The International Entrepreneur Rule is a new visa program that allows entrepreneurs to live and work in the U.S. This visa option gives entrepreneurs the ability to come to the U.S. for up to 5 years if they meet certain conditions.
You can find out more about the detailed International Entrepreneur Rule requirements by clicking here.
Another popular investor visa is the E-2 visa. An E-2 visa is only available to nationals of certain countries and can be a great option for those who want to buy or start a business in the U.S.
You can find out more about the E-2 visa by clicking here.
The International Entrepreneur Rule and the E-2 visa have some similarities, but are very different.
The table below describes some of the key features of each program:
|Topic /Question||E-2 Visa||International Entrepreneur Rule|
|How long is the visa/status issued for?||Maximum period of 5 years when initially granted but can be renewed indefinitely. For some countries the maximum visa issuance time is 3 months.||30 Month initial grant with the ability to extend for another 30 months if certain criteria have been met.|
|Is there an investment amount requirement?||Yes but no specific amount and the investment amount depends on the type of business. The investment can be as low as $50,000 in some cases.||Investment amount is not specific but if qualifying based on investment, then the investment amount must be $250,000 from a qualified investor.|
|Does the investment have to be made by the entrepreneur?||For an e-2 investor visa, the investment must be made by the entrepreneur, but this is not required for an E-2 employee visa.||No. The entrepreneur does not have to invest anything.|
|How many jobs must be created?||No set amount. Generally 3 after 5 years would be required to renew.||No set amount but the business must be set up to create jobs. One of the ways to renew is to create 5 full-time jobs.|
|Who must be hired?||No specific requirements but the workers have to be in the U.S.||No specific requirements but the workers have to be in the U.S.|
|Can you obtain the immigration benefit if you purchase an existing business?||Yes||This immigration benefit is usually obtained when the business is a start up that requires investors|
|Do you need a business plan?||Normally yes. If you are buying a business, a business plan may not be required.||Yes|
|Do you have to show where the money came from?||Yes. An E-2 visa has a strict source of funds requirements.||No|
|Who must own the company?||Nationals of the Treaty Country must own at least 50% of the business.||Entrepreneur must own at least 10% of company initially.|
|Is there a nationality requirement?||Yes||No|
|Does the entrepreneur have to have an active role?||Yes||Yes|
|Does the status lead to a green card?||No||No|
|How are family treated?||Spouse and children under 21 can come to the U.S. Both can go to school but only spouse can apply for work authorization.||Spouse and children under 21 can come to the U.S. Both can go to school but only spouse can apply for work authorization.|
|Forms filed||DS-160 or I-129||I-941|
|Level of Complexity of the Visa Process||Moderate||Moderate|
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