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Investor Options: E2 vs. EB5

The ever growing number of foreign investors is considering establishing their lives in the United States by means of injecting their capital into the economy of the United States.

One of the ways to relocate to the United States – at least temporarily – is by means of the E-2 visa designed for non-immigrant treaty investors.

The E-2 visa was a very attractive option because relatively low capital amount is required to successfully secure a visa. However, the E-2 visa harbors a number of underwater rocks. Over the last few years, the threshold for a minimal investment amount of about $100,000 has more than doubled. Additionally, the USCIS raised the requirement that the underlying business employed at least five workers, as opposed to two-three. The complexity of a successful application for an E-2 visa is further compounded by the requirement to demonstrate “nonimmigrant intent.”

Another drawback of the E-2 visa is that its benefits are limited to those individuals whose countries are a part of the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the United States.

As a better and broader alternative to resettle in the United States, investors should consider the EB-5 category, which leads to lawful permanent residency in the United States. As opposed to the E-2 visa, the EB-5 category is not limited to the citizens of treaty countries. Moreover, immigrant intent is welcomed and does not pose a bar for a successful application. On the contrary, lawful permanent residency is one of the direct benefits of those individuals who qualify for the EB-5 category. The EB-5 visa is one of the quickest and easiest ways to obtain a Green Card that will allow the investor and his immediate family members enjoy the privileges of living, working, studying or retiring in the United States.

By investing a minimum of $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a qualified Regional Center project, foreign investors skip the onerous task of proving that their investment will result in the creation at least 10 full-time jobs for American workers. Moreover, ensuring the compliance of the capital investment with the EB-5 eligibility requirements becomes the Regional Center’s responsibility. Foreign investors do not have to worry about playing an important role in daily management of their businesses. They can choose the location of their residence anywhere in the United States as well as pursue any other business or educational opportunities without any detriment to their lawful status.


For a more detailed comparison of your immigration investment options please refer to our:


An easy to easy guide that will help you determine what investment immigration options to discuss with your attorney.



History of the EB-5 Visa Program

EB-5 Policy and Legal Considerations


EB-5 Regional Center list state by state

American Immigration Lawyers Association EB-5 Committee and Invest In the USA 

Due Diligence Issues for EB-5 Investments

Retainer agreement disclosures, confirmations, warnings and conflict waivers:

USCIS Executive Summary May 2012 EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

Governors office of California EB-5 UPDATE

Investor Options: E-2 versus EB-5

Advantages and Disadvantages of the E-2 and EB-5 Visas

Documents required for the I-526 Filing



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