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Investment Visas: Status and Filing FAQ

Foreign nationals who wish to enter the U.S. as an investor or entrepreneur must apply for investor visa status. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked investor visa questions. For additional information, see FindLaw's Visas section.  

How Do I Seek Status as an Immigrant Investor?

In order to seek status as an immigrant investor, you must file CIS Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur. The Form I-526 must be filed with supporting documentation which clearly demonstrates that the individual's investment meets all requirements, such as:

  • establishing a new commercial enterprise,
  • investing the requisite capital amount,
  • proving the investment comes from a lawful source of funds,
  • creating the requisite number of jobs,
  • demonstrating that the investor is actively participating in the business; and, where applicable, creating employment

How Do I Obtain Status as a Conditional Resident?

A "conditional permanent resident" is granted a green card that expires after two years. In order to remove the condition and make it permanent, the holder must file a petition within 90 days before the expiration date. After the immigrant investor application (Form I-526 is approved), immigrant investors may obtain status as a conditional resident by:

  • Filing CIS Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, if residing within the United States; or,
  • Applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad, if residing outside the United States.

How Do I Become a Permanent Resident Based on Investment?

In order to become a lawful permanent resident, eligible investors must file a CIS Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions. Form I-829 must be filed within 90 days before the second anniversary of an Alien Investor's admission to the United States as a conditional resident. The conditional green card may not be renewed.

Where Do I Apply?

You should file the CIS Form I-526 at the CIS Service Center having jurisdiction over the area in which the new commercial enterprise will be principally doing business. 

Talk to an immigration attorney if you have additional questions or need help with a particular legal matter. 

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