What’s the Main Difference Between EB5 Visa and E2 Investor Visa?

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EB5 vs. E2 Investor Visa.

When it comes to trading and doing business, the United States is one of the places that attracts international investors. It’s imperative to know theinvestor visa requirements in order to enter the country legally and be able to do business in the U.S. There are two main types of investor visas worth looking into when considering investment opportunity in the U.S.:

1)     The E2 Visa.

2)     The EB5 Visa.

What is the EB5 Visa?

The EB5 Visa is a special visa for immigrant investors created by their Immigration Act of 1990. It allows qualifying investors to obtain a green card and have permanent residence in the United States. It is also referred to as the Fifth Preference Category, and those who qualify must invest a minimum amount of investment in a certain U.S. business and play an active role in the business as well.

It is important to understand that green cards in this category are only limited per year, that is to say only 10,000 green cards are issued per year. Three thousand out of the 10,000 are reserved for investors who will choose to invest in rural locations or places with high unemployment rates. If there are more than 10,000 applicants a year, the next applicants will be placed on a waiting list. This 10,000 limit has never been reached though.

What Are the Investor Visa Requirements for EB5?

EB5 Visa applicants are required to make an investment from $500,000 to $1,000,000 to a U.S.-based commercial enterprise. This investment may be in the form of cash, equipment, inventory, secured indebtedness, cash equivalents, or other tangible property that would amount to $500,000 and up to $1,000,000 based on their USD fair market value. If the investment will be made to TEA (targeted employment area), the amount required is reduced to $500,000. Compared to the E2 visa, which requires having at least 50% of the shares or a substantial investment in the form of inventory, equipment, cash, or other cash equivalents from the personal funds of the investor, the EB5 Visa can be acquired when the interested applicant has the money needed for the investment.

The USCIS requires at least 10 full-time jobs created within 2 years of the investment. The USCIS, more often than not, rejects applicants rather than approve them because of the narrowness of eligibility requirements. Basically, those who have the money can do this but not all can get an approval. Only those who have active participation in the business they invest in and those who have shown supporting documents of being in the business for a satisfactory number of years can get approved. One cannot simply pay for this kind of visa and no longer be involved in the business after its approval.

Therefore, it is a must to talk to a highly qualified lawyer to assist interested individuals in securing a green card for immigrant investor purposes. The money can be invested in any business in the U.S. and to help ensure you get profit from your investment while fulfilling the specifics of the USCIS, professional legal services will be necessary to complete the application and approval process.

What are the investor visa requirements for E2 Visa?

Those who want to qualify for an E-2 Visa must meet the following requirements:

  • Investor must own at least 50% of the shares of the intended U.S.-based company he is intending to invest in.
  • Investment should be made with personal funds and can be in the form of cash, equipment, inventory, or other cash equivalents. The amount is not fixed but should be substantial for the growth of the company.
  • The investor should contribute to the growth of the U.S. economy and be more than just marginal for the income of the E2 visa applicant.

Both the E2 and EB5 visas require investments made to U.S.-based companies but the EB5 visa investments usually cost a lot more than what it takes to qualify for an E2 Visa application.

Click here to read more about EB5 Green Card. 

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