One method of winning a green card is through investment. If you are making a business investment in the United States, you can become a permanent resident in a matter of months.
There are a two main ways of doing that:
1. If you invest in a business in an area of the country or an industry that is targeted by the U.S. government as needing economic stimulus and job creation, you must invest $500,000 from your own assets plus expenses that may total around $50,000.
2. The other way is to invest $1,000,000 in any business of your choice.
Most applicant choose the first option because it requires less money and the Regional Center which helps facilitate the deal will make sure the requirements are met for approval.
In either case, the green card will expire in two years and must be renewed. When renewed, the green card is good for ten years and permanent residents will be eligible for citizenship in five years from the date of first getting the two year green card.
To get it renewed for ten years, you must show that you created ten permanent full time jobs.
If you cannot raise the money required for the EB-5 green card, there is a non-immigrant investor visa. The advantage is that there is no minimum requirement for investment. The amount invested must be enough to produce income that can support you and your family and possibly hire employees. Though there is no minimum, the higher the investment, the more chance of approval. Usually it is expected to invest at least $100,000.
The disadvantage is that you do not become a permanent resident through this visa. It must be renewed but can be renewed again and again as long as the business is running.
If you are an executive in a foreign business that has or wants to establish a local office in the United States, you can get an L visa which allows you to manage your office in the United States. It is similar to an E visa in which a certain investment amount is expected. The advantage over the E visa is that you can apply for a green card after living in the United States with an L visa for a certain period of time as long as you can show that your business is working successfully.