Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Retirement in the United States

Living Your American Dream in Retirement

Retirement Beach (Pixabay)

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A Place in the Sun – That’s the Dream Right?

When the cold winter days bite, a place in the sun sounds like a dream away. Even if you’ve been able to get away for two weeks or so, at some point its not enough time away. Finally, you make that decision that where you want to live your life is somewhere where you can enjoy great weather all year around.

I’ve been there. As a Brit I relocated in 1999 (I was 35, too young to retire). I had reached that point where I simply wanted to be in better weather most of the time. I did it, so can you too, even in retirement.

We specialize in helping people like you make a home in the US. In fact, our reputation has been built on how successful we are in helping our clients relocate to the US.

By far, America is the #1 retirement destination in the world because of its language and the strength of its economy. To prevent America from getting overrun with too many retirees, US Congress has set in place very strict pathways to facilitate only those people who can really support themselves long-term as retirees or be supported long-term by a US Citizen, typically a relative.

What I’d like to do is outline some of these pathways so you can consider how we might be able to help you achieve your goal.

Actual Snowbird Thumbnail

Dark-Eyed Junco aka Snowbird

B2 Visitor’s Visas:  Are You a Snowbird?

Snowbirds migrate away from the cold and settle temporarily somewhere warm. So, many Canadians and Europeans, between October 1st and March 30th, come to the US for six months to escape the cold in their home country and enjoy warm weather in the US.

The most common visa required for this would be the B2 Visitor’s visa. Whilst Canadians can get them easily enough due to their membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Europeans and other non-member nations will need a B2 visitor’s visa if they want to spend up to six consecutive months in the US.

You have to be very careful when applying because many people have abused the B2 visitor’s visa as a means of getting into the US to unlawfully work and stay longer than six months, which, of course, is not permitted on a B2 visa.

As a result of the misuse of the B2 visitor’s visa, applications are strictly scrutinized and many applications are denied under section 214(b) INA. This Statute States:

Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status…

Section 214(b) INA is a generic section of legal code which states that the applicant was unable to demonstrate that they had sufficient home ties to prove that they would indeed return home at the end of their six-month stay. Satisfying Section 214(b) INA requires extensive documentation to be included within the application.

We are Proud of Our High Success Rate

We are Proud of Our High Success Rate

If you’re a Snowbird, then it’s really important that you talk to us about your plans, and we’ll help you prepare the best case possible to increase your chances of securing the visa.

US Retirement: Can a US Citizen Support You?

As outlined above, the US government has no real problem with taking in retirees if they can assure the Department of Homeland Security / USCIS that they will not ultimately become a burden on the state.  You can imagine that if millions of retirees from around the world made their way to the US with some modest cash, and after a year or so their cash reserves dwindled, then sooner or later these millions of retirees could turn to the US government for financial assistance. The US economy would not be able to cope, let alone cover all of the expensive medical care needs.

Like any reasonable government, the United States must put safe guards in place. I think Congress has the right approach on this one.

If you want to retire, let us walk through what you will need to prove in order to satisfy section 214(b) INA.

Form I-130 US Petition for Alien Relatives or Family Member Sponsorship

Green Card Family Processing Times

If you have a family member over 21 years old, in this context a US Citizen child or US Citizen sibling, then they can sponsor you. It’s worth pointing out that if you have a US Citizen child who can sponsor you, then the wait time is about a year, whereas if it’s a US Citizen sibling, then the wait can be as long as ten years or more.

When you have a US Citizen sponsor you, the US government makes the sponsor financially responsible for your support for up to ten years. If during those ten years you become the responsibility of the state, then the US government will be able to garnish these costs from your US sponsor.

However, this ten year obligation of exposure can be cut to just five years if you become a US citizen. You can apply for US citizenship after five years in green card status.

Remember, the US government is looking for a third party to be able to bail you out if, or when, your personal funds are exhausted during your retirement years.

