Investment-Based Permanent Visas

Congress first added the "employment creation" investment-based immigrant visa category to the law in 1990. Investors may follow three general paths for establishing a new commercial enterprise. They may create an original business, purchase an existing business or expand an existing business through investment.

Investment of a minimum amount of capital in the new commercial enterprise is required. In general, the intended immigrant must invest not less than $1,000,000 in capital at any time after November 29, 1990. The minimum investment in certain economically challenged areas is reduced to $500,000.

The new commercial enterprise must create full-time employment for ten U.S. workers. The employer and his or her immediate family members may not be counted towards this ten-job minimum

If the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services grants the immigrant investor's petition, then the investor will be admitted to the United States as a conditional permanent resident. The conditional permanent resident status will remain valid for two years only.

In order to remove the conditional basis of the status, the immigrant investor must submit a petition in the 90-day period prior to the second anniversary of the date on which INS granted conditional permanent residence.


Pathways to Permanent Residence




Diversity Visa Lottery