Does an E-2 Visa “Lead To” A Green Card?

There are several differences between an E-2 and an EB-5 visa. For example, an E-2 is a non-immigrant visa so when you apply for an E-2 visa you are not applying for a green card. Also, unlike the EB-5 immigrant (green card) visa, the E-2 visa has a country requirement and if you are not from one of the member countries, you cannot apply for it. In addition, an E-2 visa requires a much smaller investment amount (Our firm has processed E-2 visas with as little as $50,000 investment) and an EB-5 immigrant visa requires either $500,000 or $1,000,000 depending on where you are investing. Also, an EB-5 visa allows for a more or less passive investment through regional centers where an E-2 investor must take an active role in the entity that they start or buy.

One of the disadvantages that is often cited when considering an E-2 visa is that the E-2 visa does not “lead to a green card.” While this is often cited as a disadvantage, this statement does not hold much meaning as all non immigrant visas do not lead to green cards. (Eg. H1-B, L-1, O-1, TN, etc.) Instead, for any non immigrant visa the applicant must find a green card category that they qualify for (Eg. EB-5 or Family Based) and then apply for the green card. As such, the “restriction” that is often cited for E-2 visas is not really an exception at all.

You should note though that the E-2 visa is not a “dual intent” visa so you must carefully orchestrate the timing of your applications and you must plan your renewals, exits and entries to the country properly if you wish to apply for a green card while in E-2 status. That being said, immigration practitioners have been processing green card visas for E-2 clients for years. In fact, there is a form (Form I-508) which is specifically required for E-2 applicants filing for a green card. To be clear, a business which started where the investor obtained an E-2 visa where the business is successful enough to eventually grow into a million-dollar enterprises which created more than 10 full-time permanent jobs, could qualify to change their visa status from an E-2 visa to an EB-5 green card. Similarly, a person holding an E-2 visa could apply under one of the family based green card categories to the extent they were eligible.

While you must work closely with a qualified immigration attorney, the key of this article is that there is no real restriction which hinders a current E-2 investor from being a beneficiary of any other employment or family based immigrant petition (green card).

For additional legal advice on E-2 or EB-5 visas contact Scott Legal, P.C.. We offer services in a number of business areas including, Immigration, New Business set up, Contract review and development and entrepreneurial support. Call 212-223-2964 or email iscott@legalservicesincorporated.com for a consultation.

42 Comments

  1. brian jones July 1, 2015 11:21 am

    I am from the UK looking to form a new LLC company in Florida to specialise in property development. I intend to purchase a run down property with an investment sum of $400,000. I am then looking to refurbish the property for resale employing local tradesman. I am looking to do this twice a year. Would I be successful in achieving an E2 visa?

    Reply
    • IanScott July 1, 2015 1:09 pm

      Hello and thank you for contacting us. Real Estate is always difficult for an E-2 visa and I do not believe what you have outlined would qualify. We had one client that did this but had over 40 properties. If you open a renovation business, that may work but you would have to have more than 2 properties.

      Reply
      • brian jones July 2, 2015 6:31 am

        Hi Ian
        I was intending to register a Building Renovations Business in FL. I already have a home in Florida worth $700,000 so I could sell that and add to the $400,000 cash giving me a $1.1M investment pot. Would that start to look more promising to get a E-2 visa?
        Thanks

        Reply
        • IanScott July 2, 2015 8:41 pm

          Hello..you would have to start a business and buying a house does not qualify for investment. We would be happy to set up a one hour consultation with you to go over E-2 visas. Our $250 fee is applied towards your final bill if you end up hiring us.

          Kind regards,

          Reply
        • Andi Poll May 17, 2016 2:15 am

          Brian, with a $1.1M pot you would be better off looking at an EB-5, which gives a path to a GC and citizenship later on. Once you have been granted an EB-5 you can do whatever you like. Your GC will be issued after your first visit into the states after EB-5 status has been granted. They arrive in the post! There may be some restrictions on the GC but a good immi attorney will be able to get them removed.

