When buying a business in Florida, foreign investors can become lawful permanent residents or obtain a visa which will let them live in the United States for extended periods of time.
There are 2 programs foreign nationals can potentially benefit from by buying a business in the United States:
- E-2 Visa’s grant a foreign investor from a country which the United States has a qualifying treaty, a temporary status in the U.S. that can be granted for up to 5 years and can be extended in 5-year increments indefinitely.
- EB-5 Visa’s are based on the investment amount and in some cases the creation of jobs – a $500,000 – to $1,000,000 investment, depending on the type of investment, can be used to obtain a 2- year green card. At the end of the 2 years the conditions can be removed. A green card is the same as lawful permanent resident status.
Not all business investments in Florida will result in immigration benefits. Qualifying for immigration benefits based on an investment in a business is a complex process requiring the help of an Florida immigration attorney who specializes in Immigration Law. The immigration attorney must first determine if the business would qualify for a visa and then prepare all the documentation required. I work with a great immigration attorney who has been very helpful to my buyers. He has over 32 years experience, is Board Certified and is listed in an International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers. His website link is below.
Fernando Perez www.easyvisas.net
It’s important a foreign investor understand the E2/EB5 visa application process. It does not have to be difficult with the right immigration attorney and business broker working together as a team.
The important details of the visa application are:
- The investor must buy and pay for the business before application for a visa is submitted to the US State Dept.
- After payment is made – all the closing documents are drawn up that will transfer title to the foreign investor BUT the documents and payment is held in trust by an escrow agent until the application is approved.
- Once the visa application is approved –all documents are dated and signed and payment is disbursed to the seller.
- If the application for visa is denied – the investor gets his money back and the documents are destroyed.
- The length of time for application approval depends on the investors Consulate. The investor must be a citizen of a Treaty Country .Once the investors Consulate has been identified, the immigration attorney can usually estimate the time for approval.
- Some consulates can approve an application in as little as 2-3 weeks; others can be 2-3 months.
- Sellers will not take their business off the market unless they know the funds are being held until the Visa application is approved.
- The immigration attorney can usually determine whether a business will qualify for a visa.
- A business plan must be submitted with the visa application. The immigration attorney I recommend will refer an investor to a company that will create that business plan.