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E-2 Visa vs. EB-5 Visa
 

E-2 Visa vs. EB-5 Visa

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The E-2 Visa is a long-term, renewable, nonimmigrant work visa, available to investors from countries that have signed an investment treaty with the United States. ...

The E-2 Visa is a long-term, renewable, nonimmigrant work visa, available to investors from countries that have signed an investment treaty with the United States.

The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa, i.e., it leads to permanent residence.

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    E-2 Visa vs. EB-5 Visa E-2 Visa vs. EB-5 Visa Document Transcript

    • EB-­‐5  Visa  Quick  Tips  From  Which  EB5  –  www.WhichEB5.com  E-­‐2  Visa  vs.  EB-­‐5  Visa    [Although  content  below  has  been  provided  by  experienced  EB-­‐5  visa  attorney  it  is  not  to  be  considered  advice  as  to  your  suitability  or  qualification  for  any  visa  program]    The  E-­‐2  Visa  is  a  long-­‐term,  renewable,  nonimmigrant  work  visa,  available  to  investors  from  countries  that  have  signed  an  investment  treaty  with  the  United  States.    The  E-­‐2  investor  visa  requires  a  substantial  investment  (sufficient  to  develop  a  profitable  business)  into  an  active  enterprise  that  is  not  marginal.  Non-­‐marginality  means  that  the  business  must  have  a  significant  impact  on  the  local  economy:  by  creating  jobs  for  local  workers  and  by  having  sufficient  income  to  realize  a  profit  beyond  paying  the  owner  a  living  wage,  while  employing  at  least  5+  full-­‐time  workers.  The  E-­‐2  investment  must  be  made  or  the  investment  funds  must  be  placed  in  escrow  in  the  U.S.  before  the  visa  application  can  be  submitted.  In  most  cases,  consulates  issue  first-­‐time  E-­‐2  investor  visas  only  for  2  years.  If  the  E-­‐2  investor  business  qualifies  at  visa  renewal  time,  subsequent  visas  are  generally  issued  for  the  period  specified  in  the  investment  treaty.    E-­‐2  investor  visas  can  be  renewed  for  as  long  as  the  U.S.  business  qualifies  the  investor,  that  is,  as  long  as  the  sponsoring  business  employs  several  full-­‐time  workers  and  is  profitable.  Visa  renewals  are  issued  entirely  at  the  discretion  of  the  consular  officer  who  adjudicates  the  application.    Advantages  of  the  E-­‐2  visa:      Allow  foreign  applicants  from  over  75  countries,  signatories  of  an  E-­‐2  treaty  with  the  U.S.,  to  establish,  develop,  and  operate  a  business  of  their  choice  in  the  U.S.    There  is  no  set  minimum  amount  of  capital  required.  The  regulations  state  only  that  it  must  be  sufficient  to  develop  a  successful,  non-­‐marginal  business.    Realistically,  in  today’s  economy,  substantial  initial  capital  should  be  at  least  $150,000+  for  the  future  business  to  have  a  chance  to  develop  according  to  the  State  Department  criteria    The  E-­‐2  applicant’s  spouse  and  children  under  21  will  be  issued  E-­‐2  dependent  visas.  The  E-­‐2  spouse  may  apply  for  a  work  authorization  based  on  his/her  E-­‐2  dependent  visa    E-­‐2  dependent  children  under  21  may  attend  the  school  of  their  choice  in  the  U.S.,  but  they  do  not  qualify  for  a  work  visa    E-­‐2  visa  holders  may  stay  outside  the  U.S.  for  an  undetermined  amount  of  time,  and  still  re-­‐enter  the  U.S.  with  their  visa,  as  long  as  it  is  valid;  and  in  many  states,  the  children  of  E-­‐2  
