Today we break down the main types of Investment visas that allow you to work and/ or live in the US.
EB5, E2, L1A, H1B, EB2
The information in today’s communique will help you decide which US visa is best for you. We believe that the EB-5 Immigration Investment Visa offers the best long-term security and peace of mind.
Let’s compare the main work/ residency visas.
EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa
The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa for investors, entrepreneurs, and anyone who is looking to start a business in the USA. To qualify for an EB-5 visa, you must invest at least USD 500,000 in a US business. Additionally, the business invested in must create 10 full-time jobs for US workers.
E2 Treaty Investor Visa
The E-2 Investor Visa allows an individual to enter and work in the United States based on an investment in a US business. The non-immigrant E2 visa is valid for three months to five years (depending on the country of origin) and can be extended indefinitely. The investment must be “substantial”, generally at least $100,000 in a startup, business, or franchise.
The E-2 visa is NOT available to citizens of certain countries, such as Peru.
L1A Manager Visa
The L1A visa is a non-immigrant visa for foreign executives or managers being transferred to their company’s US offices. The L1A individual visa is one of the L1 visa types for intra-company transferees and allows US employers to transfer foreign employees in executive or managerial positions to one of their affiliated offices in the US. The L-1 visa also allows employers to bring foreign employees to the US with the purpose of establishing a new US branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their organization.
H1B Temporary Work Visa
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States that allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation requires the application of specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of work experience. The duration of stay is three years, extendable to six years; after which the visa holder may need to reapply.
EB2 for advanced degree and specialized professions
The EB2 immigrant visa is a green card option available to those with exceptional ability or advanced degrees. There are three categories under EB2. The EB2-A category is for those who hold advanced degrees. The EB2-B category is for those with exceptional ability. The EB2-C category is for people for whom their permanent residence is in the national interest of the United States.
Many visas allow for temporary work or study; fewer offer long-term residency. Most visas for specialists, professionals, and high net worth individuals don’t automatically result in residency.
Of the 5 visas profiled above, only 2 ( EB5 and EB2) are truly immigrant visas.
Both of these are niche/ specialist visas:
- In the case of the EB-5 visa, residency is bestowed through substantial investment (USD 500,000 +)
- And with the EB-2, residency is bestowed via exceptional education or talent.
To note, the E2 Visa, while not an immigration visa, can be renewed as long as one owns or manages a business. However, it is not available for residents of Peru.
EB5 Visa: Timeline to Residency and Citizenship
It currently takes about 18 months on average for USCIS to process an I-526.
Adjustment of Status Visa Processing:
Takes about 6 months
Takes about 8 to 12 months
Conditional Permanent Residency:
For 2 years you are a conditional green card holder, until approval of your I-829 petition.
During this 2 year period, you can live and work in the USA.
The current processing time for Form I-829 is roughly up to 2.5 years.
Permanent Residency (Green Card):
Once your I-829 is approved you are a permanent resident.
After being a permanent resident for at least 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization to become a US citizen.
EB-5 Visa Summary:
The EB-5 visa is an immigrant visa for investors and entrepreneurs.
To get approved, you must invest in a US company and create at least 10 jobs for US workers.
With an EB-5 visa you can get a green card for yourself, your spouse, and your children.
We suggest you familiarize yourself with your best options for living, investing in, and working in the US.
Hundreds of US immigration attorneys are ready to assist in the naturalization process. So clearly the information is out there.
We welcome your questions and your requests.