The new INVEST Visa

CIR has created a new X nonimmigrant visa classification as well as an immigrant version, the EB-6. The X visa would initially grant 3 years of status to a “qualified entrepreneur” who can show that in the prior 3 year period leading up to the filing of the X nonimmigrant petition, they were able to have either:

• Receive no less than $100,000 from a qualified venture capitalist, qualified super angel investor, qualified government entity,
qualified community development institution or other types of investors; or
• The business entity has created no less than 7 qualified job and that in the 2 years prior to the filing of the petition, they generated
no less than $250,000 in revenue.
In order to renew the X visa, they allow for either 3 years or two 1-year extensions. To qualify for the 3-year extension, you must show that either:
• The business entity has create no less than 3 qualified jobs and it has received no less than $250,000 from a qualified venture
capitalist, qualified super angel investor, qualified government entity, qualified community development institution or other
types of investors; or
• The business entity has created no less than 3 qualified jobs and during the two years leading up to the renewal, the business has
generated no less than $200,000 in revenue

If those criteria are not met, they will allow extensions if the foreign national has made substantial progress towards meeting those criteria and such a renewal is economically beneficial to the United States. The extensions will be granted up to two times in 1-year increments.

On the immigrant visa side, they have created the EB-6 which shares the X visa requirements. The EB-6 is capped at 10,000 per year. Further, if the foreign national has an advanced US STEM degree, they will receive relaxed treatment on the job creation, investment attraction, and revenue generation requirements.

For a foreign national to qualify under the EB-6 visa, the “qualified entrepreneur” is defined as someone:

• With a significant ownership interest in the US business;
• Who is employed as a senior executive in the business; and
• Who had a significant role in founding or early stage growth of the business

Further, the foreign national must have resided in the US for at least 2 of the 3 years preceding the filing of the EB-6 petition and must:

• Have a significant ownership in the business which has created no less than 5 qualified jobs and has received over $500,000 in
investment capital; or
• Have created no less than 5 qualified jobs and generated $750,00 in revenue in the two prior years

It will be interesting to see how they define revenue, qualified investors and qualified jobs. This seems like a milder version of the EB-5 which has run into a lot of problems with the SEC recently.

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