An E-2 visa is a visa that is available to entrepreneurs who want to buy or start a business in the U.S. The E-2 visa requires an investment, and the business must also create U.S. jobs. The visa can be granted for up to 5 years and can be renewed indefinitely. You can find all of the E-2 visa requirements by clicking here.
An EB-5 visa is a green card that is available to entrepreneurs who want to invest in a business in the U.S. Like the E-2 visa, the EB-5 business must also create U.S. jobs. You can find out more about the EB-5 requirements by clicking here.
The E-2 and EB-5 visas have some similarities, but the two are quite different. This article summarizes many of the differences between an E-2 Visa and EB-5 green card.
|Topic/Question||E-2 Visa||EB-5 Visa|
|How long is the visa issued for?||Up to 5 years and can be renewed indefinitely.||This is a green card and is initially granted for 2 years. After 2 years, you must submit another application showing that you have hired workers and then the green card will be issued for 10 years.|
|How much do you have to invest?||The E-2 visa does not have a specific amount that must be invested. Investments are normally at least $100,000 but can be less.||$900,000 or $1,800,000. If the business is in what is called a TEA (Targeted Employment Area – rural area or an area with high unemployment) then the amount is $900,000.|
|How many jobs must be created?||The E-2 visa does not have a specific number of employees that must be hired. Normally, after 5 years, the Government would expect to see at least the equivalent of 3 full-time employees.||10 full-time Jobs have to be created for an EB-5 visa.|
|Are there any specific requirements related to who can be hired?||No. As long as the person is legally permitted to work, they can be hired. Also, the workers can be independent contractors, part-time, and do not have to be U.S. citizens or green card holders.||Yes. You must hire full-time workers (35 hours a week) who are citizens or green card holders. This excludes contractors and part-time employees.|
|Can I get the visa if I purchase a business?||Yes. An E-2 investor can buy an existing business and pay the seller for the business.||No. An EB-5 visa will almost never work if you purchase a business as the money has to be invested in the business to create the jobs. As such, if you bought a business, the investor would have to pay the seller and then invest another $900,000 or $1,800,000 in the business to create 10 new U.S. jobs.|
|Do you need a business plan?||Yes, but there are no specific requirements for the business plan.||Yes, but there are specific requirements. The plan must be credible and follow the guidelines set out in Matter of Ho.|
|Do you have to show where the money came from?||Yes. The E-2 visa has a source of funds requirement, but it is much less stringent than EB-5. Normally, we submit very minimal information related to source of funds.||Yes. The EB-5 source of funds requirement is extremely complex. You must show where the money came from in great detail and this section of the petition is often hundreds of pages.|
|Does the investment have to come from the entrepreneur?||No. The investment can be made by a company or other people.||Yes. The investment must be a personal investment from the entrepreneur.|
|What are the ownership requirements?||The E-2 investor must own 50% of the business.||No specific number related to ownership, but the entrepreneur must have some type of equity.|
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