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FREE Coaching Service: E-2 Visa and EB-5 Visa Specialists.

FREE Service E2 Visa and EB5 Visa Specialists

E2 and EB5 Visas are special programs for foreign nationals who wish to invest and reside in the United States. Qualifications and regulations for either Visa Programs vary from country to country and individual needs for the investor. The E-2 Investor Visa allows an individual to enter and work inside of the United States based on an investment he or she will be controlling, while inside the United States. This visa must generally be renewed every five years, but there is no limit to how many times one can renew. The EB-5 Visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States.

Foreign investors need to choose the right Visa option for their business and franchise needs. Our skilled counseling staff and affiliated attorneys and businesses can assist you in making the right decision for your foreign investment and make the process quick and easy so that you can begin your business as soon as possible. We are experts in determining the best program for any individual. We represent Franchises that will work with Visa Clients and we have the attorneys who will guide the Visa Candidate through the application process.

The information on this page will introduce you to the diligence and guidance we will provode as you search for a franchise.

 

1. Comparing EB-5 Visa Program and E-2Visa Program

 
Visa EB-5 E-2

Intention

Immigrant

Non-Immigrant

Experience

Not required

Should have experience in operating a business

Process Time

12-18 months

(6-8 months for I-526 petition+Over 4 month for adjustment of status)

Depending on how quickly you can find the business and prepare the documents

3 weeks to 3 months

Depending on how quickly you can find the business and prepare the documents

Qualified Nations

All nations

Country list can be found on Department of State website

The Minimum Amount of Investment

$500,000

$100,000

Investment Territory

Territories which are approved by USCIS

Anywhere in the USA

Residency Territory

Anywhere in the USA

Close to the business location

Business Operation

Regional center can manage and operate the business under the program, but active participation in new commercial enterprise

Directly operate the business

Employment

Regional center can manage employment process and documentation, but immigrants must be active participation in new commercial enterprise

Responsible for own employment process and documentation

Special Requirements

10 full-time jobs must be created, but can be indirect or induced, if investment is in Regional Center

Profitability is necessary, so should plan to make more than a livelihood, and make significant economic contribution within 5 years

Visa Process and Duration of Stay

  • Find the business of your interest and approve the investment.

  • Apply for Immigration Petition by Alien Entrepreneur (application form I-526).

  • Apply for the Visa through the USA consulate or USCIS.

  • Get EB-5 visa within 6 months to obtain conditional Green Card.

  • Before approaching to the end of second year, apply for Permanent Green Card through Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions (application form I-829).

  • Approve the investment in the USA.

  • Apply for non-immigrant visa (application forms DS-160)

  • Apply for Treaty Investor (application form DS-156E).

  • Get your E-2 visa.

  • Every 2 or 5 years apply for your visa extension through Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker (application form I-129).

 

2. Some Advantages and Disadvantages of the E-2 and EB-5 Visa

The E-2 Visa allows foreign investors to work in the United States based on the investment that he or she will be maintaining while in the country. In order for the foreign investor to obtain an E-2 Visa they must be coming from a country that has a treaty with the United States that allows qualifying nationals to obtain an E-2 Visa. The investor can either work for a business that they invested funds into or maintain their own new business within the United States. The E-2 Visa is not valid after 5 years, but there is an unlimited amount of times that a foreign investor can receive an extension. There is no minimum investment required for foreign investors to obtain an E-2 Visa, but the lower the investment; the less likely you are to qualify for an E-2 Visa. The visa holder may enter and leave the United States as much as he or she wishes as long as the Visa is still valid. The investor’s family, including a spouse and unmarried children will be issued an E-2 Dependent Visa to legally stay in the United States. The foreign investor’s spouse will be able to legally work in the United States and his or her children will be able to attend school in the United States until they are 21 years old.

Although children of the investor will be able to attend school in the United States, they will not be able to legally work in the United States. After children turn 21 years old, they must obtain their own Visa to stay in the country. The E-2 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, unlike the EB-5 Visa, which means that the investor cannot obtain citizenship in the United States with their investment or business. Investors do not qualify for benefits that permanent residents in the United States receive. For example, E-2 Visa holders are not qualified for federal student loans, homestead exemption, and certain types of financial aid or university scholarships. The E-2 Visa in only valid if the investment is successful. If an investment or business run by an investor fail, then the investor needs to leave the country even if their E-2 Visa has not expired.

The EB-5 Visa provides foreign investors with a way to obtain a green card in order to invest in a business opportunity in the United States. The EB-5 Visa allows foreign investors to immigrate to the United States to become permanent residents. Investors can maintain their business in the United States or from their home country. If the foreign investor has a spouse and children, a green card allows the investor to pursue permanent resident status for the members of their family. Children of the foreign investor can attend school and be eligible for scholarships in the United States until the age of 21. The EB-5 Visa is very flexible for foreign investors because there are different investment options. Foreign Investors can either choose to make a direct investment or invest in a Regional Center Project. They are able to invest in their own business, work for any employer in any position and are able to retire.

Since Investors with the EB-5 Visa become permanent residents of the United States, they are required to fulfill all of the responsibilities of an American citizen. This can be a disadvantage for some investors. EB-5 Visa investors must pay all income taxes and assets in the United States. Foreign investors must be present in the United States for at least 180 days of the year in order to maintain their residency. Another disadvantage of the EB-5 Visa is that foreign investors need to invest at least $500,000 into a business opportunity in the United States.


