Interested in an Investor Visa? Differences Between E-2 Visa and EB-5 Visa

While E-2 and EB-5 are both Investor visas, they have several differences.  This chart summarizes many of the key differences between the two investor visas.


Item E-2 Investor Visa EB-5 Investor Visa


Length of Visa Temporary Visa but can be renewed indefinitely.  Visa can be approved for 5 years at Consulate but is often approved for less time Green Card – Permanent Resident Card
Amount of Investment Depends on the type of business but can be as low as $50,000 $500,000 or $1,000,000 depending on where the business is located
Number of Jobs That Must Be Created No specific number of jobs but company cannot be set up just to support Investor and his/her family 10 Full-time jobs
Level of involvement of Investor Active – no passive investment permitted Active or somewhat passive as investment can be through a regional center
Proof for Source of Funds Money must come from a legitimate source and traced Money must come from a legitimate source and traced and requirement is more extensive than the source of funds requirement for E-2 Visas
Time Investor Must Spend in the U.S. No set time but Investor must actively manage the business Investor must meet Green Card requirements.  Generally speaking, if you leave the U.S. for one year, you have abandoned your green card.
Restrictions on Visa The investor can only work for the business that was purchased or created. This visa is a non-immigrant visa with the same restrictions as other non-immigrant visas. An Immigrant visa (green card) but the green card is conditional for the first two years.  After two years, Investor must apply to have the conditions removed by showing 10 full-time jobs have been created.
Business Plan Required Yes Yes and the business plan has very specific requirements
Treatment of Family Spouse and minor children may also get E-2 visa. Spouse can apply for work authorization. Children can go to school but cannot work. Spouse and minor children also get green cards
Timing for Application Processing Can be processed in as little as one month Over one year
Cost Legal fees of $5,000-$6,000 and $270 if filed at a consulate. Legal fees over $25,000 and filing fees over $2,000.
Level of Complexity of the visa process Medium High

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 for a consultation.


  1. Khalid Munir April 1, 2014 4:11 pm

    Very useful information. I have a question::
    Is there a difference between these two visas in transfer of fund mechanism?

  2. Sardar Hamid Ali Zahid August 22, 2015 4:09 am

    I’m interested in small business. Question 1:I’m free to work at any city in USA? Question 2:How much time it’s take the whole process?

    • IanScott August 23, 2015 7:52 pm

      Thank you for contacting us. Please contact us to set up a consultation to discuss your goals and the services we can offer you. We look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards,


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