    • EB-­‐5  Visa  Quick  Tips  From  Which  EB5  –  www.WhichEB5.com  visa  holders  qualify  for  in-­‐state  tuition  at  state  universities  until  they  cease  to  qualify  as  E-­‐2  dependents  at  the  age  of  21.    Disadvantages  of  the  E-­‐2  visa:      E-­‐2  visa  renewals  are  generally  denied,  if  the  business  is  borderline  successful  or  struggling;    E-­‐2  visa  holders  can  only  work  for  the  investment  business,  which  served  as  the  basis  for  the  E-­‐2  visa  application    They  have  to  leave  the  U.S.  if  their  business  fails,  even  if  there  E-­‐2  status  has  not  expired    Children  no  longer  qualify  for  dependent  visas  when  they  turn  21,  and  they  must  then  qualify  and  apply  for  a  different  visa  (Student  visa  or  Specialist  visa)  if  they  wish  to  stay  in  the  U.S.    The  E-­‐2  visa,  being  a  non-­‐immigrant  visa,  does  not  lead  to  permanent  residence.    While  it  does  not  bar  a  person  from  pursuing  permanent  residence,  it  also  does  not  provide  a  basis  for  qualifying  for  permanent  residence.  When  E-­‐2  visa  holders  sell  or  close  their  sponsoring  business,  they  must  either  leave  the  U.S.  or  qualify  for  a  different  visa,  if  they  wish  to  stay  in  the  U.S.    E-­‐2  visa  holders  and  their  families  are  issued  E-­‐2  status  in  the  U.S.  for  only  2  years  each  time  they  enter  the  U.S.,  even  if  the  visa  is  valid  longer.  The  constant  travel  requirement  can  be  very  costly,  especially  for  larger  families.    E-­‐2  visa  holders  do  not  qualify  for  the  benefits  enjoyed  by  permanent  residents  like  homestead  exemption,  eligibility  for  federally  insured  student  loans,  certain  types  of  financial  aid  and  scholarships  for  university  studies,  among  other  things.    The  EB-­‐5  Visa  (EB-­‐5  Visa  Regional  Center  Program)    The  EB-­‐5  visa  is  an  immigrant  visa,  i.e.,  it  leads  to  permanent  residence.    The  EB-­‐5  visa  requires  a  capital  commitment  of  $500,000  in  one  of  the  more  than  280  Government-­‐approved  Regional  Centers  in  the  U.S.    A  Regional  Center  is  a  legal  entity,  organization,  or  a  municipal  or  state  agency  that  has  been  designated  as  a  Regional  Center  by  USCIS  (U.S.  Citizenship  and  Immigration  Services),  which  enables  foreign  nationals  to  qualify  for  permanent  residence  based  on  the  use  of  their  capital  in  a  Regional  Center  Project.    A  Regional  Center  sets  up  limited  partnerships,  each  with  its  own  business  activity,  and  manages  the  business  of  the  limited  partnerships  as  the  general  partner.  Foreign  Eb-­‐5  
    • EB-­‐5  Visa  Quick  Tips  From  Which  EB5  –  www.WhichEB5.com  applicants  who  wish  to  obtain  permanent  residence  in  the  United  States  may  become  limited  partners  through  a  $500,000  capital  commitment  in  a  project.  The  applicant  is  not  involved  in  the  daily  management  of  the  Regional  Center.    Regional  Centers  must  create  at  least  10  new,  full-­‐time  jobs  per  applicant  for  the  applicant  to  be  approved  for  permanent  residence.  These  jobs  can  be  direct,  indirect,  or  expenditure-­‐based  jobs.  Each  Regional  Center  Business  Plan  contains  a  “job  creation  methodology”  on  which  the  Center’s  job  calculation  is  based.    The  EB-­‐5  visa  applicant  must  prove  that  he/she  have  provided  funds  to  the  regional  center  that  were  obtained  through  legitimate  means  such  as  employment,  business  ownership,  investment,  inheritance,  or  a  gift.  USCIS  expects  the  investor  to  provide  tax  returns  from  the  applicant’s  home  country  or  country  of  current  residence,  and  to  document  clearly  how  the  funds  were  obtained.    USCIS  requires  that  your  funds  be  “at  risk”  in  the  commercial  sense;  thus,  the  Regional  Centers  cannot  guarantee  the  return  of  the  funds.    