          Reply
  2. Noha Kamal July 11, 2015 12:45 am

    we are family from Egypt, planing to visit states and change to E2 visa after buying an existting business. i was told that after 2 years and 4 month i can apply for green card…. is that true

    Reply
    • IanScott July 11, 2015 3:35 am

      Hello, you can apply for a green card at any time if you are eligible for a green card. Visas do not “lead” to green cards but you can apply for a green card if you meet the criteria. (eg. marriage, EB-5 investment, etc.). Please contact us if you would like to set up a paid consultation to discuss further. Kind regards,

      Reply
  3. George Sander August 8, 2015 10:45 pm

    Hello, for how long a E-2 VIsas \when they first approved and issued, how many times can they be renewed and for long are they renewed ??

    Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Shahid Hussain Shera September 18, 2015 6:34 am

    Dear Sir,
    Thank you for sharing this article.It answers my concern regarding the impact of E2 application on the green card application already filed.
    My next question is that I have already identified an existing business that I intend to take over. I want to visit the USA to see the business operations and assess its future prospects by talking to the existing stakeholders. What category of visa should I apply for doing so?
    And if I come to the conclusion that the business is feasible for me to take over, could I then apply for the E2 visa through an attorney while I am in the USA.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    Reply
    • IanScott September 18, 2015 12:38 pm

      Thank you for contacting us. You could enter on a B-1 visa to assess business opportunities and visit a potential E-2 business. We could certainly assist you with your application while you are here or in your home country. Please contact us to set up a consultation and we would be happy to help.

      Kind regards,

      Reply
  5. Robbie October 3, 2015 4:14 pm

    I have a close friend who is on an E-2 visa. He moved to the US from Germany in 1991 and started a company with his business partner. He’s interested in obtaining his green card for permanent residence in the US, but has been discouraged about the possibility in how to go about this, as he feels the process is vague and confusing. I’ve suggested he talk to an immigration lawyer, but I think he’s a bit discouraged.

    Reply
    • IanScott October 3, 2015 4:45 pm

      Thank you and you offered him good advice. The process to move to a green card is not a simple one and requires explanation. I encourage him to set up a consultation with us.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards,

      Reply
  6. Fahad Hassan October 7, 2015 9:44 am

    Dear Ian Scott,

    I am planning for E-2 visa with a substantial amount of about $150,000. I am doing job at Siemens Pakistan and having a property business with my father. I have never been visit to USA.

    Q#1: So what documents must be carry before applying?

    Q#2: Should I apply on E-2 visa or B-1?

    Q#3: Will I get a gas station with $100,000 amount or not in New York state or Massachusetts?

    Thanks & Regards,
    Fahad Hassan

    Reply
    • IanScott October 7, 2015 12:52 pm

      Thank you very much for contacting us. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S..

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and we would be happy to send you a link so that we can set up an appointment.

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

      Reply
  7. Adriana Oliveira December 31, 2015 11:02 pm

    Dear Sirs,

    I’m intending to start business in Miami, under E2 Visa. How much would cost the whole process when hiring your law firm?

    Thank you.

    Adriana de Oliveira

    Reply
  8. Suprateek Sandu January 9, 2016 5:39 pm

    Dear Ian,

    I am an Australian citizen, currently in US on a E3 Visa. I am a senior IT Professional with 20+ years of experience, MBA and other post graduation qualifications.

    I am looking at investing into my own IT Business (established and currently operating in the US), either myself or in partnership.

    What are the best options for me E2 or EB5? I am looking at long term settling in US, so a path to Green Card (citizenship) would be good.

    Looking forward to you response.

    Regards,

    Reply
  9. Lise February 1, 2016 6:23 pm

    Friends of mine came from Italy with an E-2 Visa. They were partners with another couple from Italy to open a Gelato Store. They exhausted all their money and ended up walking away from the business due to not seeing eye to eye with each other. Do they need to open up another business to stay here or can they change their E-2 Visa to just a working visa?