3. Direct Investment of EB-5 versus EB-5 Regional Center Investment

The EB-5 Direct Investment Program provides foreign investors with a $1,000,000 investment option and a $500,000 investment option. The foreign investor must invest at least $1,000,000 into a “new commercial enterprise” in order to qualify for the $1,000,000 EB-5 Direct Investment. The investment can be in the form of cash, equipment or any other tangible products that are purchased for the business. The “new commercial enterprise” is a commercial enterprise that was established after November 29, 1990. A group of investors are able to invest in the same business opportunity as partners as long as each $1,000,000 investment results in the creation of at least 10 new full-time jobs for U.S. citizens or immigrant workers that are not a part of the investors immediate family.

Foreign investors can also choose to invest $500,000 into the EB-5 Direct Investment Program. This investment must be in a “targeted employment area.” There are two different options when investing in a “targeted employment area.” The foreign investor can choose to invest money in an area where there is high unemployment (150% of the national average) or investors can invest in a rural area, which can be anywhere outside of a city with a population of 20,000 or more.

The Immigration and Nationality Act requires that 10,000 Visas per year are available to immigrants that are seeking permanent residence in the United States. This means that 10,000 EB-5 Visas are initiated every year to immigrants. Of these 10,000 visas, 5,000 are set aside for immigrants that apply to invest money in a regional center. A regional center is recognized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a legal entity, organization, or agency which allows foreign investors to invest money into a project in order to obtain permanent residency. Some typical Regional Center Programs are a real estate limited partnership or a limited partnership program that makes loans to businesses. A limited partnership means that the foreign investor is not directly involved in the activity of the Regional Center. Since the foreign investor is only a limited partner, there is more responsibility on the Regional Center than on the investor. The Regional Center must create 10 new jobs for every investment made. The investor must provide USCIS with proof that they legally obtained the money for the investment and tax returns from the investment before obtaining permanent residency in the U.S.

Although the EB-5 Regional Center Program requires the least amount of participation from the foreign investor, there are some down falls to this option. USCIS requires that a Regional Center investment is considered “at risk” because the Regional Center cannot guarantee that the investor will gain their investment back. An EB-5 Direct Investment by a qualified attorney is more likely to be approved for most investors than a Regional Center Investment. A Direct Investment is also quicker and requires a shorter process than the Regional Center Investment.


4. Application Process of E-2 and EB-5 Visa

If you would like to apply for an E-2 Visa, you must be willing to complete all of the requirements of an E-2 Visa. These requirements are described earlier in this article. If you are living in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status you can apply to change your status to an E-2 Investment Classification. In order to do this, you must file Form I-129.

If you are living outside of the United States you must follow the application procedure that is provided on the United States Department of State Website. The application involves submitting Form DS-160 online with a photo and then printing it to bring to an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You must set up an appointment for this interview. After setting up your interview, you must pay your application fees and collect all of the required documentation for your interview. You will need a valid passport, a copy of your Visa application, the receipt for your application fee, and a photo of yourself.


If you would like to apply for an EB-5 Visa, you must be willing to complete all of the requirements of an EB-5 Visa. These requirements are discussed earlier in this article. In addition to those requirements, you must also complete Form I-526 and submit it to be approved.

If you live in the United States and would like to adjust your Visa status to an EB-5 Visa, you can apply for permanent residency using Form I-485. You can complete Form I-485 after Form I-526 is approved and a Visa number is available for you. You will need to submit a copy of your passport, government issued identification card, birth certificate, court records if you have been arrested, medical exam and vaccination record and an application fee.

If you are living outside of the United States and would like to apply for an EB-5 Visa, you can apply through consular processing. Consular processing can only begin once Form I-526 has been approved. Consular processing is when United States Citizenship and Immigration Services works with the Department of State to issue a Visa. This process involves the applicant completing an interview, police report and medical exam at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country. Consular Processing is generally faster than adjusting your Visa status.


5. Common Immigration Scams

If you need advice about the immigration process or how to obtain a Visa, you should only speak to a law attorney or an accredited representative that works for the Board of Immigration Appeals. There are many advertisements and organizations that offer immigration help, but they are not authorized to give legal advice. Here is a list of immigration scams that you should avoid and be cautious of.

Telephone Scams- USCIS will not call you or ask for any payment over the phone. If someone calls you claiming to be an USCIS official and asks for personal information, payment or false information about your immigration record just hang up.

“Notario Publico”- In many Latin American countries, “notarios” are legal attorneys. However, in the U.S. notary publics are people that are appointed by the government to witness the signing of important documents and oaths. They are not qualified to give any legal advice about immigration.

Local Businesses- Some local businesses may guarantee to get you an immigration document like a Visa or Green Card. These businesses charge higher fees and the filing process takes longer.

Visa Lottery- Once a year the Department of State makes 50,000 Visas available via random selection. The people involved in this lottery meet strict requirements and come from countries with low rates of immigration.The only way to apply for the Visa Lottery is through the government application process. The Department of State will not send emails to applications. Many unofficial organizations and scammers will email you asking for a fee for the lottery or saying that you won. These are scam emails and you should delete them.

Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) - This government agency no longer exists as of 2003. Many organizations and scammers will make reference to this, but it is all false information.Please contact our skilled counseling staff for specific information and qualifications for these visa programs. Please be assured that our affiliated attorneys and businesses are experts in expediting these visa programs. We have identified many businesses that specialize in working with visa candidates. We can assist you every step of the way to make this an easy and quick process.