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E-2 to EB-5: The Journey from Visa to Green Card

If you’re interested in immigrating to the United States, you’ve likely considered a variety of different paths to earn your green card. Those entering the country by way of investment into American businesses often choose to start with an E-2 visa and then transition to an EB-5 visa, which allows them to apply for a green card. However, this can be a complicated process, and it’s important to know what requirements you’ll need to meet every step of the way.

As you start your journey to United States residency or citizenship, Garmo Group is here to help. Give us a call at 619-441-2500 to schedule a consultation now.

Differences Between the E-2 and the EB-5

Whether you already have an E-2 visa or you’re just starting to explore this option, knowing the differences between the E-2 and EB-5 can help you better understand the advantages of this pathway. The primary difference, and the one that drives many people to choose the E-2 over the EB-5, is the timing.

The E-2 is often processed very quickly, within two or three months. This is because there is no quota. The EB-5 has limitations on how many people can come from each country, and a result, the wait time is extremely long for some countries. As an example, the backlog is close to ten years for those coming from China.

The E-2 has more flexible requirements than the EB-5. While the EB-5 requires at least $900,000 (and up to $1,800,000, depending on where you invest), the E-2 visa simply requires a substantial investment. There is no set amount.

The E-2 is only available to those in countries that have investment treaties with the United States, while the EB-5 is open to people in any country.

Ramping Up Your Investments

If you have an E-2 visa and you want to make the switch to an EB-5 visa, you’ll need to start by ramping up your investments to meet the EB-5 requirements. Per USCIS, the amount you need to invest depends largely on where you invest.

Those who filed prior to November 21, 2019, could be approved with an investment of as little as $500,000. Those filing after that date must invest either $900,000 or $1,800,000. To invest $900,000, an applicant must run a business in a rural area or an area with high unemployment. Those outside these areas must invest $1,800,000. You may choose to start transitioning to an EB-5 once you have met this minimum. The funds initially invested for your E-2 visa count toward your EB-5 requirements.

Meeting Job Creation Requirements

To qualify for an EB-5 visa, you will also need to meet specific job creation requirements set by USCIS. You must invest enough to create full-time positions for 10 qualifying employees. This means positions require at least 35 hours per week. If your investment is in a troubled business, you may meet this requirement through job maintenance.

The Source of Funds Requirement

For both the E-2 and EB-5 visas, you’ll need to prove that your investment comes from a legitimate source. Documenting the source of every dollar you invest may well be one of the most time-consuming parts of your application. However, this takes much more time with an EB-5 visa, due to the amount being invested. If some of your money was a gift, you’ll need to do additional documentation to show that the person who gave you the funds received them in a legitimate way. As a result, be ready to provide tax returns or bank statements for the people who gave you funds for your investment.

Set Up a Consultation with Garmo Group Now

Working with a trusted immigration attorney is a crucial part of switching from an E-2 visa to an EB-5 visa, especially when millions of dollars are potentially at stake. The team at Garmo Group has extensive experience in these types of cases, making them an obvious choice for your legal needs. Set up a meeting now by calling our team at 619-441-2500 or getting in touch online.