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Differences between EB-5 Visa and International Entrepreneur Rule

Business woman considering her options

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.

You can find see common questions and answers related to the entrepreneurial rule by clicking here for series 1 and here for series 2. 

Another popular investor visa is the EB-5 Green Card/Visa.  An EB-5 visa is available if you invest either $500,000 or $1,000,000 and create 10 full-time jobs.

You can find out more about the EB-5 visa by clicking here.

The International Entrepreneur Rule is very different from the EB-5 green card.

The table below describes some of the key features of each program:

Topic /Question EB-5 Green Card International Entrepreneur Rule
How long is the visa/status issued for? Green card is permanent. 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? $500,000 or $1,000,000 depending on where the business is located. 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? Yes No. The  entrepreneur does not have to invest anything.
Does the entrepreneur have to have an active role? Yes but not that active. Yes
How many jobs must be created? 10 Full-time Jobs 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? Green Card Holders or Citizens 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? No This immigration benefit is usually obtained when the business is a start up that requires investors
Do you need a business plan? Yes Yes
Do you have to show where the money came from? Yes. EB-5 has a strict source of funds requirements. No
Who must own the company? Investor must have some equity interest but it can be very small (eg. less than 1%) Entrepreneur must own at least 10% of company initially.
Is there a nationality requirement? Yes No
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 Complex Moderate

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