EB-5 Visa: The EB-5 visa for Immigrant Investors is a United States visa created by the Immigration Act of 1990. This visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest at least $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” (high unemployment or rural area), or $1,000,000 – creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers, excluding the investor and their immediate family. Initially, under the first EB-5 program, the foreign investor was required to create an entirely new commercial enterprise; however, under the Pilot Program, investments can be made directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise (new, or existing – “Troubled Business”), or into a “Regional Center” – a 3rd party-managed investment vehicle (private or public), which assumes the responsibility of creating the requisite jobs. Regional Centers may charge an administration fee for managing the investor’s investment.
E2 Visa: The E2 visa for Treaty Investors permits citizens of specific countries (see list below) to reside in the United States through an investment in the USA that they come to manage or oversee. Investment capital and reserves should total at least $100,000 – $200,000, and the applicant must be prepared to demonstrate that the business will employ at least 3 – 4 persons.
Investors developing their own business must come to the U.S. as business visitors to get the business started before applying for the Treaty Investor visa. E2 visas are considered nonimmigrant visas. However, once an investor can qualify and enter into the U.S. in this category, they can look for other opportunities and apply for green cards and eventually citizenship.
Countries that Maintain Treaties of Navigation and Commerce with the United States for E2 Visa Purposes: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Congo, Romania, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.