Investment-based immigration to the United States offers foreign nationals the opportunity to obtain permanent residency or citizenship by investing in the country’s economy.

This pathway attracts individuals who seek to contribute to the U.S. economy while pursuing their immigration goals. Here’s an overview of the various methods available, along with the general application process, costs involved, timing considerations, and next steps.

What are the main investment-based immigration options?

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

The EB-5 program grants permanent residency (Green Card) to investors who create jobs by investing in new commercial enterprises. Investors can choose between two investment options:

  • Investing $1.8 million in a new commercial enterprise, or
  • Investing $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), which is an area with high unemployment or rural areas.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

The E-2 visa allows nationals of certain treaty countries to enter the U.S. for the purpose of developing and directing a business in which they have invested, or are in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.

What is the general application process for investment-based immigration programs in the United States?

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

  • Identify a qualifying investment project and commit the required capital.
  • Submit Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Investor, to USCIS.
  • Upon approval, either adjust status if in the U.S. or apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. consulate abroad.
  • After two years, file Form I-829 to remove conditions on permanent residency.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

  • Establish or acquire a qualifying business in the U.S.
  • Invest a substantial amount of capital into the business.
  • Apply for the E-2 visa at a U.S. consulate abroad or file Form I-129 if already in the U.S.
  • Provide evidence of the investment and the business’s ability to generate revenue and create jobs.

What are the costs involved?

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

  • Investment amount (either $1.8 million or $900,000).
  • Filing fees for Form I-526 and Form I-829.
  • Administrative, attorney and other associated costs.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

  • Investment capital required to establish or acquire a qualifying business.
  • Filing fees for visa application or Form I-129.
  • Administrative, attorney, business setup and operational costs.

How long does an investment-based immigration visa take to process?

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

  • Processing times vary but can range from several months to over a year for Form I-526.
  • Once approved, it may take additional time to adjust status or obtain an immigrant visa.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa

  • Processing times for E-2 visa applications can vary significantly based on the consulate and individual circumstances.
  • Typically, E-2 visas are issued relatively quickly compared to other immigrant visa categories.

What are the next steps once the main investment-based immigration application has been approved?

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program:

  • Upon approval of Form I-526, proceed with either adjusting status or consular processing.
  • After two years of conditional residency, file Form I-829 to remove conditions and obtain permanent residency.

E-2 Treaty Investor Visa:

  • After obtaining the E-2 visa, focus on growing and managing the investment business in the U.S.
  • Consider long-term immigration strategies, such as transitioning to permanent residency through other pathways if desired.


Investment-based immigration offers a pathway to residency or citizenship for individuals with the means and willingness to invest in the U.S. economy. It’s essential to carefully evaluate the requirements, costs, and timing associated with each program before proceeding. Consulting with immigration attorneys and financial advisors can help navigate the complexities of investment-based immigration and ensure a successful outcome.


You can check out more information on our investment-based immigration services here.

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