  • The employee must have worked in the foreign company for at least one continuous year in the preceding three years.
  • The company should continue to be in the businessfor theduration of the employee’s stay in the U.S.
  • The overseas company must be legally related to the U.S. company and either business, must have control of the other.
  • The employee must be employed in the business abroad in an “executive” or “managerial” capacity or hold a position requiring “specialized knowledge” and come to the U.S. to work in the same capacity.
  • E-1 visa – Treaty Traders visa

This is a nonimmigrant category visa that allows a national of a treaty country where a Bilateral Investment Treaty is established with the U.S. for Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation, to come to the U.S. and engage in international trade. Certain employees of such Treaty trader or organization may also be eligible for E-1 visa. The treaty agreement is established to promote trade and investment between the USA and the contracting country.

If the treaty trader is a nonimmigrant and currently staying lawfully in the U.S., he may file a request for Change of Status (Form I-129) or the employer may file the petition on his behalf. To be eligible for E-1 visa, the treaty trader must possess the following qualifications:

  • He must be a national of a country where there exists a treaty of commerce and navigation withthe United States;
  • He must have been operating a substantial trade that belongs to the following line of business:sale of goods, sale of services; banking, insurance and transportation business, tourism, technology, and media. Substantial trade must be proven between the U.S. and treaty country, which has at least $500,000 in investment.
  • E-2 visa – Treaty Investors visa

This is a nonimmigrant category visa allowing an individual to come and invest capital in an existing enterprise in the U.S. Initially, an E-2 visa is issued for a five-year period and may be extended for another two years indefinitely. Since there is no limit on the number of extensions you may obtain, obviously, you will have the privilege to stay in the U.S. for an indefinite period.

It must be proven that the business is operating a substantial business under a treaty of commerce and navigation. There is no definite ruling as to the requirement of “substantial” investment, provided the investment must be substantially proportionate to the total cost of an existing business or the total cost of putting up a new business which amount may vary according to the nature of the business.

This is also applicable to the following individuals:

  1. Employees of a treaty trader. He must be an existing employee actually holding an executive, managerial, or supervisory position; or
  2. Employees who will be employed in the U.S. company in executive, managerial or supervisory position and will render essential services for the business; and
  3. Family members of E-2 visa holders. Unlike the employee of the treaty trader, the spouse or child of E-2 need not be a national of the treaty country, however, the spouse and children are not allowed to work in the United States.
  • EB-5 visa – Immigrant Investors visa

This is an Immigrant Investors visa created under Immigration Act of 1990. This is one way of acquiring Legal Permanent Resident status or “green card” by investing money in the United States. The applicant is required to invest $1,000,000 in “high employment” area or $500,000 in a “targeted employment” area offering at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers. The investor under this visa is one who:

  1. Owns or controls a business in the foreign country and want to establish a branch office, subsidiary or affiliated company in the U.S.; or
  2. Owns or controls a business in your home country with an existing U.S. office, or subsidairy, or affiliated company; or
  3. Come to the U.S. with the intention to establish his own business first time without any connection with any foreign company.

Investment visa; Where to file?

  • For foreign nationals living outside the U.S., processing can be done in the U.S. Consular Office of his country; and
  • For foreign nationals living in the United States, you can become a conditional permanent resident of the U.S. by applying “Adjustment of Status” (Form l-526). Once the application is approved and a visa number is available, you can apply for conditional permanent residence on Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

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For more information, see our website with discussion on the requirements for “Visa Availability,” “Adjustment of Status” and “Green Card” processing at This is your companion site to discover the ways and procedure in entering the United States whether as an immigrant or nonimmigrant status. For more information about Investment visa, talk to our USA Citizeships immigration lawyers for free consultation at (888) 940-0044.