    Looking forward to you response.

    Reply
    • IanScott February 1, 2016 9:44 pm

      Thank you for contacting us. They would likely have to get a new visa and may have issues with current status. I would recommend setting up a one hour consultation to discuss. I look forward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards,

      Reply
  10. faraz March 21, 2016 6:14 am

    i have B1-B2 visa can i apply for E2 visa while visiting usa and how long is the process

    Reply
  11. David March 22, 2016 5:33 pm

    Canadian citizen living in the US for a year on a E2 visa which is tied to the company I work for. As a Canadian citizen on a E2 visa am I eligible to apply on my own/thru legal counsel for my own H1B or green gard?

    Reply
    • IanScott March 22, 2016 8:07 pm

      Thank you for contacting us. You could apply for an E-2 investor visa or an H-1B based on Self employment (but the deadline for this is April 1). You can get your employer to sponsor you for a green card but you cannot sponsor yourself for your green card. Thanks,

      Reply
  12. Dan April 9, 2016 12:25 am

    Hello,
    I’ve recently got a Visa E2 by purchasing an existing business. There are over 20 employees working in the business, half FT half PT. May I be qualified to change the status to a VISA E-5? Purchasing an existing business is a qualified condition for that issue? Thanks

    Reply
    • IanScott April 9, 2016 12:28 am

      Thank you very much for contacting us and we welcome the opportunity to help you with your legal needs.

      At your earliest convenience, we would be happy to offer you a consultation with one of our lawyers. If after the consultation you decide to hire us to work on your matter and your billing is greater than $2,500, our $250 one hour consultation fee will be waived and the amount will be applied towards your future bill. (As such, the consultation would be free).

      While some legal questions appear straight forward, most do not have a yes or no answer and a proper answer requires a review of the facts and circumstances as well as an application of legal knowledge. Moreover, almost all questions require follow up and additional analysis that is best done during a consultation.

      We look forward to working with you and please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation. For your ease of reference, I have included information below to set up a consultation.

      Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      Reply
  13. MR April 20, 2016 2:59 am

    Hello,

    I live in Pakistan, I run an online website, I earn from that website approx 4000 USD per month, also I have $50,000 cash saved. The issue is I have never filled taxes as for online website their is no such rule for taxes here. Is my money clean for applying e-2?

    Reply
    • IanScott April 20, 2016 1:23 pm

      Thank you very much for contacting us. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S..

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and we would be happy to send you a link so that we can set up an appointment.

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

      Reply
  14. Muhammad Amin April 30, 2016 11:31 am

    Hello,
    I am going to take E2 status soon and para rarely i would like to have my uncle to sponsor me as a manager in one of his gas station.
    is it possible if i can carry E2 status and change my status once i have the sponsor form my uncle.

    Reply
    • IanScott May 1, 2016 2:28 pm

      Thank you very much for contacting us and we welcome the opportunity to help you with your legal needs.

      At your earliest convenience, we would be happy to offer you a consultation with one of our lawyers. If after the consultation you decide to hire us to work on your matter and your billing is greater than $2,500, our $250 one hour consultation fee will be waived and the amount will be applied towards your future bill. (As such, the consultation would be free).

      While some legal questions appear straight forward, most do not have a yes or no answer and a proper answer requires a review of the facts and circumstances as well as an application of legal knowledge. Moreover, almost all questions require follow up and additional analysis that is best done during a consultation.

      We look forward to working with you and please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation. For your ease of reference, I have included information below to set up a consultation.

      Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      Reply
  15. Mimmi May 22, 2016 10:35 pm

    Hi, Thank you for a great site!

    We are a family of four (4 adults though) but we are planning to start a business in Texas, and now we are wondering if a E2-visa for us could be changed to a Green Card in the future? We heard that the E2-visa is not a Immigrant Visa, but what does that mean? 🙂 I’ve serached the internet but find different answers all the time…

    I DO know that Visa not leads to Green Card, I just wonder if it’s possible for us in the future to “apply” for Green Card at our E2-visa?

