The EB-5 Programme has been a popular choice for many high net worth individuals looking to migrate to the US. In-fact, increasing demand for the programme has resulted in certain countries facing backlogs of up to 15 years in some instances. The extreme back logs and the November 2019 increase in the minimum required investment from $500,000 to $900,000 have forced many individuals to explore another investment immigration option offered by the US – the E2 Visa.
The US E2 visa is an investor visa that allows the holder to live and work legally in the US as long as he/she maintains ownership of 50 percent or more in a business. Unlike the business investments made by EB-5 applicants, there is no minimum specified investment amount required for E2 Visa applicants. However, most US immigration lawyers advise investments of $100,000 or more. Additionally, E2 Visa holders must be involved in the operations of their business. In-fact, the E2 business must be the sole employer of the visa holder while he/she lives in the US. As long as the visa holder continues to work and operate the business successfully and renew his/her I-94 card every two years, he/she is eligible to extend the E2 Visa indefinitely.
The E2 Visa provides many benefits to investors looking to live in the US – some of which may prove more applicable to those actively accessing whether they should invest in the visa or in the EB-5 Programme.