Many foreign nationals who want to start a business in the United States have inquired Mahandru Associates to explain the different Visa options available to them. This article reviews the two popular Visas that are available for Entrepreneurs, Investors & Business Owners and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. The summary of the key aspects of each Visa is as follows.

E-2 Investor Visa

An E-2 Visa is a Visa option for business owners that wish to start a company in the United States that they want to develop and direct the operations of.  Although a person could live indefinitely in the U.S. with an E-2 Visa, it is a non-immigrant Visa which means that it does not automatically lead to a green card.  In order to qualify for this Visa, you must either start a business or buy a business that you plan to run and the investment amount really depends on the type of business you start. For example, if you start a consulting firm, the amount of investment can be as low as $50,000 or could rise up to $250,000.  If you start a manufacturing plant, the required investment amount would be much higher. In addition to the unlimited duration of the E-2 Visa (as long as you continue to run the business) and the potentially small investment amount, this Visa has the additional advantage of allowing an Investor’s spouse and children to join them in the U.S. and the spouse can get authorization to work in any field.  Find out more about E-2 Visas by contacting Mahandru Associates for a free Consultation.

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa

An EB-5 Visa is a great visa option if you have a large amount of capital and is often referred to as the million dollar Green Card. The key advantage of this Visa is that you and your immediate family automatically get a green card. But the down side is that, the Visa requires a substantial investment (could be from $500,000 to $1,000,000) with complex procedures and extensive documentation.

There are 5 main criteria to get an EB-5 Visa and they are as follows:

  1. You must invest or be actively in the process of investing either $1,000,000 in a city settings, or US $500,000 in rural settings;
  2. You must show that the funds come from a legitimate source
  3. The entire amount of the investment must be active or at risk
  4. You must make the investment in a “new” or “existing business enterprise”
  5. You must demonstrate that the investment directly or indirectly results in the creation or preservation of ten full time jobs

For more details about EB-5 Visas, get a confidential free consultation from Mahandru Associates.

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