The U.S. government annually provides a limited number of immigrant investor visas for foreign nationals who will invest significant funds resulting in at least 10 full-time jobs within two years. Through the E5 visa program, these individuals can apply to become permanent residents.

Read on to learn more about the eligibility requirements and application process for an investor visa.

Qualifying for the program

An eligible foreign national must invest at least $1 million in nonborrowed capital funds in a business enterprise based in the U.S. For certain rural and high unemployment areas, the minimum investment is $500,000. The enterprise must result in at least 10 full-time jobs for nonrelated citizens, authorized immigrants and permanent residents within two years.

Filing a petition

If you meet these requirements, submit Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur to start the application process. You will receive a case number and further instructions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including information about additional documentation and required fees.

Attending your interview

After you have submitted all required documents and fees, USCIS will schedule you for an interview at your local U.S. embassy or consulate. You must bring your passport and submit fingerprint scans. The interviewing officer will make the final determination about whether you are eligible for an immigrant investor visa.

Preparing to immigrate

Before entering the United States, you must undergo a medical examination by an approved physician and receive all required vaccines. After completing all requirements, you will receive a sealed packet from the consular officer. Keep this packet sealed so the immigration official can open it when you enter the U.S. You can also apply for visas for your spouse and/or children who are younger than 21.

The length of time to process your application will vary depending on your submission date, the type of business, location and other factors. The USCIS will not approve the applications of those who have overstayed a previous visa, engaged in drug trafficking or submitted fraudulent paperwork.