This is an excerpt from a recent newsletter from attorney Don Gonzalez.
Comments added by broker in red.
Recently, we received a request for information (from yours truly) on how an individual who has an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa to the United States can convert this to the status of a Legal Permanent Resident. There are basically only two avenues by which to achieve permanent residency through the business eligibility side of U.S. immigration.
If, for whatever reason, the investment being made by the E-2 Treaty Investor were to reach approximately $1 million, or $500,000, and if the investment is made in an area classified as a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), and if the company being operated employs at least ten U.S. workers, this investor could be converted into a Permanent Residency by petitioning for an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa. (obviously this would be the same as what has been explained before).
The second process, which we use more regularly, depends if the E-2 Treaty Investor also has an ongoing business in their country of origin. For example, should I have a client who is an investor from Colombia, we normally use the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa because it is the most likely to obtain. If that same investor has an ongoing company or affiliated company in their homeland, then this individual would then qualify for classification under what is called the EB-1 Priority Worker Visa, which is an employment based residency category. The EB-1 category has a subcategory for "Multinational Managers and Executives". We typically apply for this specification while simultaneously applying for permanent residency status for the individual. Should the classification be approved, then this individual will have obtained his permanent residency to the United States.
Let's explain this further, most probably the prospective immigrant will not have a business in the US, but, if he has the means, he can create it: the business could be a multifamily property managed by a local property management company owned by a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a corporation, a trust, etc.
Those are examples of legal entities that could own and manage the property.
The immigrant will have to document that the income from that property would suffice to provide for the needs of his family and himself; however, there is an allowance: the applicant has five years to develop the business and prove this requirement, because five years is the waiting period for a permanent resident to apply for citizenship.
He would also have a to show that he is a manager or that he owns a commanding share of the company.
In this case, there is no TEA, $500,000 threshold, employment creation requirement, etc.
The only requirement would be that the above company be in its turn owned by a company in the immigrant's country of origin, or be a subsidiary, in short, it would have to be a two-tiered ownership.
There is more than one way to do this, the above is an example of how a purchase of real estate can be used for immigration purposes.
As we have explained earlier, the permanent residency status is a pathway to citizenship.