There's a lot of talk about immigration in the current news cycle. But even so, most people don't realize just how complex visa programs actually are. As any immigration attorney knows, there are numerous ways to apply for permission to live and work in the United States. And while 60% of U.S. immigrants have lived here for at least 15 years, it can take a long time to even get here -- particularly if you don't understand the differences between visa programs. Although your EB 5 or E2 visa attorney will tell you that both of these programs are geared towards investors, there are quite a few differences between these two programs. We'll touch on some of those differences in today's post, but you should still contact your lawyer for help with the visa application process.
E2 visas grant a person temporary stay in the United States. It's actually referred to as a "non-immigrant" visa and is reserved for foreign nationals from specific countries that have pre-existing treaties with the United States. Your E2 immigration lawyers will explain that you can have this visa renewed as many times as you want, providing you are still deemed eligible for the program. They will enter the U.S. solely to develop this genuine enterprise, which makes it a poor choice for someone who wants to seek permanent residence for themselves and their family.
E2 visas, like EB 5 visas, require a monetary investment in a U.S. business enterprise. But unlike the EB 5 visa, those who apply for the E2 visa program will find there is no set financial amount. You'll have to meet requirements for job creation (which is less specific than with an EB 5 visa) and the investment amount is more subjective, depending on the consulate that makes the final decision. Unlike with an EB 5 visa, an E2 visa holder must take an active role in the business they've invested in. This visa holder must also be an owner, executive, manager, or a skilled worker.
As you may know from your EB5 visa lawyers, this visa program is also geared towards investors -- but the visa applicant wants to seek to live here permanently. This immigrant visa, which may also be referred to as a green card, allows conditional residency which can then be turned into permanent residency after the conditions of the program have been met. There are only 10,000 of these visas issued every year. However, it's the only one of these two programs that would be an appropriate choice for someone who wants to live in the U.S. permanently.
With an EB5 visa, you will have to invest anywhere from $500,000 to $1,000,000 in a legitimate, new U.S. business. With this investment, you'll need to create at least 10 full-time jobs (either directly or indirectly). You'll also need to prove that your source of funds is lawful. This is also a factor in E2 visa applicants, but EB 5 source tracing tends to be a bit more rigorous. This is just one reason why you'll need help with the visa application process. In contrast to the E2 visa, EB 5 visa holders may not always take an extremely active role in their enterprise (particularly if their investment was made through a regional center).
Regardless of which program you'll be applying for, you'll likely need help with the visa application process. Our immigration attorneys are here to assist you along every step of the way and ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible. For more information, please contact our firm today.