Under the so-called “employment fifth preference category” of employment-based U.S. immigrant visas, non-U.S.-citizens willing to invest $1 million in a U.S. business, or $500,000 if the business is in an economically depressed area, may be eligible for U.S. lawful permanent residence (a green card).
This visa is meant as an avenue for entry to wealthy people who will give a boost to the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, obtaining an investment-based green card is not as easy as showing the money. The U.S. immigration authorities actually reject more applicants in this category than they accept. This is due to narrow eligibility criteria, such as the requirement that the investment must create at least ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers and that the investor must take an active role in that business.