E-2 vs. EB-5
The E-2 and EB-5 visas are some of the most popular ways to get into the United States from a foreign country. But the question that many prospective applicants face is which one to choose from.
The 5th preference employment based visa (eb-5) was created in 1990 as a way for foreign investors to gain United States permanent residency (and citizenship if desired), through an investment in a new or pre-existing American business that results in the creation of at least 10 new full-time jobs for American workers. The E-2 visa, however, is available to an alien who is a citizen or national of a treaty country and who wishes to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the operation of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. It is a long-term, renewable, nonimmigrant work visa. Buda Law Group has an impeccable record of successful E2 and EB5 applications, and our experienced team will help you pick the right option for you. Below is a brief comparison of the requirements for the E2 and EB5:
The E-2 visa is specifically designed for alien business owners, business managers, and employees who are required to stay in the U.S. for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise in which he/she has a substantial investment. While the U.S. does not set a specific investment amount, $100,000 -$200,000 has generally been considered the required threshold.
Notably, E2 investor visas can be renewed for as long as the U.S. business employs several full-time workers and remains profitable. Visa renewals are generally granted in increments of two years, with no set maximum.
There are three main requirements to apply for E2 visas:
1) A treaty must exist between the United States and the foreign country under whose treaty the E status is sought;
2) Majority ownership or control of the investing or trading company must be held by nationals of the foreign country under whose treaty the E status is sought;
3) Citizenship of the foreign country under whose treaty the status is sought by each employee or principal of the company who is seeking the E status pursuant to the treaty.
In stark contrast to the E2 visa, is the EB5 investor visa which is a true permanent residency status. According to the USCIS, to qualify for the EB5 visa program you must:
1) Invest or be in the process of investing at least $1,000,000. If your investment is in a designated targeted employment area (A Targeted Employment Area is defined by law as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average) the minimum investment requirement is reduced to $500,000.
2) Benefit the U.S. economy by providing goods or services to U.S. markets.
3) Create full-time employment for at least 10 U.S. workers. This includes U.S. citizens, Green Card holders (lawful permanent residents) and other individuals lawfully authorized to work in the U.S. (however it does not include you (the immigrant), or your spouse, sons or daughters).
4) Be involved in the day-to-day management of the new business or directly manage it through formulating business policy – for example as a corporate officer or board member.
Thus, despite both the E2 and EB5 being investment-based visas, they are very different. While the E2 is technically temporary despite lacking a maximum stay requirement, the EB5 is a true permanent resident status. Moreover, the amount required for a qualifying investment also differs.
Contact Buda Law Group today, and let us help you pick the best option for your circumstances. Whether you choose the E2 or EB5 route, our team will guide you every step of the way!John B. Buda, Esq. www.budalawgroup.net office: 310-452-1872 [email protected] 3301 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 205 Santa Monica, CA 90405