Citizenship by Investment in USA

Updated on Wednesday 17th February 2021

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The United States of America is by far one of the most appealing business destinations for investors worldwide. Those who want to relocate to the USA through investment, or the so-called golden visa, will be glad to know that the US Government provides for several types of visas for investors. These will lead to permanent citizenship at first and then citizenship.

Obtaining citizenship by investment in the USA implies complying with various requirements and submitting several documents with the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Below, our specialists in immigration through investment offer the necessary information for obtaining citizenship by investment in the USA.

 

Options for citizenship by investment in the USA in 2021


Foreign citizens who want to apply for citizenship by investment in the USA in 2021 must know that there are two types of visas through which they can be granted residency. These are the EB-5 and the E2 visas which can be obtained by meeting a few qualifying criteria.

Both EU and non-EU citizens can apply for one these visas if they want to relocate to the USA and obtain residency which can later lead to citizenship by investment.

If you are interested in buying a golden visa in the USA, our local specialists can offer detailed information and will explain all the steps to complete for a successful application.
 

Types of investor visas in the USA


Foreign investors who want to obtain citizenship by investment in the USA must apply for one of the following types of visas, which at first will grant them a residence permit:
 
  • the EB-5 visa which is an immigrant type of visa;
  • the E2 visa which is a non-immigration type of visa.

It is important to notice the difference between the two types of golden visas, as the EB-5 visa allows a foreign investor to obtain permanent residency in the US, while the E2 visa allows for a temporary residence permit for the US.
 

Requirements for obtaining US citizenship by investment through the EB-5 visa


In order to qualify for an EB-5 visa, a foreign investor must be at least 21 years old. Also, he or she must respect the following investment criteria:
 
  • invest at least 900,000 USD (provided that certain conditions are met)  or 1,8 million USD in a new commercial enterprise;
  • the investment must create at least 10 permanent positions for US citizens;
  • the investment must pass the ‘at-risk’ test imposed by the USCIS;
  • the investor must prove the funds invested were obtain through legal means;
  • the investor must be part of the management of the enterprise.

With respect to the amount of money to be invested in order to obtain citizenship by investment in the USA, the minimum amount necessary is 900,000 USD if the money is injected in a company located in a so-called targeted employment area; otherwise, the investment must be 1,800,000 USD.

One of the greatest advantages of the EB-5 investor visa is that the applicant can also bring other family members to the US, such as spouses and children.

Returning to conditions for obtaining the EB-5 investor visa, it should be noted that the commercial enterprise in which the investment can be made is also subject to a few requirements. These are related to the type of company in which the foreign businessperson can invest in. The investment can be made by creating a new company, by buying a company, by injecting money in a regional center or in an already-established company. Also, no matter the type of business chosen, it must have been registered after November 29th, 1990.

If you are interested in buying a golden visa through the EB-5 investor visa for the US, our specialists are at your disposal with detailed information.
 

Citizenship by investment through the E2 visa in the USA in 2021


As mentioned earlier, the E2 visa is a non-immigration type of visa, which means that the applicant can relocate and work in the USA for a limited period of time. However, being developed for foreign investors, the E2 also allows applying for citizenship by investment in the USA.

In order to qualify for the E2 visa, a foreign businessman must meet the following conditions:
 
  • the country of origin of the applicant must have an E2 agreement with the USA;
  • the applicant must leave the US once the E2 visa is terminated;
  • the applicant must invest a substantial amount of money in a US-based company;
  • the funds to be invested must have been obtained legally;
  • the funds to be invested must be spent on the development of the business.

It is possible to use the E2 visa to apply for an EB-5 visa which will later lead to obtaining citizenship by investment in the USA in 2021. Our immigration consultants can advise on the conditions and advantages of choosing this option for buying a golden visa for the US. We also offer assistance in obtaining citizenship by investment in other countries, such as Italy, Portugal or Spain.
 

