British Columbia residents who are considering relocation to the United States have various visa options. U.S. immigration laws offer two options for those who have substantial funds to invest. The EB-5 green card is for anyone who wants to establish and operate a business, and the E-2 visa is for those who simply want to live in the United States.
An EB-5 green card applicant must invest between $500,000 and $1 million in the United States to obtain immediate residency for him or herself, a spouse and children not yet 21 years old. This will allow the family to live and work, and also permit unrestricted freedom to travel or study anywhere in the country. It provides permanent residency although it will require a significant long-term investment.
In comparison, an E-2 visa’s investment requirement is only between $50,000 and $250,000 to start up a business. Although this visa is renewable indefinitely, it does not lead to permanent residency. If the business is terminated, the visa will expire. One disadvantage is that the funds must be invested to be eligible for the E-2 visa, but the applicant can only start generating an income after the visa is granted.
The decision to relocate to south of the border is a major one, and British Columbia residents who consider such a move will likely have many questions. Fortunately, they can get answers from a lawyer who is registered on both sides of the border and has extensive experience in dealing with U.S. immigration issues. A lawyer can explain the pros and cons to enable the client to make informed decisions about the future, and then provide the necessary support and guidance to simplify the process.