US Investment Migration in Times of Covid-19 – Choose Where You Want to Live
Since the pandemic, there is a lot of confusion on current US immigration rules. Despite the pandemic, relocations to the US are still possible.
When the lockdown put a hold on everybody’s life a few months ago, and now again in parts of Europe, it became evident to our clients that having a choice where to live is not just convenient but an asset. The unplanned hold in life made individuals re-evaluate their priorities in life. Having dual citizenship or another residency has always been attractive and a part of wealth planning for forward-thinking high-net-worth individuals, but now the real value is undeniable. Global differences in healthcare, economy, and politics are dividing the world and each countries’ management of the pandemic. Working from home and social distancing has become the “new normal”, which allows many individuals to leave their hectic work life, be flexible and choose their place to live. The crisis has brought to light the benefit of having a choice to travel for business or personal reasons to countries in which in times of the Coronavirus only residents or citizens are allowed to enter. Besides bypassing current travel restrictions, we observe an increasing desire of our clients wanting to relocate and diversify assets amid the pandemic. Being able to leave overcrowded cities that are hard-hit by the virus is essential for being prepared and staying healthy. Relocations to areas in warmer climate zones such as Florida are attractive. Outdoor activities can be enjoyed all year long and social distancing becomes easy without being locked inside your house. Despite worldwide criticism of how the US is handling the pandemic and a variety of immigration destinations to choose, the US remains attractive for foreign investors. The US offers a variety of visa options for foreign investors, such as the E or L visa categories or the EB-5 visa. A stable economy and appealing living opportunities are just some of the reasons for our clients to select the US as their destination.
Certain E investor visas are being processed by the US consulates abroad. For instance, the E-2 visa may grant a citizen from a treaty country, such as Germany, to reside in the US, if the applicant invested a substantial amount of capital in a business in the US and can show at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position. There is no minimum investment required for the E-2 visa. The appropriate investment amount must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The applicant can bring his/her spouse and children under the age of 21. Once the application is approved, the applicant will receive an NIE (national interest exception), which allows him or her to enter the US immediately despite current travel restrictions for European travelers.
Additionally, EB-5 investor visas are still available. With an investment of $900,000 in a so-called Regional Center an investor can obtain a Green card, which allows him to live and work in the US. A qualifying investment must, within two years, create full-time jobs for at least ten U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or other immigrants authorized to work in the United States, not including the investor and the investor’s spouse and children. Although, the processing time for this visa may take up to two years, now is the time to plan ahead and file your application. It is one of the few US visas that lead directly to a Green Card. Thus, you are not dependent on any employer and free to pursue the job or business of your choice.
This article is for informational purposes only and is no legal advice. Please contact us for legal advice and to discuss your personal immigration options