A New Immigration To US Through Acquisition Program Offering Business Owners Around The World
By Jonathan Matzner
Through Acquisition program offering business owners around the world a faster alternative to US Immigration
In as little as 3 months, business owners can immigrate to the US by acquiring and owning an eligible US company. The program allows great flexibility by matching would-be immigrants to a US business that matches their profile, needs, and goals.
For a long time, the fastest way to get to the US has been through the EB-5 visa. For those who aren’t familiar with it, the EB-5 visa, or Employment-based 5th preference visa, is a business visa.
However, there are big disadvantages with the EB-5 Regional Center model that are often overlooked.
By law, your investment must be at risk
Current investment requirements are $900,000 for a low employment area or $1,800,000 for a high employment area
Current wait times for the initial visa are anywhere from 2 - 14 years in the worst cases
Industry-standard returns are around 1% P.A. Some are lower at .25% and some are higher at 5%+
No upside potential. If the developer makes 200%, you still make your 1% return
The investment must be in place for 5 - 7 years
So why is the EB-5 regional center program so popular? We believe that it has to do with the huge incentives and heavy marketing activities done by EB-5 developers and regional centers.
There are numerous other categories that make up American immigration and they all fall into either non-immigrant visas, like temporary, tourist, student visas. Or immigrant visas, work or family visas that lead to US Permanent Residency (A Green Card).
One of the most common ways to become a US immigrant is through your family already in America, due to its popularity, there are long waiting times - as long as 42 years for countries with backlogged waitlists. Even with the decades-long wait, not everyone has the applicable family in America so they can qualify. Alternatively, they could try for the Diversity Visa. AKA the Green Card Lottery - a free visa offered to countries that are under-represented in the US as a way for America to become more diverse. The bad news - you have about a 0.4% chance of winning, and not all nationalities are eligible to enter..
So what is the next best alternative?
L-1 intracompany transfer visa.
Individuals who own a foreign company abroad may qualify for an L-1 visa. The L-1 visa falls under the employment category visa and as such, there are requirements of that person when they get to America. The L-1 category has no annual quota and, in many cases, has a clear path to a permanent green card. As such, the L-1 category may be a good option for some individuals.
For a business owner, there are two parts to qualify for an L-1 visa. First, you need to have owned a business abroad for at least 1 year. Depending on the nature of the business, you should look to have at least 10 employees. There are other factors at play but this is a good starting point. Second, the business in America which you are purchasing needs to be ‘immigration eligible’. That is, not any existing business in America will create eligibility.
Finally, the American Business that you purchase must be structured as either a branch, parent, subsidiary or affiliate of the foreign employer. This is important to note as it requires the foreign company to be involved with the US company on set up. Please note, that the industry the foreign business and US business operate in do not need to be the same.
The L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa. Meaning that it does not lead to US permanent residency. The good news is that the L-1 and EB-1C can go hand in hand for those who are looking to live permanently in America.
The EB-1C visa shares many requirements with the L-1 visa. The big difference between the two is that the business must be able to show it has the ability to pay the EB-1C visa holder once approved. This is extremely difficult, if not impossible for a new business venture in America but is simple enough for the American businesses that have been operating and turning a profit for, at the very least, 5 years.
Because the EB-1C is an immigrant visa, it takes longer to process than the L-1 visa. Current waiting times are around 8-14 months. If you are applying for an EB-1C visa you can either apply for an L-1 visa and wait in America for the visa approval, or you can wait in your current country and visit America and your business on a B1/B2 tourist/business visa.
The Immigration Through Acquisition program utilizes the L-1A and EB-1c visas to help business owners get to the US in as little as 3 months through a business acquisition.
The process begins by buying an existing business. From there, the immigrant can bring an entrepreneurial approach to build on the existing business. Immigration aside for one moment, the combination of an existing business’s profitable and sustainable infrastructure coupled with the innovation and drive of an entrepreneur is a magical combination.
The main financial benefit of purchasing an existing business is that these businesses are already established with customers, brand recognition, employees, and maybe most importantly, proven revenue and profits.
Is there any risk associated with the program as compared to starting a new business?
Achieving American immigration while maintaining principal protection is the Holy Grail for those looking to move to America using business immigration. This is something that we excel at.
Assuming we have complete information, we can see revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and employee numbers, etc. This creates massive amounts of stability compared to the nature of startups and their projections. Did you know that startups in America have a 90% failure rate? This is including those who have massive amounts of experience in their industry and decide to start a new business.
Whether it is the product/service timing in the market, not being able to capture suppliers and clients, or not having enough working capital to last until the business becomes profitable, there are a lot of challenges with starting a new business. Not to mention starting a new business in an unfamiliar country.
In addition to lowering the financial risk, purchasing an existing business creates a strong immigration application based on proven performance. To learn more about the specifics of the program, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Chief Executive Officer of EIC Technology
Jonathan is an experienced US Diplomat and business professional. Jonathan is currently the CEO & Managing Director at EIC Technology. As a US Diplomat, Jonathan was most recently posted to Dubai, United Arab Emirates where he served as both a consular officer and in the Political/Economic section.
During his service, he worked and traveled around the world on behalf of the US Government, and significantly expanded the Consulate’s political, economic, and commercial contacts using his deep regional expertise. In his role as a US Diplomat, Jonathan collaborated closely with local and regional allies to develop and implement non-proliferation and counterterrorism strategies. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Jonathan was a management consultant in the Fortune 500 and worked on the staff of the US House of Representatives and the US Department of Defense. Jonathan holds two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.