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Business Immigration Law: Your Guide to Florida Investments and Visas

Take advantage of the different avenues for obtaining residency by investing in Florida businesses or working in the state.

Florida is known for its cultural diversity and welcoming environment, which draws immigrants from around the world who wish to live and do business in the sunshine state, contributing greatly to the economy and job creation. An individual that invests in Florida in 2024 has different paths available to secure temporary or immigrant investor visas. 

For individuals looking to venture into a business in the United States, it is imperative to have a business immigration attorney that understands the system. Business immigration law is the largest and most rapidly evolving part of immigration law, and business immigration legal firms handle everything from work and investor visas, employment-based green cards, permanent residences, and more. The Florida immigration attorneys at The Saade Law Firm, P.A. can help you assess your eligibility and determine the right course of action for your needs and investment goals. In this article we will explore different avenues for investments that lead to temporary or permanent immigrant investor visas. 

EB-1C Executive Visa

The EB-1C program allows executives or managers of foreign companies to obtain a green card to transfer to the United States and manage the affiliated company permanently. Usually, the applicants of this type of visa are also the owners of the business. Additionally, the individual must have a high income and ability to invest at least $300,000. It can also be obtained by purchasing a Florida business for sale. 

Some of the requirements for the business in the foreign country include: at least 10 employees by the time the petition is filed, a functioning and financially stable business, among others. For businesses in the United States, a foreign company must acquire a business in the US that has been active for a minimum of one year, the company must have a net annual income of approximately $60,000, among other requirements. 

EB-5 Investor Visa

The EB-5 is a type of investor visa that grants permanent resident status to investors who meet certain criteria. Additionally, the applicant’s spouse and children (unmarried and under the age of 21) are also eligible to receive a green card. The applicant must spend a minimum of $800,000 or $1,050,000 depending on the location in a United States-based project that meets the requirements of the program to qualify for this visa, including an expenditure of money, participation in a new business venture, and the creation of jobs. 

EB-5 visas have a long and multilayered process. The first step is filing the Form I-526 which can take an average of 18 months. Then, the applicant must go through a consular process to ‘adjust status’ which takes about six months. After that the applicant receives conditional lawful permanent residency (green card) for two years and three months before it expires the applicant must file a Form I-829 to become an unconditional permanent residency holder - a process that takes about two and a half years. In total, this process can take several years and has many steps. 

E-2 Investor Visa

This type of visa is a popular option among investors and entrepreneurs as it allows them to live in the United States, start a business, invest in a business, and work for said business. It is a non-immigrant visa in which the individual must invest a substantial amount of capital into a United States business and direct and develop said business. Individuals have the option to either start their own business or invest in an existing one. Additionally, E2 visas are only available to people from countries that have an E2 treaty with the United States.

E2 visas do not have a set minimum investment amount. It states individuals need to invest a ‘substantial’ amount in a US business which is based on a proportionality test. E2 visa holders are only permitted to work for the E2 business and are required to direct and develop it.

L-1 Executive Visa

Allows an executive or manager of a foreign business to transfer to the United States on a temporary basis to manage an affiliate. The typical profile for an L-1 applicant is a small business owner that wishes to engage in business in the country and plans to conduct commercial activities after moving. It allows foreign businesses to transfer certain employees to their US branch, parent, subsidiary, or affiliate company.

Contact The Saade Law Firm, P.A. today and let our team of attorneys help you navigate the dynamic world of business and immigration law.

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