Why an E-2 Visa Is Preferable to an EB-5 Visa

Jun 23, 2020

Getting an E-2 Visa is often preferable to an EB-5 Visa, and E-2VisaWorld explains why.

Why an E-2 Visa Is Preferable to an EB-5 Visa

Of the several methods available to people attempting to relocate to the United States, many believe that an E-2 Visa is preferable to an EB-5 Visa. The E-2 Investor Visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows the beneficiary and close family members (spouse and underage children) to move to the U.S. by investing a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business enterprise.

The EB-5 Visa is an immigrant visa, commonly referred to as a “Green Card,” or permanent resident card that grants the beneficiary permanent resident status in the U.S. E-2VisaWorld will help you prepare and navigate the E-2 Visa process.

E-2 Visa Key Requirements and Features

Although there is no minimum required investment, an investment of at least $80,000 is what typically takes to file a successful E-2 Visa application. However, in specific instances, E-2 Visas have also been adjudicated when supported by a lower investment. It all depends on the type of business you want to conduct and whether the investment is sufficient to support the business operations and their likelihood of success.

The E-2 Visa is typically granted for five years, and it is renewable as many times as you want as long as the initial requirements are in place, and the business is still running.

With the E-2 Visa, you can also hire key employees from your own country of citizenship, and they will obtain the same E-2 Visa as yours. You can also invest in a U.S. business enterprise and request the E-2 Visa just for your employees; you are not required to apply for an E-2 Visa yourself.

E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa and does not lead per se to a green card of any sort, even though E-2 Visa is a dual intent visa. As such, the beneficiary may apply for a green card from the United States while in E-2 Visa status filing for an adjustment of status.

EB-5 Key Requirements and Features

There are many different types of green cards, but they all grant the person a permanent resident status in the United States. While U.S. citizenship cannot be revoked, a Green Card may be revoked, and the green card status may be lost or relinquished for several reasons. In simple words, when you are a green card holder, you no longer have to worry about getting a visa or an ESTA any time you travel to the United States, yet you have to be mindful of a few important rules to maintain your status.

EB-5 is a green card obtained by investing a significant amount of money, precisely $1,800,000, in a Government-approved Regional Center project. If the investment is made in an economically distressed area, the necessary amount will be lowered to $900,000.

The EB-5 investment must result in at least ten new, full-time jobs for the investor to be approved for permanent residence. Upon investment, the EB-5 Green Card is conditionally issued for two years. Before the expiration of the two year period, the investor must file for the removal of the green card condition. For the removal to be granted, the investor must prove that the investment has indeed resulted in 10 new full-time jobs.

The whole EB-5 process takes approximately 1.5 years to get the conditional green card.

E-2 Visa vs. EB-5 Visa

Although E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, there are significant advantages compared to the EB-5.

  1. The investment required to obtain an E-2 Visa for the United States is considerably lower than the EB-5 investment. In most cases, we are looking at $150,000 versus $900,000 required for the EB-5. Also, citizens from China or Russia, who do not directly qualify for E-2 Visa, may have other solutions before pursuing the costly EB-5 route. As noted in our article E-2 Visa for Russian and Chinese Citizens, citizens of these countries can obtain an E-2 Visa for the United States through second citizenship that can be acquired in just a few months by investing around $200,000 in countries like Grenada or Turkey. In the end, even pursuing an E-2 Visa through second citizenship will result in a total combined investment of approximately $350,000, which is still far lower than the EB-5 investment.
  2. The processing time for an E-2 Visa application may be from 5 to 12 weeks, as opposed to EB-5 Visa processing time, which typically takes around 1.5 years. Therefore, you can get an E-2 Visa much quicker than an EB-5 Visa.
  3. While the E-2 Visa is subject to renewal, EB-5 is initially subject to a condition that must be removed on or before the second anniversary. The condition may only be removed if the EB-5 Visa holder can demonstrate that the EB-5 investment has created at least ten full-time jobs.
  4. EB-5 investors are required to reside in the United States for at least six months out of the year, while the E-2 Visa investor does not have to stay in the country.

Of course, EB-5 also has many advantages compared to an E-2 Visa. However, an E-2 Visa is undoubtedly the best solution if you want to move to the United States in a short period of time.

Choose E-2VisaWorld for Help

Once you are in the United States on an E-2 Visa, many things can happen. You may get married to a U.S. citizen and apply for a family-based green card. You may decide to apply for an EB-5 Visa while you are on an E-2 Visa status, and the capital that you invested for the E-2 Visa will be applied towards the EB-5 Investment.

Contact E-2VisaWorld for more information regarding the E-2 Visa process.

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