U.S. Law Center

Many Chinese investors seeking visas rather than residency

Immigrants come to live in Riverside County for a variety of reasons, including for purposes related to their employment or business. Each year, China is one of the countries with the largest number of investors seeking to come to the United States. In the past, the EB-5 program was popular with Chinese businesspeople, as it allowed recipients to become permanent residents. However, according to Forbes, as many as one-third of potential Chinese investors may now be looking to an L-1 visa instead.

There are a few reasons why an L-1 visa may be more attractive. For one, people who are U.S. citizens must pay U.S. taxes on all of their income, even that which was not earned in the country. Additionally, the status of the EB-5 program is up in the air, as the amount of money applicants must invest may rise dramatically in the near future. For those who do have enough to invest, the amount of supporting documentation required can be onerous.

Also, there is currently a years-long waitlist for Chinese EB-5 investors. This is because only so many are available each year and each country may only be entitled to a certain number of those.

On the other hand, the application process for an L-1 visa is comparatively simple. While the maximum stay allowed under the visa is seven years, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, investors can still pursue permanent residency should they want to stay. An L-1 visa allows someone with managerial or executive experience to work in a U.S. office, or allows a person to help a company establish an office in the U.S.

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