E-2 Investor Visa:
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 investment must be “substantial”. Investor visas are available only to treaty countries,which include countries like Albania and Senegal, but do not include Brazil, Russia, India and China.For new startups, the investment must be large enough to start and operate the business. The amount of investment varies on the type of business. The investment will not be considered substantial if it is not large enough to capitalize the venture. The USCIS will use an ‘Inverted Sliding Scale’ to determine whether the investment is substantial in proportion to the overall cost of the enterprise. Upon conclusion of the business, investors must return to their countries of origin, or change their status. The holder of an E-2 visa may leave the United States at any time.
EB-5 Investor 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 $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” – high unemployment or rural area), 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. If the foreign national investor’s petition is approved, the investor and their dependents will be granted conditional permanent residence valid for two years.Within the 90 day period before the conditional permanent residence expires, the investor must submit evidence documenting that the full required investment has been made and that 10 jobs have been maintained, or 10 jobs have been created or will be created within a reasonable time period.