L1 Visa Best Place for Investing

Posted on December 12, 2006 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Where Is the Best Place to Invest in the U.S. for the L-1 Investors?

In the previous article, we have compared the L-1 visa to the EB-5 visa and explained how the L-1 visa is a better choice for the foreign investors who have a lot of money to invest.  Then, where is the best place for the L-1 investment? In this article, we will talk about the types of business which the investors may want to invest in.

Mr. Chen asked:

I’ve read your articles and have a general understanding of qualification for the L visa.  However, I am not so familiar with the U.S. investment environment. I want to know what amount of investment would be sufficient and where would be the best place in the U.S. for me to invest.


As we have mentioned it before, there is no minimum investment amount required for L visa applicants, and neither on investment area.  The U.S. immigration law only requires that the multinationals have a branch, subsidiary or affiliate in the United States. The amount of investment required would depend on the type of business one wants to invest.

With regard to where is the best place to invest in the United States, most of investors come from China might be familiar with the metropolitan cities like New York, Los Angeles, and etc., where a lot of Chinese live only.  For example, New York City is the financial center of the United States; Los Angeles is a famous port of entry in the U.S. and it is also the entertainment center for the U.S.; and Silicon Valley located in San Francisco is a well-known high-tech industry center, especially in the computer industry. However, are these developed areas suitable for the L visa investment? They may not be the best choice for the investors because the most important consideration is business potential in the investors’ view, and not how developed the places are.  Then, where would be the best place for the L visa investment?

First, the U.S government encourages the foreign investors to invest in a real business which will benefit the U.S. economy, not in real estates or stocks.  For the investors, the risk of investment is a big concern.  Currently, most of the Chinese companies are relatively small and the amounts of capitals that can be used to invest are quite limited.  Therefore, the best place to invest would be in an area where the initial investment required is not so high for these China investors with small investment funds.  Atlanta would be one of those areas.

Secondly, the industries such as banking, finance or the high-tech industry that involve a high cost and big risks are usually not the industries that Chinese companies would excel.  In general, Chinese companies are most competitive in manufacturing businesses.  Atlanta is not only the home for more than 14 of the Fortune 500, such as Coco Cola, CNN, UPS, etc., but has also become the new manufacturing center in the U.S.  Moreover, several of the most famous Chinese companies have already set up their U.S. branch offices around Atlanta.  For example, Haier’s manufacturing facility is in South Carolina; Lenovo’s US headquarter is in North Carolina and Huawei’s U.S. branch is in Texas.

Thirdly, and the most attractive point of Atlanta for foreign investors is its strategic position and huge potential for business development.  Atlanta is known as the Door to the South of the U.S. It has an easy access to advanced and comprehensive marine, as well as the land and air transportation. It connects Texas-Fort Worth and North Carolina which are the two areas for the high-tech business.  Since the 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta has rapidly become the economic center of the South.  In recent years, the relationship between Atlanta and China has improved dramatically as they became more dependent upon each other for economic development, trade and cultural exchange.  Both the U.S. government and many U.S. companies are expressing increasing interests in China.  More and more non-profit organizations have been promoting the economic development, trade and cultural exchange between the U.S. and China.  As the result, Atlanta seems to one of the best choices for investors who want to apply for the L visa.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.