    Plaese let me know, this is a very big milestone in our planning! 🙂

    THANK YOU!

    /Mimmi from Sweden

    Reply
  16. Robin Kim May 23, 2016 2:19 am

    Hello, I am an 18-year old male who has been living on the island of Guam since the age of 1. I have just graduated from high school this May. I am under the E-2 Dependent Visa because of my parents. Both parents are Korean citizens as so am I. My uncle and aunt are both U.S. citizens and I heard that is supposed to be some kind of advantage in receiving the green card or U.S. Citizenship. So my question is, how long will it take to be qualified for the green card/citizenship? Can I just ask for an application, or must I wait until my family is noticed by the government? My parents keep telling me that we must wait while some of my teachers tell me to apply for a green card.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • IanScott May 23, 2016 2:50 am

      Thank you very much for contacting us and we welcome the opportunity to help you with your legal needs.

      At your earliest convenience, we would be happy to offer you a consultation with one of our lawyers. If after the consultation you decide to hire us to work on your matter and your billing is greater than $2,500, our $250 one hour consultation fee will be waived and the amount will be applied towards your future bill. (As such, the consultation would be free).

      While some legal questions appear straight forward, most do not have a yes or no answer and a proper answer requires a review of the facts and circumstances as well as an application of legal knowledge. Moreover, almost all questions require follow up and additional analysis that is best done during a consultation.

      We look forward to working with you and please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation. For your ease of reference, I have included information below to set up a consultation.

      Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      Reply
      • IanScott May 23, 2016 3:10 am

        Thank you for contacting us. We would be happy to help you with your immigration needs. If you have an E-2 visa, you can apply for any green card category that you are available for. One common category for E-2 visa holders is an EB-5 green card where the applicant initially gets an E-2 visa and then later applies for an EB-5 green card. We would be happy to discuss this further during a consultation.

        Please contact us if you would like to set up a one hour consultation.

        Kind regards,

        Reply
  17. Aditya Shah October 10, 2016 4:52 am

    I am on e3 and considering to convert to e2. I am also planning to get a green card with a previously approved i140. Need guidance!

    Aditya

    Reply
  18. Maria Wilson October 16, 2016 4:44 am

    Hi, we have held an E2 visa and renewed five times, up for next five year in January, my son will be turning 21 next year who is an American citizen, what’s our simplest thing to do, renew as usual for another five year E2? Or apply to change status to Green Card? Or wait for son to sponsor us? Thank you

    Reply
    • IanScott October 16, 2016 6:40 pm

      Thank you for contacting us. We would welcome the opportunity to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers to answer your legal questions. Please let us know if you would like to set something up. Kind regards,

      Reply
  19. Adam Mahamat Issa November 6, 2016 4:40 pm

    Hello Dear Ian
    My wife’s from e2 qualified country and she got Tourist visa B2 visa and wanted to open Beauty Salon her budget is $40.000 USD as a business so how she can apply for Green Card while B1 visa not allow to stay more than 6 months in US.
    Best
    Adam

    Reply
    • IanScott November 10, 2016 3:03 am

      Hello and thank you very much for contacting us. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S.. I have attached a link to our E-2 visa brochure below that describes our services and fees and you can see from the brochure that we can also help you with your business plan and your business entity set-up.

      E-2 Visa Brochure

      http://legalservicesincorporated.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/E-2BrochureScottLegalServices20151.pdf

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and I have attached the link to set up a consultation below.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

      Reply
  20. Alex Moreno November 10, 2016 12:24 am

    Hello Ian, I have an E2 Visa and renewed two times , up until june 2018. My sister is a US Citizen. Can she make a petition for me for permanent residence (green card) meanwhile I continue with my E2 Visa? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • IanScott November 10, 2016 3:04 am

      Thank you for contacting us. Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      Kind regards,

      Reply

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