EB-­‐5  Visa  Immigration  Processing:      After  the  applicant  has  made  a  $500,000  transfer  of  funds  to  the  Regional  Center  of  his/her  choice,  the  immigration  attorney  files  the  Immigrant  Petition  with  USCIS  on  his/her  behalf.  At  this  stage,  processing  can  take  anywhere  from  3  to  12  months,  depending  on  the  Regional  Center.    Upon  approval  of  the  initial  petition,  the  attorney  files  for  consular  processing  of  an  immigrant  visa  for  the  applicant  and  his/her  family,  or  for  adjustment  of  status  in  the  U.S.,  if  the  client  is  in  the  U.S.  with  a  long-­‐term  visa.    The  initial  conditional  Green  Card  is  issued  for  2  years.  Before  the  end  of  the  2  years,  the  applicant’s  attorney  must  file  for  the  removal  of  the  green  card  condition.  To  qualify  for  the  permanent  green  card,  the  applicant  must  prove  to  immigration  that  the  money  is  still  in  place  and  that  the  Regional  Center  has  created  10  jobs  per  client,  as  per  the  previously  approved  business  plan.    Advantages  of  the  EB-­‐5  Visa  Program:      The  applicant  can  live  in  the  U.S.  State  of  his/her  choice,  and  does  not  need  to  manage  the  business    EB-­‐5  visa  holders  may  work  for  any  employer  in  any  position;  they  may  operate  their  own  business;  or,  they  may  retire;    Unlike  the  E-­‐2,  EB-­‐5  green  card  holders  do  not  have  to  leave  the  U.S.  at  regular  intervals,  and  they  can  manage  their  own  business  without  visa  constraints    
    • EB-­‐5  Visa  Quick  Tips  From  Which  EB5  –  www.WhichEB5.com  EB-­‐5  visa  holders  and  their  family  members  can  freely  enjoy  the  many  benefits  of  permanent  residence  in  the  U.S.    The  children  of  EB-­‐5  green  card  holders  are  free  to  work  or  to  attend  the  school  of  their  choice,  and  they  qualify  for  scholarships  and  in-­‐state  tuition    There  no  repeated  visa  denial  worries  for  EB-­‐5  green  card  holders    Disadvantages  of  the  EB-­‐5  Program:      Some  people  find  the  following  requirements  for  permanent  residence  inconvenient:    Green  Card  holders  must  establish  residence  in  the  U.S.,  and  they  must  be  present  in  the  U.S.  at  least  180  days/year  (unless  they  apply  for  a  re-­‐entry  permit);    Green  Card  holders  must  declare  their  worldwide  income  and  assets  in  the  U.S.  for  tax  purposes.    The  minimum  capital  requirement  is  higher,  namely  $500,000  rather  than  $150,000+.    Under  the  regional  center  version  of  the  EB-­‐5  visa  program,  the  applicant  does  not  manage  the  business  himself.  For  entrepreneurial  types,  this  is  a  disadvantage,  since  they  typically  like  to  have  more  control  over  their  own  destiny.  For  people  who  just  want  to  retire  to  the  U.S.  and  not  work,  or  who  want  to  work  as  an  employee  in  a  type  of  job  that  would  not  normally  qualify  for  a  work  visa  in  the  U.S.,  then  this  is  not  a  disadvantage.  Also,  for  people  who  want  to  develop  a  business  or  pursue  other  activities  in  the  U.S.  that  would  not  normally  qualify  for  a  visa,  then  the  freedom  from  operating  the  business  that  underlies  the  EB-­‐5  visa  program  is  an  advantage.    There  is  another  version  of  the  EB-­‐5  program,  which  enables  an  entrepreneurial  type  to  qualify  for  the  EB-­‐5  green  card  based  on  developing  their  own  business,  and  creating  10+  new,  full-­‐time  jobs.    Which  EB5  hope  you  find  this  comparison  of  the  E-­‐2  Visa  vs.  EB-­‐5  Visa  useful;      We  welcome  your  feedback.