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Visa E-2 and EB-5

Posted by USAFRANCE, LLC on January 27, 2015 at 1:15 AM

Is it a good strategy to apply for an investor visa (E-2) while waiting to begin the process of EB-5 visa?

Will this get me to a Green Card?


I- Reminder on the E-2 investor visa

Contrary to popular belief, there is no minimum investment required unlike the EB5 visa. But when a foreign investor wishes to obtain the classification as E-2 investor, he must demonstrate that a particular company has been "adequately capitalized" and has a majority stake in a company in the United States.

Three major issues are involved and relate to:

• The company's nationality;

• The investment substantiality;

• Non-marginality of the company.


With respect to the nationality of the company, the investor must be of French nationality and demonstrate that he (she) has a majority stake in American society.

In case of married couples, it is even possible that the spouse holds the majority of shares jointly. In addition, an employee of the foreign investor may still be classified with an E-2 visa if the employee was engaged in an executive position or, if employed minor title, the employee has special qualifications that make its services essential to the efficient operation of the company.

It is important to note that there is no minimum investment amount. However, the investor must demonstrate that it has capitalized sufficiently in the new company or, in case of buying an existing business; he paid the amount needed for the purchase in question. In this respect, so must demonstrate how the value of the company was determined.

To obtain the E-2 visa, the investor must demonstrate that the company will create enough profit to support the investor and family, as well as to hire American employees.

Here are some of the steps necessary to implement to get your investor visa:

1. Form the company;

2. Find the premises for the enterprise;

3. Demonstrate that the business is ready to open its doors;

4. Make a business plan, centerpiece of the visa;

5. Next, the lawyer who will assist you finalize approached the consulate and prepare you for the interview.

All the steps are not listed and do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

This visa will be granted for a period of 2 to 5 years.

If you can demonstrate the ability to succeed, a good investment, and that the file is well prepared, you should be granted a green card for 5 years.

Your spouse may obtain a work permit which can eventually lead you to get the Green Card.

Moreover, a bill is underway to allow E-2 visa holders to apply for Green Card after a certain period and under certain conditions. But for the moment, renewable visa as the business works is a visa that says "No immigrant"

II- The EB-5 visa

The EB5 visa is an immigrant visa.

All EB-5 investors should invest in a new business venture.

The investment must meet the following criteria:

1) A business enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful commercial transactions, including but not limited to:

• A sole proprietorship;

• Partnership (general or limited);

• Holding;

• Joint venture;

• Corporation;

• For trust companies or other entities, which can be public or private, it is not necessary to hold the majority of shares or units of the company.


2) The EB-5 investor visa must establish that the business enterprise can create or retain at least 10 jobs for US citizens or Green Card holders.


3) Investment Requirements:


To obtain an EB-5 visa there is need for minimum investments which are:

• General: The minimum investment to qualify is $ 1 million;

• An investment of USD 500,000 is possible in some areas. An area of targeted Jobs knows unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average (Unemployment High or Rural Zone).


• The EB-5 investor, spouse and eligible children get the Conditional Permanent Resident status for a probationary period of 2 years. One year and nine months after the issuance of their Green Cards, investors should request removal of the conditional status for him and his family to continue to reside in the United States and to receive a Green Card valid for 10 years. Failure to request such deletion may result in termination of Conditional Permanent Resident status.


III - Questions Visa E-2 / EB-5: Can we start with an E-2 visa much shorter, less expensive and less difficult to obtain?


The procedure for obtaining the EB-5 visa is long, an investor from a country signatory to the agreement he can travel to the US with a E-2 visa and subsequently initiate the procedures to obtain the visa EB-5? Is it a long process?

What is the waiting time for obtaining the E-2 visa? I heard that the procedure for obtaining the EB-5 visa could take between 12 and 15 months. Is it worth it to start the procedure of the E-2 visa to the US and start working on my new business or is it for as long as the EB-5 visa?

Technically, an E-2 visa does not lead to an EB-5 visa, but there's no reason your efforts on the E-2 visa cannot form the basis of your EB-5 visa. However, there are some things you should be aware:

• There is no minimum investment required for an E-2 visa, but you must pay at least the required $ 1 million (or $ 500 000 if the company is in a targeted employment or rural area) for EB-5 visa.

• Retained earnings / profits reinvested for the visa E-2 generally do not count as money invested for the EB-5 visa (there may be exceptions).

• For the E-2 visa, you or another national of the signatory countries must have more than 50% of the company's shares, which is not required for EB-5.

Finally, the company's conversion to an EB-5 visa from your US immigration process with the E-2 is a possible strategy. Requests for EB-5 can take 12 months or longer to process, and these times may vary. Of course, the E-2 processing times may vary. Arrange a consultation with a lawyer for the EB-5 visa can help you develop the best strategy for possibly the United States is your new home and to start your business in light of your financial situation, timelines, and other goals.


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