Investment Immigration entails perhaps three different areas of immigration law. First, it may involve enabling a foreigner to establish a business enterprise in the United States and obtain a green card or a temporary visa. The second facet of investment-based immigration allows a foreign investor to place an at-risk capital investment in a government-designated U.S. enterprise, in exchange for a green card. And, the third aspect (which encompasses the real benefit and purpose behind investment immigration), is that U.S. enterprises, companies, and business developers are able to request government approval to offer a green card to a foreign national in exchange for an investment in their business.
Investment-based immigration has a tremendous effect on the U.S. economy, job creation, and innovation on local, state, and national markets. Without investment-based immigration, we might not have companies such as Adobe, Google, Liz Claiborne, Intel, and Apple (whose founder, Steve Jobs, was the son of a Syrian immigrant). Investment-based immigration has indeed led to the creation of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in foreign direct investment (FDI), which is a critical element of a successful U.S. economy. These three categories of investment-based immigration can be summarized as follows:
The U.S. Department of Commerce has found that when foreign companies invest in U.S. businesses, it not only creates jobs, but significantly high-paying jobs – up to 30% higher-paying.
- During the last ten years, majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies have employed between 5 to 6 million workers.
- FDI supported 2 million manufacturing jobs, which have been less affected by the sector-wide losses in employment than domestic manufacturing jobs.
- Workers at majority-owned U.S. affiliates of foreign companies receive 30% higher pay than non-FDI supported jobs.
- U.S. FDI totaled $194 billion in 2010, and $1.7 trillion over the last ten years.
- FDI flows vary greatly year-to-year and generally follow the U.S. business cycle: FDI hit a low of $64 billion in 2003 and then surged to an historical peak of $328 billion in 2008.
- At present, relatively few countries invest in the United States. In fact, 84% of FDI in the U.S. in 2010 came from or through eight countries: Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Canada.