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How do I use a Business to Become a US Citizen?

Introduction

There are a few ways to become a US citizen through business ownership. The fastest and most expensive way is the EB-5 process. The most exclusive way is the E2 Treaty Trader process. However, the process we use the most is the L1A intercompany transfer process. The biggest difference with the L1A is that you can self-petition for citizenship!

Let’s take a look at how a few of the options work:

The only way to become a US citizen is by birth in the US, or by naturalization through a lawful process.

You can only become a US citizen by birth in the US, or through naturalization. There are several ways to do this:

  • By being born in the country (a citizen at birth)
  • By being born outside of the country but having at least one parent who is a citizen (jus sanguinis)
  • Through naturalization, which means applying for citizenship and going through a process where you prove you qualify for it. This process is regulated by law and includes certain requirements such as knowledge of English and civics education classes.

There are four categories under which you can apply for citizenship: permanent resident status; conditional permanent residence; parolees/asylum seekers/refugees; non-immigrant visas. The most popular way to gain citizenship through investment is through an EB-5 investor visa.

The easiest category most likely to qualify for citizenship by investment is the EB-5 investor visa because you essentially buy your family’s & your green cards.

The easiest category most likely to qualify for citizenship by investment is the EB-5 investor visa because you essentially buy your family’s & your green cards.

The EB-5 investor visa does require that you invest a minimum of $1,000,000 USD in the US economy. However, if you do make an investment of this size (or more), then it will open up many doors for citizenship and permanent residence.

There are other options too (like I-130 petitions), but none as easy or straightforward as applying under this category of investor visa.

The EB-5 immigrant investor visa category affords foreign investors and their families a path to permanent residence (green card) in the United States.

In order to be eligible for an EB-5 visa, you must invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time US jobs.

If you have an existing business with fewer than 10 employees or less than 2 years of history, your investment must be at least $500,000 and create at least 5 full-time jobs.

The required capital investment amount for EB-5 visas starts at $1,000,000 USD, unless your petition is for an area of high unemployment.

The amount of money you need to invest for an EB-5 visa starts at $1,000,000 USD. If your petition is for an area of high unemployment or a rural area, you may be eligible to invest less than $500,000 USD.

The minimum required capital investment amount must come from your own assets. You can use equity in real estate or business assets as proof of your ability to make the investment on your own; however, you cannot borrow funds from anyone else unless they are related to you by blood or marriage (for example: a spouse).

The second investment route for a green card visa is the L1A Visa.

The second investment route for a green card visa is the L1A Visa. This type of visa is open to any company that employs at least 50 people in the US, or at least 1000 employees worldwide. In addition, your company must be a subsidiary or affiliate of a foreign business based outside of the US that has invested more than $500,000 into its US subsidiary or affiliate. You may also qualify for this Green Card through an L1B Visa if you own a business which employs at least 25 full-time employees and meets other requirements set by USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

The L2 Visa allows dependents of applicants with an appropriate status who wish to study in the United States.

An L1A visa holder and his company would need to meet certain criteria in order to successfully apply for and obtain an EB1 self-petitioning visa and green card.

An L1A visa holder and his company would need to meet certain criteria in order to successfully apply for and obtain an EB1 self-petitioning visa and green card. In order to qualify, the L1A visa holder must have worked for the company for at least one year. Additionally, he or she must have been employed by the company in a managerial or executive capacity.

If the L1A visa holder meets the requirements, then the L1A can self-petition under EB1 category with Form I 140.

If the L1A visa holder meets the requirements, then the L1A can self-petition under EB1 category with Form I 140.

There are certain criteria that must be met in order for an L1A visa holder to successfully apply for and obtain an EB1 self-petitioning visa and green card.

These criteria include:

  • Work experience at or above a required level;
  • Evidence of advanced knowledge/education and other qualifications (such as awards); and
  • Demonstrating that a substantial investment has been made in your business enterprise by yourself or your employer.

A third viable option is through an E2 Treaty Trader Visa.

If you’re a business owner and you need to come to the United States on a temporary basis, then the E2 Treaty Trader Visa is an excellent choice. The E2 Treaty Trader Visa allows a foreign national to enter the U.S. as an investor or trader with a valid treaty investment (such as an EB-5 visa) in place. This means that they can enter and leave at will—without needing to apply for reentry or change status through another visa category like H1B or O1/L1.

This gives investors more flexibility than other visas because it can be used for anything that falls under its definition of being a “treaty trader,” which includes:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • General partnerships
  • Corporations limited by shares
  • Corporations limited by guarantee (Ltd.)

Kenya is not an E-2 Treaty Country. In Africa Egypt, Morocco, Ethiopia, Congo & Cameroon are classified as E-2 by the United States.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many options available for foreign nationals seeking to invest in the US. The EB-5 visa category is one of the most popular options because it is straightforward and easy to complete. There are also a few other investment visa categories that allow you or your family members to become US citizens by investing in American businesses and creating jobs for Americans. However, the L1A visa is the most straightforward process for middle-class business people who are not millionaires & tends to be the class that we assist with the most.

If you are looking for assistance beginning the process of going to the US as a business person then contact DeBellotte Global TODAY!

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