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  • Writer's pictureSubhan Tariq, Esq

Investment Visa on a Budget

There are opportunities for individuals with sufficient capital to apply for an immigration visa. However, obtaining this visa (EB-5) not only requires a very large capital investment ($500,000.00 to $1,000,000.00) but also requires being able to provably create at least ten full time jobs in the United States within a two-year time period. Many individuals interested in potentially investing in a business in the United States will not be able to meet these restrictions and will thus not qualify for the EB-5 Investment Visa.

There is another option available for investors, the E-2 Treaty Investor. This type of visa category allows an investor from an E-2 Treaty country, see the state department’s list here, to obtain a non-immigrant visa to the United States. This visa only allows a holder to live and work in the United States for two years at a time but is indefinitely renewable so long as the investment is maintained. It is also far easier to obtain than the EB-5 visa since it doesn’t have the same strict capital and job creation requirements.

The E-2 Visa requires that you make a substantial investment in a bone-fide business of a non-negligible nature. The substantial investment requirement means that you must either create or invest in a business enough to establish at least a fifty percent (50%) ownership interest in the business. You can also establish a substantial investment in a business with a lesser ownership interest so long as you take on a managerial or controlling role (CEO, etc.) in the company. To be a bone-fide business just means that the business must be properly licensed, established and is actually doing business within the United States. To be non-negligible a business must be providing enough income for the investor to be capable of living off of (at 125% of the poverty rate for the investors household size).

The E-2 Visa type lacks the full range of benefits provided by the EB-5 visa but is also much more versatile application which the average investor is going to be more likely to be able to take advantage of.

Our firm has experience with both types of these visas and are interested in assisting you with all of your US immigration needs. For more information about the E-2 visa, you can call our office (516) 900-4529 or email us at



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