U.S. Immigration Options for Real Estate Investment


Real estate investments are generally passive and may not serve a basis for a U.S. immigration strategy, other than as an EB-5 Immigrant Investor in a USCIS-approved Regional Center.

When an international professional wishes to use real estate investments as a basis for a U.S. immigration strategy, it’s important to appropriately document and develop an active real estate business, such as real estate development, property management, house flipping, remodeling, etc. Unfortunately, an expensive vacation home by itself generally does not qualify for a U.S. immigration strategy.

Citizens of certain countries which qualify for an E-2 Treaty Investor “entrepreneur” visa often use this category to have the ability to live and work for the E-2 company in the U.S. The type of business must be sufficient to support more than just the applicant and their family, which generally shown through the hiring of at least one (1) U.S. worker, so a small bed-and-breakfast often may not qualify. It’s important to develop the E-2 business comprehensively around the applicant’s plans in the United States, as the principal applicant’s ability to work is limited to that E-2 business and its subsidiaries which are approved by the U.S. immigration authorities. Spouses and children under the age of 21 can obtain E-2 visas as dependents, and E-2 spouses have free market work authorization.

For applicants who are not from a country with an E-2 treaty, the L-1 Intracompany Transferee visa may be a viable option.

Neither visa type requires a minimum amount of time to be spent in the United States.

Although these are the common U.S. immigration strategies, other immigration options are detailed on our Services page and may be reviewed in consultation with an experienced business immigration attorney.

The above is informational and not intended to be legal advice. Please consult with an experienced business immigration attorney on your specific facts and circumstances before proceeding with any U.S. immigration strategy.