Aventura & Sunny Isles Beach Investment Visas

In Florida, one of the many ways to obtain legal permanent residency is through an investment visa, which allows foreign investors who meet certain criteria to legally reside in the U.S. The requirements that investors must meet to obtain an investment visa are specific, and an attorney’s advice can be invaluable. If you or a loved one is interested in relocating to the U.S. for business purposes, it is important to contact an Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach immigration attorney who can ensure that your application is fully, correctly, and timely completed and submitted.

Investment Visas

Every year, around 140,000 employment-based visas are made available to immigrants who meet certain qualifications. One of the categories under which foreign investors can apply is the Fifth Preference (E5) or Immigrant Investors category. Approximately 7.1 percent of employment-based visas issued each year are given to investors.


To qualify under this category, a foreign national must invest at least $1,000,000 into a commercial enterprise. Alternatively, if the area in which the company is established is rural or has a high unemployment rate, immigrants who invest $500,000 are also eligible to receive this type of visa.

Commercial enterprises are defined as any for-profit activity that is formed for lawful business purposes, including:

  • Sole proprietorships;
  • Limited and general partnerships;
  • Holding companies;
  • Joint ventures;
  • Wholly owned subsidiaries;
  • Corporations; and
  • Privately or publicly owned business trusts.

Capital investments must consist of cash, equipment, inventory, other tangible property, or cash equivalents, and in some cases, debts, if they are secured by the investor’s assets. Assets acquired through unlawful means, such as criminal activities, do not qualify as capital. Additionally, qualified investment capital cannot be borrowed.

After an applicant has completed all necessary paperwork, he or she will also need to obtain certain vaccinations and a medical examination prior to entering the country.

Job Creation

The enterprise must also create or preserve at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, or other authorized immigrants within two years of the immigrant’s admission as a conditional permanent resident. The investor’s spouse and children cannot be included in this calculation. Created jobs can be either direct or indirect. Direct jobs are identifiable jobs for qualified employees, while indirect jobs are those created as a result of a capital investment in an enterprise affiliated with a regional center.

Foreign investors are also only credited with preserving jobs if the business was troubled. This means that the business must satisfy certain requirements, including that it has:

  • Existed for at least two years; and
  • Incurred a net loss during the one- or two-year period prior to an investor’s priority date.

The losses incurred must be equal to at least 20 percent of the business’ net worth.

If you have invested in a U.S-based company and are interested in obtaining legal permanent residency, it is vital to contact an experienced attorney who can walk you through the application process. Please contact the Law Offices of Alex T. Barak, at 954-289-6298, and a Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach immigration attorney will help you schedule a consultation at our Aventura office.