The US government runs two important immigration programs for foreign investors. We tell clients to first properly understand the important difference between E-5 and E-2 visas before applying for immigration to United States. Each program has distinct advantages and requires careful planning.
The key difference lies in only specific country nationals can apply for E-2 visa while Eb-5 program is open to all country nationals.
Here are some of the important differences between E-2 and EB-5 visas.
|Visa Type||Investor visa||Golden Visa|
|Visa Category||Non-immmigrant||Immigrant Visa|
|Min. Investment||$100,000 – $200,000||$900,000 to $1.8 million|
|Visa validity||2-5 years||Temporary Green card (2 years)|
|Job creation||5 jobs||10 jobs|
|Waiting time||3 weeks||2-15 years|
|Residence conditions||None||Must move and live in US.
Not absent for 6 months per year
|Quota||none||10,000 annual limit|
|Work permit||Spouse only||Spouse and children < 21|
|Application paperwork||Easy||Complicated / Strict rules|
|Who can apply?||E-2 treaty countries||No restrictions|
|Taxes on Worldwide income*||May be||Yes|
|Visa fee||$205||$3,675 (I-526 petition)|
|Total Legal costs||$10,000 to $20,000||$50,000 to $100,000|
*Please seek professional tax advise before your immigrate to US.
The EB-5 program was launched by Congress in 1990’s and also later introduced Regional center program with limited quotas. EB-5 is the golden visa visa program has the fastest route to green card and later citizenship after 5 years. The scheme requires $900,000 to be invested in a commercial enterprise and creating 10 jobs.
EB-5 is only suitable for HNW clients.
E-2 visas have number of benefits compared to EB-5, importantly it is cheaper and faster.
Access to E-2 investor visa is a very important benefit that comes from Citizenship by investment (CBI) schemes.
Only nationals from E-2 treaty countries can apply for E-2 non-immigrant visas. China, Vietnam, Nigeria, Russia do not have E-2 treaty direct with US, so citizens from these countries can take advantage of CBI (Citizenship By Investment) schemes as backdoor entry to US
E-2 visas are investor visas, a cheaper alternative to EB-5 in terms of processing speed and investment. Remember E-2 visas are non-immigrant visas and even family members can apply. This visa issued for 2 years with extensions possible.
The use of Citizenship by Investment to secure a E-2 visa has become greatly popular recently among chinese clients.
There are only 7 countries that offer citizenship by investment and also have E-2 treaty investor signed with United States. All other Citizenship by investment programs (CIP) do not offer this benefit
Full list of countries that have no E-2 treaty signed with United States is available here
Full list of countries have E-2 treaty with United States is available here