The United States is signaling that in the very near future restrictions on immigration and travel will soon be eased. In the last several years, US visas have been challenging to receive in large part due to the global pandemic and the prior administration’s geopolitical policies. A new COVID vaccine and fresh governing administration have foreign nationals hopeful that pathways to the US will be reopened quickly.
In the meanwhile, investors around the world are wondering how to get a US visa in the current economic and social climate. Our immigration experts share their advice on how high net worth individuals and their families can access the US, including pathways to the valuable and sought after E2 visa.
The steps to obtain a US visa as an investor
The United States offers several work and investor category visas including the E2 visa and EB 5 program. The EB 5 program is less popular because the investment threshold is incredibly high. Under the EB-5 visa program, foreign investors must contribute a minimum of $1.8 million USD. Even for high net worth individuals this is a staggering amount of money and may not align with your investment goals.The EB-5 visa program also often involves long waiting periods (7 – 10 years for some) before investors can obtain their EB 5.
The E-2 visa, on the other hand, is a much more affordable and attractive option. It’s also a more expedient option, with many investors receiving their visa within 2 months of application. The minimum investment required to participate is approximately $150,000 USD, though it is important to understand that the US government has not specified a minimum investment amount. Our past and current experience shows that the average investor will contribute at least $150K in order to launch their US business.
Next, we’ll explore the details of the E2 visa and the criteria you must meet in order to apply.
How to access the US through the E2 visa
The E2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows nationals of certain countries to work and reside in the United States for up to five years, for the purpose of launching an approved US business. The visa is eligible to be renewed an unlimited number of times thereafter. Only citizens of countries that have a treaty of navigation and commerce with the US are eligible to participate.
The reason the E2 visa is so coveted is because it provides incredible opportunities and benefits to the investor, their spouse and dependent children under 21. Under the E2 visa spouses can work anywhere in the United States, and children under 21 have access to attend the top schools in the country. E2 visa holders are not required to reside in the United States and are granted unlimited re-entry privileges for as long as the visa is valid.
In order to be eligible to apply for the E2 investor visa, you must meet the following requirements:
- You are a citizen of a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US.
- You are in the process of investing, or have already invested a substantial amount of money in an approved US business.
- Your reason for seeking travel and residency privileges in the US are so that you can oversee the daily operations of the approved US business.
As stated prior, a “substantial amount of money” means that the investor can expect to spend at least $150,000 USD to start the approved US business. This is significantly more affordable than any other investor visa program in the United States.
There are a number of countries that hold a treaty of navigation and commerce with the US, and citizens of those nations are eligible to immediately apply for the E2 visa. The period of stay in the USA under the E2 visa of each country may differ with Grenada citizens enjoying one of the most favourable terms of stay – 5 years, renewable unlimited number of times (terms and conditions apply). If you are not a citizen of a country who can apply for the E2 visa, you can participate in a country’s citizenship by investment program in order to become a national of an eligible country.
More about citizenship by investment in the Caribbean
Citizenship by investment programs, also called economic citizenship, are programs that grant citizenship to investors who make a non-refundable financial contribution to a government or invest into a government-approved real estate project. Grenada offers an affordable citizenship by investment program, and has a unique benefit of holding a treaty with the United States. This means that citizens of Grenada are eligible to apply for the E2 visa.
The most strategic and cost effective route to the E2 visa is through the Grenada citizenship by investment program. To participate, investors can make an investment through a trusted real estate developer like Range Developments.
Range Developments is the only real estate developer in the Caribbean to have successfully delivered two government approved economic citizenship projects:
The Park Hyatt Resort in St. Kitts and Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski in Dominica. Range Developments is currently constructing a third citizenship by investment project in Grenada, the Six Senses La Sagesse, which will open in 2022.
Grenada’s citizenship by investment program is an affordable second citizenship program. Investors can expect to pay around $300,000 USD to receive Grenada citizenship for themselves, their spouse and dependent children via investment into a luxury 5-star hotel such as Six Senses La Sagesse, Grenada. When you add this cost to the estimated expense of opening a business under the E2 visa, you can see that the pathway to the US can be achieved for under half a million dollars.
A trusted and proven pathway to the US E2 visa
As you consider your citizenship and US visa options, it’s important to conduct your due diligence and make sure the developer has a track record of completed Citizenship by Investment projects. In fact, Range Developments is the only developer to have successfully completed luxury hotel resorts in the Caribbean. It’s important to do thorough research on your chosen CBI program so that you can invest with a trusted and proven developer.
We understand that you have many questions about your investment options in the Caribbean and the United States, and our economic citizenship consultants can help you make a choice that is right for you and your family. Contact our helpful consultants today to learn more about how to receive the E2 visa, and to get started on your path to Grenada citizenship.