Investor Visa Application Document

Investor Visa Lawyer


With 50+ years of immigration experience, our knowledgeable attorneys at Spar & Bernstein have helped thousands of foreign investors who have contributed to the country’s economic growth to come to the United States and realize their entrepreneurial American dream.


If you are planning to come to the U.S. as a foreign investor, our lawyers will guide you through the complex process of obtaining an EB-5 visa or an E-2 visa. We will help you compile and file your investor petition along with all supporting documents, represent you and help you prepare for your interview. 


An investor visa allows you to come to the U.S. and create your business or invest in a project, while contributing to economic growth in the U.S. through capital investment and job creation.


There are different investor visa categories, the most popular of which are the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa:

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

The EB-5 program is an immigrant visa which allows the investor, their spouse and unmarried children under 21 to apply for lawful permanent residence (obtain a green card).

The investor must make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. and create 10 full time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.

The investor can invest through two ways, either via direct investment also known as entrepreneurial project or invest in a project through a USCIS-designated regional center.

EB-5 serves as a path to permanent resident status for an initial conditional period of two years. Once the two-year period expires, you must submit a petition to remove the conditions on your Green Card.

To do so, you must demonstrate that you invested or was actively in the process of investing the required amount of capital, that you sustained your investment throughout the period of conditional permanent residence and that your investment has created and can be expected to create 10 full-time jobs for qualifying employees.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows you to set up your business and live in the U.S. Your country of citizenship must have bilateral investment treaties with the U.S. in order to be eligible for a E-2 visa.

The regulations for the E-2 investor visa do not include a required minimum investment amount, it is a proportionality test which depends on the industry of your business, the location, business plan, etc.

The E-2 visa validity period depends on the reciprocity schedule of your country of citizenship and varies from two to five years.

The E-2 visa can be renewed as long as the qualifying investment and business continue to meet the eligibility criteria.


To qualify for an EB-5 investor visa, you must:

  • Make an investment of $1.05 million in a qualifying commercial enterprise
  • Make an investment of $800,000 if the commercial enterprise is located in a rural area, high-unemployment area, or is an infrastructure project
  • Create your own project (entrepreneurial or direct project) or become an investor in an existing project
  • Provide evidence of the source of the funds and demonstrate the funds are legitimate
  • Have an active or at-risk investment
  • Create 10 full-time jobs for qualifying employees (U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents or other immigrants authorized to work in the U.S., including conditional residents, temporary residents, asylees, refugees or persons residing in the U.S. under suspension of deportation)


To file for an EB-5 visa:

  1. Decide whether you want to invest and create your own project or invest through a USCIS-designated regional center
  2. Ensure that your investment meets the minimum requirements
  3. Gather the document to demonstrate the lawful source of your investment funds
  4. File Form I-526 or I-526E Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
  5. If you are in the U.S, in lawful status at the time you are filing your I-526 or I-526E petition, you may submit your I-485 application (Green Card) along with your I-765 (work permit) and I-131 (travel permit) application as a concurrent filing. You will then receive a work permit and travel permit while USCIS is adjudicating the underlying petition, allowing you to work in the US and travel outside of the US.
  6. If you are outside of the U.S., you must wait until USCIS approves your petition before you can submit your Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the Consulate.


To qualify for an E-2 visa, you must:

  • Be a citizen of a country that has a qualifying treaty with the U.S.
  • Possess at least 50% of the business
  • Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a “substantial amount of capital” in a real and operating business enterprise in the U.S.
  • Intend to enter the U.S. solely for the purpose of directing and developing the company in an executive or supervisory position
  • Intend to depart upon termination of status


To file for an E-2 visa:

  1. Confirm that your home country has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S.
  2. Create a Business Plan
  3. Establish your U.S. company, completing the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State and acquiring all required permits, business licenses and tax identification numbers
  4. Set up U.S. bank accounts and secure office space or other business facilities
  5. Gather evidence related to your source of fund
  6. Compile all documents which prove your eligibility for an E-2 visa
  7. Submit your visa application
    – If you are applying for an E-2 visa outside the U.S., file Form I-156E, Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Investor Application and Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
    – If you are applying for an E-2 visa while in the U.S. under a lawful nonimmigrant status, file Form I-156E, Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Investor Application and Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant worker, to change your status to E-2 category
  8. Schedule and attend your visa interview

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Is The Number Of Investor Visas Limited?

For EB-5 visas, there is an annual quota limit. Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), 9,940 EB-5 visas are issued, which makes up 7.1% of the total number of employment-based visas.

The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 sets aside 32% of the EB-5 annual quotas for investors in certain types of projects (rural TEA, high unemployment TEA and public infrastructure projects).

There is no annual quota limit for E-2 visas.

Can My Family Join Me If I Receive An EB-5 Or E-2 Visa?

Yes, both E-2 and EB-5 visas allow your spouse and unmarried children under 21 to come/apply with you.

Can I Include Stepchildren In My EB-5 Or E-2 Visa Application?

Yes, you can include stepchildren in your application if the marriage between you and your partner occurred before the stepchild turned 18.

How Can I Find An Investment Project In The US?

To find an investment project:

  • Start your own individual investor project such as a restaurant franchise
  • Make an investment through the approved Regional Centers, contributing funds to entities recognized by the government

What Sources Of Funds Can I Use For My EB-5 Investment?

