Should You Choose an E-2 or EB-5 Visa for Your Business Investment Residency?

If you’re considering a business venture in the U.S., you are likely considering applying for either E-2 or EB-5 residency. However, it is easy to get these two types of visas confused. 

Unlike the EB-5, E-2 visas provide temporary work visas for those who are:

  • Returning to their country of origin when their visa expires. The E-2 is a non-immigrant visa, meaning it will not develop into a permanent U.S. residency. 
  • From a country that currently has a trade agreement with the United States. Check here for a list of countries that qualify for E-2 visa status.
  • Entering the country solely in order to develop, oversee, and direct a business investment that will generate income and have a positive impact on the U.S. economy.
  • An executive employee of the business they intend to operate in the U.S.
  • Making a significant investment amount in the United States. Unlike the EB-5 visa, there is no minimum amount required to invest.

What do the differences between E-2 and an EB-5 visa mean to you and your family? It depends on what sort of business investment you are making. Those who wish to open, operate, or directly oversee a business in the U.S. may apply for an E-2 visa. If your family will also be working in your business, they may also be granted E-2 visas. At the end of your residency term, you will not be granted citizenship.

In contrast, the EB-5 is a green card visa. Approved immigrants will receive a conditional green card that may eventually be turned into lawful permanent residency. An EB-5 also does not carry employment restrictions, so applicants may be retired or pursue any career they wish while in the U.S.