Investor Options: The E-2 Visa vs The EB-5 Visa
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Choosing The Right Visa For You
Investing in the United States can be a transformative journey, both for your financial future and your dreams of living and working in this dynamic country. At D’Alessio Law, we understand the significance of this decision and offer you a comprehensive guide to two prominent investor visa options: the E-2 Visa and the EB-5 Visa.
We’ll walk you through the intricacies of each program, the investment requirements, and the benefits they offer. Whether you’re an entrepreneur seeking to establish or expand your business in the U.S., or an investor aiming for permanent residency, our expertise is here to illuminate your way.
“D’Alessio Law Group provided phenomenal client service while delivering successful results during the approval of both my O-1 Visa and Green Card (immigration from Canada to the United States of America).
Leslie, Lorraine, and Kelly are notable for their vast range of experience and reliable response times during the lengthy and often daunting immigration process.”
Joseph Procopio – Google Review
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
The E-2 treaty investor visa category allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
Terms and Conditions of E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
- The treaty investor can work legally in the U.S. for a U.S. business in which a substantial cash investment has been made by the visa holder or other citizens of the country of origin, so long as this country has a trade treaty with the U.S.
- The treaty investor may travel in and out of the U.S. or remain here continuously until the visa and status expire.
- The treaty investor is restricted to working only for the employer or self-owned business that acted as the E-2 visa sponsor.
- The initial E-2 visa may last up to five years, with unlimited possible five-year extensions.
- Each time the treaty investor enters the U.S., he or she will be admitted for two years.
- Visas are available for an accompanying spouse and minor, unmarried children. However, the children cannot work in the U.S.
- A spouse will be permitted to accept employment in the U.S.
Advantages Of The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
- Allows foreign investors from over 75 countries, signatories of an investment treaty with the U.S., to establish, develop, and operate a business of their choice in the U.S.
- See U.S. Department of State’s Treaty Countries for a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
- There is no set minimum investment required. The regulations state only that the investment must be sufficient to develop a successful, non-marginal business.
- However a substantial initial investment should be at least $150,000+ for the proposed business to develop according to the State Department criteria;
- The E-2 investor’s spouse and children under 21 will be issued E-2 dependent visas. The E-2 spouse may apply for a work authorization based on his/her E-2 dependent visa;
- E-2 dependent children under 21 may attend the school of their choice in the U.S., but they do not qualify for a work visa;
- E-2 visa holders may stay outside the U.S. for an undetermined amount of time, and still re-enter the U.S. with their visa, as long as it is valid; and In many states, the children of E-2 visa holders qualify for in-state tuition at state universities until they cease to qualify as E-2 dependents at the age of 21.
Summary of The E-2 Visa
The E-2 visa was a very attractive option because relatively low capital amount is required to successfully secure a visa. However, the E-2 visa harbors a number of underwater rocks. Over the last few years, the threshold for a minimal investment amount of about $100,000 has more than doubled.
Additionally, the USCIS raised the requirement that the underlying business employed at least five workers, as opposed to two-three. The complexity of a successful application for an E-2 visa is further compounded by the requirement to demonstrate “nonimmigrant intent.”
Another drawback of the E-2 visa is that its benefits are limited to those individuals whose countries are a part of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the United States.
As a better and broader alternative to resettle in the United States, investors should consider the EB-5 category, which leads to lawful permanent residency in the United States. As opposed to the E-2 visa, the EB-5 category is not limited to the citizens of treaty countries.
Moreover, immigrant intent is welcomed and does not pose a bar for a successful application. On the contrary, lawful permanent residency is one of the direct benefits of those individuals who qualify for the EB-5 category.
The EB-5 visa is one of the quickest and easiest ways to obtain a Green Card that will allow the investor and his immediate family members enjoy the privileges of living, working, studying or retiring in the United States.
By investing a minimum of $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a qualified Regional Center project, foreign investors skip the onerous task of proving that their investment will result in the creation at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers.
Moreover, ensuring the compliance of the capital investment with the EB-5 eligibility requirements becomes the Regional Center’s responsibility. Foreign investors do not have to worry about playing an important role in daily management of their businesses.
They can choose the location of their residence anywhere in the United States as well as pursue any other business or educational opportunities without any detriment to their lawful status.
Learn More About The EB-5 Visa Below!
Regional Center by USCIS
Regional Center enables foreign nationals to qualify for permanent residence based on their investment in a Regional Center Project.
A Regional Center sets up limited partnerships, each with its own business activity, and manages the business of the limited partnerships as the general partner. Foreign investors who wish to obtain permanent residence in the United States may become limited partners through a $500,000 investment in a project. The investor is not involved in the daily management of the Regional Center.
Regional Centers must create at least 10 new, full-time jobs per investor for the investors to be approved for permanent residence. These jobs can be direct, indirect, or expenditure-based jobs. Each Regional Center Business Plan contains a “job creation methodology” on which the Center’s job calculation is based.
The investor must prove that he/she has invested funds that were obtained through legitimate means such as employment, business ownership, investment, inheritance, or a gift. USCIS expects the investor to provide tax returns from the investor’s home country or country of current residence, and to document clearly how the investment funds were obtained.
USCIS requires that the investment be “at risk” in the commercial sense; thus, the Regional Centers cannot guarantee the return of the investment funds.
Eb-5 Immigration Processing
After the investor has made a $500,000 investment in the Regional Center of his/her choice, the immigration attorney files the Immigrant Petition with USCIS on behalf of the investor. At this stage, processing can take anywhere from 1 to 6 months, depending on the Regional Center.
Upon approval of the initial petition, the attorney files for consular processing of an immigrant visa for the investor and his/her family, or for adjustment of status in the U.S., if the investor is in the U.S. with a long-term visa.
The initial conditional Green Card is issued for 2 years. Before the end of the 2 years, the investor’s attorney must file for the removal of the green card condition.
To qualify for the permanent green card, the investor must prove to immigration that the investment is still in place and that the Regional Center has created 10 jobs per investor, as per the previously approved business plan.
Advantages Of The Eb-5 Investor Program
- The investor can live in the U.S. State of his/her choice, and does not need to manage the investment business.
- EB-5 investors may work for any employer in any position; they may operate their own business; or, they may retire.
- Unlike E-2 investors, EB-5 green card holders do not have to leave the U.S. at regular intervals, and they can manage their own business without visa constraints.
- EB-5 investors and their family members can freely enjoy the many benefits of permanent residence in the U.S.
- The children of EB-5 green card holders are free to work or to attend the school of their choice, and they qualify for scholarships and in-state tuition.
- There no repeated visa denial worries for EB-5 green card holders.
“I’ve been working on my visa and renewing 3 times already and this is the first time I had no problems. I could call to my Lowyer immediately, I could send an email even on weekends and they answered, everything was fast and super professional!!! I couldn’t recommend any firm more than them. The team is just beyond!
Btw got my visa after 2 weeks that they send my paperwork!”