For more than 25 years the U.S. government has maintained a program that provides Green Cards to foreigners who make a minimum investment of $1,000,000 and create a new business that provides at least 10 full time jobs in the United States. Obviously, this route to citizenship is not realistic for most people, but it remains an important option to consider for those with sufficient means.
The application process is actually complex. An applicant will only receive a temporary Green Card for 2 years subject to proving that a qualifying investment has been made, that at least 10 people will be employed and the money invested was legally obtained. After the initial 2-year period, the applicant then needs to demonstrate that the investment is still in the business and that at least 10 people were employed during that 2-year period, upon which a permanent Green Card will be issued. There are other requirements, including the fact that the investor can’t be an absentee owner but needs to prove that he or she has some policy level responsibility for the operation of the business.
If the investment is made in a region of the U.S. where unemployment is at a level significantly above the national average, then the threshold investment level to qualify under this program is reduced to $500,000.
While there have been a number of instances over the years where investors have faced problems meeting the requirements of this program, and dollars have been invested without permanent Green Cards being issued, this program is still a viable option if you have cash to invest. Please contact one of our attorneys if you are interested in learning more about the process for obtaining an investor Green Card.