E-2 vs EB-5 Visa Differences

E-2 vs EB-5 visa

Both E-2 and EB-5 categories are investor visas. While they may seem similar on the surface, they have several key differences that make them quite different. It is best to compare the E-2 vs EB-5 visa to understand which is more suitable for your circumstance.

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Here are the key differences between the E-2 vs EB-5 visa:

1. Immigrant vs non-immigrant

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa. It does not offer a direct path to permanent residency or obtaining a green card, so E-2 visa holders must intend to depart the U.S. once their E-2 status ends. E-2 visa holders who seek permanent residency will have to change status or apply for a different immigrant visa, such as the EB-5, EB-2, or EB-3 visa, among other options.

The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa. It will naturally lead to lawful permanent residency or obtaining a green card. Thus, it does not require having the intention of leaving the U.S.

2. Minimum investment amount

The E-2 visa does not have a set minimum investment amount. However, it needs to be substantial. The USCIS does not specify how much a substantial amount is. Instead, it uses a proportionality test that compares the applicant’s investment amount with the total investment amount of a comparable established business. Thus, the higher the applicant’s investment amount is compared to the required total to establish a bona fide U.S. business, the better.

The EB-5 visa has a set minimum investment amount of \$1,050,000 or \$800,000 for targeted employment areas in a new commercial enterprise (i.e., a rural area).

3. Nationality

The E-2 visa is a treaty investor visa that requires the applicant to be a national of a treaty country. Click here for a full list of treaty countries.

The EB-5 visa is available for applicants from any country.

4. Job creation

The E-2 visa does not require the creation of jobs. Instead, the applicant must demonstrate that their business is not marginal. Meaning it should have the present or future capacity to generate income.

The EB-5 visa requires applicants to create or preserve ten full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

5. Source of funds

Both E-2 and EB-5 visas require applicants’ investment capital to be lawfully earned or sourced. For instance, through loans, gifts, property sales, employment, and more.

However, the key difference between E-2 vs EB-5 visa is that EB-5 applicants will be more heavily scrutinized compared to E-2 visa applicants, leading to the need for more documentation or evidence.

6. Work authorization

The E-2 visa requires applicants to work only for their bona fide U.S. enterprise.

The EB-5 visa does not have such a requirement. While EB-5 visa holders are required to manage their business, they can work for any company.

7. Timeline

The E-2 visa is easier and faster to process. Since the EB-5 involves permanent residency and a larger investment, it is much more scrutinized.

It is best to consult with a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer and consultant to help you weigh in between E-2 vs EB-5 visa application. This is to ensure tailored guidance according to your circumstance. Our team of experts can help make your application a success. Message us for a free consultation.

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