Business-Based Immigration

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Immigration programs that bring investors and business owners to the United States create a win-win situation. The United States benefits from the expertise, funding, and innovation of foreign entrepreneurs and business professionals. Business professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to expand their potential client base and reach by getting established in the United States. If you’re a manager, business owner, or investor, there are multiple ways you may be able to enter the United States on a business-based visa.


This visa classification strives to stimulate the United States economy and provide an immigration pathway for business owners and investors. To qualify for an EB-5 visa, you must invest in a commercial business that was either developed after November 29, 1990 or restructured or reorganized after November 29, 1990. You may also qualify if your business was established before November 29, 1990, but your involvement led to a 40% or more increase in the company’s net worth or number of employees. Qualifying business entities include:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Holding company
  • Joint venture
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Business trust

The amount of money you invest in the business affects your qualifications. The amount invested in a commercial enterprise must be enough to create at least 10 full-time positions. Further requirements apply depending on where the business is located and if it is part of a regional center.

Investing in a troubled business may also allow you to come to the United States on an EB-5 visa. A troubled business is one that has been established for at least two years and has sustained a net loss over the 12-month or 24-month period prior to the date listed on your Form I-256. In this case, you do not need to invest enough to create 10 new positions; you must invest enough to maintain the pre-investment level of employment for at least two years.

Minimum investment amounts apply. The amount you must invest depends on your petition filing date, whether or not the business is in a targeted employment area, and whether or not the business is in a high-employment area.


The EB-1C program was established to bring foreign executives and managers to the United States. This allows international companies to set up locations in the United States and bring qualified, experienced professionals from abroad.

The EB-1C green card program gives preference to those with substantial skills, education, and proficiency in their field. There are several ways to apply for the EB-1C green card. If you arrived in the country with L-1A status, you can file for an adjustment of status if your company files an EB-1C on your behalf. If you are not yet in the United States, your application must be processed at a U.S. consulate.

The process of applying for an EB-1C green card is straightforward. To qualify, you must have been employed for at least one year within the previous three years by the parent company. You must intend to work in a managerial or executive role at the same place of employment or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries.

For an employer to bring managers or executives over on an EB-1C, it must do business within the United States and have been established in the United States for at least one year.

After you receive an offer for full-time, permanent employment, the company has to file an I-140 on your behalf. After that is approved and you have an updated priority date, you can apply for an adjustment of status if you are in the U.S. or apply for consular processing if you are abroad.

Business-based immigration programs have stringent requirements, both for employers and employees. Working with an immigration attorney saves you time and ensures that you file the appropriate forms for your situation. Get started on your immigration journey now—contact Sandoval & James at 512-960-3567 to talk to one of our experienced attorneys.