E2 Visa – Can You Support Yourself Throughout Your Retirement? 

I mentioned earlier that the B2 visitor’s visa limits your stay in the US to six months. When making the application you would have to show that you have ample funds to cover you for that period. However, if you want to actually settle in the US, then you need to prove that you have ample means for the long term beyond what you might have in personal savings, even if it amounts to several hundred thousand dollars (think about it, incurring unexpected high medical expenses could deplete those funds quite quickly, even if you have insurance). Therefore, the US government is looking for you to have a more sustainable source of income.

Retirement Public Domain Banner

The E2 Treaty Investor Visa, in a nutshell, would meet this requirement. The E2 visa requires that you buy or set up a business in the US that sustains at least two jobs for US Citizens. The business can be of any type.  You might buy an established US business, purchase a franchise, start up your own business, or relocate an existing business from your home country to the US.

US Immigration believes that if you own a business, and that business does well, then you will forever get income from that business.  I know this does not sound a lot like “retirement,” but it works. Indeed, there are many businesses of a certain size where your day-to-day involvement would be very minimal. In other words, you’d certainly have enough time to put in a few rounds of golf whenever you wanted and you’d not be ‘on the clock’ so to speak. Also, having fresh money coming in each month, over and above what you might already have from a pension, cannot be a bad thing.

If you’ve never considered the E2 visa, perhaps now is the time to broaden your horizons; we can help.

EB5 Green Card – Are You a Millionaire?

Dog Man MillionsI had to ask. If you’re a millionaire and would like to retire in the US, then “come on down,” as they say.  If you’re a millionaire and can make a ‘qualifying investment’ into the US economy, then we can get you a green card and you can retire here and do whatever you want without any further obligations. So, let me talk to you about the EB5 green card option and what it means to make a ‘qualifying investment’.

The US government allows US companies to seek foreign investments from individuals or corporations – indeed, this happens every day and is part of normal international commerce. What is less known, is that the US government will allow many of these US companies to also offer green cards to their investors as a “sweetener,” providing the nature of the investment meets with the EB5 program regulations.  Once they have been sanctioned by the US government (more specifically The Department of Homeland Security / USCIS), are called Federally Designated Regional Centers (FDRC).

So let me walk you through an example so you can get the idea: –

Skyscraper Building ThumbABC Company wants to build a 20 story state-of-the-art medical center that will provide specialized cancer treatments. The facility and equipment will cost $50 million. ABC has already raised $30 million from its own resources and major banks, but still needs to raise another $20 million to fully fund the project.  As an FDRC, it can solicit foreign investors to put in units of $500K. With an investment of $500K, the alien will not only be making a sound investment with the hope of gaining a modest return, but also be able to secure green cards for themselves, their spouse and all children under 21.

As you can see, this investment comes will a lot of benefits and the complete freedom of not having to worry about anything at all. Once you get your green card, it is for life.

We have great relationships with FDRCs and can help you if this is the pathway you’d like to go down.

Are You Ready to Turn Your Dream Into a Reality?

Ready to Finish ThumbWe have many years of experience helping people just like you, from Snowbirds to Millionaires, live the American Dream. This dream is alive and well, and every week we are getting approvals from US Immigration for another family to come to America.

All of our consultations are free because we want to encourage as many people as possible to explore their options. If you like what we’ve laid out for you, then it’s a win for everyone. Let’s talk soon.


Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
Admitted in New York.
Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
401 Wilshire Boulevard, 12th Floor,
Santa Monica,
California 90401
Tel: 310 496 4292

Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

Please note that nothing contained in this website or link therefrom shall be regarded as providing legal advice. Please contact us directly for legal advice specific to your situation. Thank You.

Specializing in the E2 Visa, EB1 Green Card, L-1A Visa and O1 Visa and K1 Visa Marriage-Based Immigration. Attorney Chris M. Ingram is dedicated to providing the very best in US Immigration legal representation. Enjoy our website.

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