For your EB-5 investment, your funds need to be legitimate and well documented, from sources such as:

  • Accumulated income
  • Real estate secured loans
  • Gifts
  • Business Profit

Our lawyers at Spar & Bernstein will prepare a detailed source of funds memorandum and submit it with your application.

How Long Does It Take To Receive An EB-5 Visa?

The time it takes to receive an EB-5 varies from case to case since EB-5 visas are a part of a numerically limited visa category.

Investor visas are issued in the order in which the petitions have been filed. The time it takes to process an EB-5 visa depends on the number of pending applications.

If your investment is of national interest, USCIS may grant you expedited approval.

What Does The EB-5 Visa Interview Include?

Your EB-5 interview can include questions about:

  • The commercial enterprise you have invested in
  • The sources of capital used
  • Your prior visits to the U.S.

At Spar & Bernstein, our experienced investor visa lawyers will help you prepare for your investor visa interview by reviewing questions you might encounter.

What Documents Do I Need To Bring To My EB-5 Visa Interview?

When attending your EB-5 visa interview, bring:

  • A copy of your Form DS-260/I-485 submission
  • Your passport (valid for a minimum of six months after your intended entry date to the U.S.)
  • A document from the project’s financial institution, showing that the capital needed has been released from escrow
  • A copy of the submission sent to USCIS containing the project and source of funds documents
  • Your birth certificate
  • Your marriage certificate, if applicable
  • Your divorce decrees, if applicable
  • Police certificates from your current country of residence to show whether you have a criminal record
  • A color passport photo
  • Sealed results of your medical examination

Can I Receive Permanent Resident Status As An EB-5 Program Immigrant Investor?

If you are in the U.S, in lawful status at the time you are filing your I-526 or I-526E petition you may submit your I-485 application (Green Card) along with your I-765 (work permit) and I-131 (travel permit) application as a concurrent filing. You will then receive a work permit and travel permit while USCIS is adjudicating the underlying petition, allowing you to work in the US and travel outside of the US.

If you are outside of the U.S., you must wait until USCIS approves your petition before you can submit your DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, with the Consulate.

Your Green Card will be valid for two years. 90 days before your Green Card expires, you must submit the I-829 to remove the condition on your Green Card.

How Do I Remove The Conditions From My Conditional Green Card?

To remove conditions, submit a petition 90 days before the expiration of your conditional Green Card. Submit Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status.
To determine the filing date within the 90-day period, use USCIS’ Filing Calculator.
If you don’t file a petition to remove the conditions on your permanent resident status within 90 days of the expiration date, you lose the right to remain in the U.S.

What Is A New Commercial Enterprise?

A new commercial enterprise, also known as “NCE,” is a term used to identify the entity, partnership or LLC that the investor will invest in. It is often a different entity that the Job creating entity also known as “JCE”. Most of the time, the NCE makes an investment into the JCE on behalf of the EB-5 investor.

What Is A Regional Center?

A regional center is a public or private economic agency or organization approved by USCIS involved in promoting economic growth and increasing the regional productivity in a specific geographic area.

Is Labor Certification Required For Immigrant Investors?

No, you do not need to file a labor certification if you which to apply for an E-2 or EB-5 visa.

How Can I Be Sure That An EB-5 Project Is Legitimate If I Was Approached For Investment By A Third Party?

Before making an investment decision, always research the project with the help of trusted financial professionals. You should also carefully read and review the corporate documents related to the project.

The approved regional centers listed by USCIS do not:

  • Minimize your risk as an investor
  • Guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws
  • Endorse the regional center’s activities by USCIS

Can I Work While I Wait For My EB-5 Application To Be Processed?

Once you receive your work permit (I-765) approval, you may work for any employer you want.

Am I Obligated To Live In The Same City Where My Investor’s Project is Located?

No, you are not obligated to live in the state or city where your commercial enterprise or project is located.

As an EB-5 investor, your investment is passive whether you have invested in a direct or if you have Regional Center Projects whereas if you are an E-2 investor, you are expected to supervise and develop your company.

If I invest in a project through a Regional Center, Am I Obligated To Visit The Regional Center Through Which I Plan To Invest?

No, you do not have to visit the regional center. However, it is strongly recommended to visit the project and/or speak with the developer.

Can I Work In Any Business With My E-2 Visa?

No, the E-2 visa only allows you to direct and supervise the company/ business you created. You cannot work for another employer. You are authorized to work only for the enterprise that qualifies for the visa.

Can I File Alternative Immigration Forms While Waiting For USCIS To Process My Form I-526?

Yes, you can file alternative immigration forms while your Form I-526 is being processed. Note that you must submit evidence of eligibility for any benefit you are pursuing. Contact our team at Spar & Bernstein and we will explain your options.

How Can Spar & Bernstein Help Me With My EB-5 Or E-2 Visa?

Our experienced team of lawyers at Spar & Bernstein can help you:

  • Compile the documents needed for your investment visa application, such as your personal financial information, business plans or immigration forms
  • Prepare a legal brief to show that you meet the requirements of the statute
  • File your investor visa petition and other forms
  • Prepare and provide any additional information USCIS may request after filing your investor visa petition
  • Prepare you for your EB-5 or E-2 interview
  • Follow up on your application
  • Help you find a regional center if needed
  • Help you find financial consultants
Experienced Leader in Immigration and Injury Law

Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.

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