Qualifying investments for citizenship by investment in the USA


There are several ways through which residency and then the citizenship by investment can be obtained in the USA. The main aspect to consider is that the USA does not offer the possibility of acquiring real estate with the purpose of obtaining citizenship.

The main ways of obtaining citizenship by investment in the USA are:
 
  1. by starting a new company in which the minimum amount of money requested in the program must be invested;
  2. by buying a company and injecting the capital required to qualify for the EB-5 or E2 visa;
  3. by investing in the development of a regional center in which at least 10 jobs are created;
  4. by investing in an existing company and taking a management position in the business.

As mentioned above, the minimum amount to invest in a new or existing company is 1,8 million USD. There is also the possibility of injecting a lower amount of money (900,000 USD) if the company is situated in a Targeted Employment Zone. Such areas are considered zones where the unemployment rate is high and rural parts of the country.

 Another condition is for the company the applicant for an investor visa to create at least 10 full-time jobs for the following categories of workers:
 
  • US citizens;
  • permanent residents of the USA;
  • immigrants with the right to work in the USA.

A full-time job in the USA is a job that requires 35 hours of work per week.

If you want to buy a golden visa and need assistance, our agents in different countries can explain the requirements. We offer assistance in residency or citizenship by investment in countries such as Malta, Italy, Spain and Cyprus to name just a few.
 

Other conditions for US citizenship by investment


The conditions for obtaining citizenship by investment in the USA also implies for the investment to be at risk. This means that the funds must target the business for which the visa is requested, and it must not seem like a debt arrangement.

The applicant for residence by investment must also provide information about the sources of the funds which must be legitimate. For this purpose, tax returns and bank references are indicated. The USCIS also accepts inheritances and gifts as sources of funding, however, these must be proved.

As mentioned earlier, the applicant must engage in the management of the company he or she will invest it and that implies to handle the day-to-day management of the business or be part of the company’s policy creation strategies. For this purpose, the applicant must submit a statement with the job title and duties.

Our golden visa consultants can assist with the preparation of the documents required to obtain residence by investment in the USA in 2021.
 

Stages to obtain citizenship by investment in the USA


The EB-5 visa can lead to citizenship by investment in the USA after the following stages are reached:
 
  • permanent residency is acquired;
  • the removal of condition stage is reached;
  • naturalization.

In order to obtain permanent residence in the USA, the EB-5 visa holder will first be issued with a 2-year residence permit. During this time, the applicant for US citizenship must comply with the investment conditions and the creation of the jobs.

Within 3 months before the expiration of the 2-year visa, the applicant must apply to have the condition removed and become a permanent resident of the USA. During this period, the candidate will demonstrate that he or she has met all the investment requirements of the EB-5 visa.

The last step is naturalization which implies the applicant to start the procedure of obtaining US citizenship.

The following timeframes must be considered when applying for citizenship by investment in the USA:
 
  • the 2-year conditional residence by investment stage;
  • the 5-year permanent residency stage after the 2-year visa;
  • during the 5-year permanent residence, the applicant must live at least 2 and a half years in the USA;
  • the applicant is allowed to leave the country for no more than 180 days in the 2 and a half years period.

 

The process of obtaining a US passport by investment


Both types of investor visas lead to obtaining US citizenship by investment, however, it should be noted that in the case of the EB-5 visa, the procedure implies living for 5 years in the US-based on the green card followed by the naturalization procedure.

In the case of an E2 visa, the procedure implies for the candidate to apply for an immigrant visa, then reside for 5 years in the US and only after, to obtain citizenship.

Foreign citizens who decide to apply for citizenship by investment in USA in 2021 can rely on the entire support of our specialists who will present them all the options. Apart from these, we will also guide applicants through the entire procedure.

If you need help in understanding the USA citizenship by investment requirements for 2021, do not hesitate to send us your questions.

Please contact us for specialized services for obtaining citizenship by investment in the USA or any other country.