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There are 2 types of investment visas:  Immigration and Non-immigration.  EB5 is unique in the fact it is necessary to invest capital and that is why we have it listed under Investment Visas, even though it is employment based.




EB5 Investment in  a new commercial enterprise,  (Employment Based) which is a commercial enterprise:

  • Established after Nov. 29, 1990, or

  • Established on or before Nov. 29, 1990, that is:

  • Purchased and the existing business is restructured or reorganized in such a way that a new commercial enterprise results. 

  • Expanded through the investment so that a 40-percent increase in the net worth or number of employees occurs

Commercial enterprise means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to:

  • A sole proprietorship

  • Partnership (whether limited or general)

  • Holding company

  • Joint venture

  • Corporation

  • Business trust or other entity, which may be publicly or privately owned
    (See more)



Investor Visas (C5, T5, R5, I5)  Part of EB5 above:

Immigrant Investor Visas (C5, T5, R5, and I5) are part of the Employment Based  Fifth Preference (EB5) category above.


Immigrant Investors may also be referred to as "Immigrant Entrepreneurs" in the C5, T5, R5, and I5 visa categories. These employment visas are specifically for foreign investors that wish to enter the United States to do business with and invest in new commercial enterprises that will help the U.S. economy by creating more jobs. The four types of immigrant investor visas in the EB5 category are:

  • C5, for employment created outside of a targeted area

  • T5, for employment created inside of a targeted/rural high unemployment area

  • R5, for an Investor Pilot Program not in a targeted area

  • I5, for an Investor Pilot Program in a targeted area


Legal Considerations of Immigrant Investor Visas (C5, T5, R5, I5):

In order to qualify for an immigrant investor C5, T5, R5, or I5 visa, the foreign investor must meet certain financial requirements.

He or she must invest a minimum of $1,000,000 or $500,000 (if in a targeted employement area) of their own, un-borrowed money. The commercial enterprise in which the investor is investing their capital must also meet certain qualifying conditions. The investment must create at least 10 new jobs for U.S. citizens, LPRs (lawful permanent residents) or other immigrants that can legally work in the United States. This cannot include the investor or his or her spouse or children.


Making these immigrant investor visas even more challenging to obtain is the fact that these visas are numerically limited, meaning that the U.S. only can give out approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas per fiscal year. Roughly only 7.1 percent of these allotted 140,000 work visas typically go to immigrant investors seeking a C5, T5, R5 or I5 visa. Once these visas run out, any qualifying applicants will be put on a wait list.




Treaty Immigration Visas  E1 and E2 (E = Employee)  For a Treaty Country there must be an ongoing Treaty agreement between them and the USA.  The principal difference between the 'EB' and 'E' classifications is the E classification requires the country to be a Treaty Country, with the exception of E3 (Australia) and E4 (religious and military etc)


The principal difference between the E1 and E2: 
E1 is bringing in goods and trading 
E2 is where the investor invests a substantial amount of money.  

With both the E1 and E2 you can:

  1. Work legally in the U.S. for a U.S. company.

  2. Travel freely in and out of the U.S.

  3. Stay in the U.S. on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as you maintain E-1 qualifications

  4. Bring your dependents to the U.S. Your spouse can also work in the U.S. (see more)


                                                For a list of Treaty Countries click here.


E3 Australia Only Immigration Visa  - Not treaty category

E4 Special category immigration Visa, such as Religious and Military etc. -  Not treaty category






L-1 Intracompany Transferee

You may be eligible for an L-1 visa for “intracompany transferees” if you are an executive, manager, or a worker with specialized knowledge who has worked abroad for a qualifying organization (including an affiliate, parent, subsidiary or branch of your foreign employer) for at least one year within the 3 years preceding the filing of your L-1 petition (or in some cases your admission to the United States). The organization must seek to transfer you to the United States to work  in one of the capacities listed above.

Initial period of stay in the United States: Up to 3 years (1 year for new office petitions). Extensions possible in up to 2 year increments. Maximum period of stay: 7 years for managers and executives; 5 years for specialized knowledge workers.

The L2 visa is a non-immigrant US visa issued to dependents of L1 visaholders. Immediate family members of L1 visa holders may enter and stay in the United States by obtaining L2 visas. Eligible family members for an L2 visa include spouses and children (under age 21) of L1 visaholders.


B-1 Business Visitor

You may be eligible for a B-1 visa if you are coming to the United States as a business visitor in order to secure funding or office space, negotiate a contract, or attend certain business meetings in connection with opening a new business in this country.   
Initial period of  stay in the United States: Generally up to 6 months. Extensions possible.


For other USCIS terms please click here

Important Note

USCIS changes things from time to time.  We will be happy to provide you with the latest when you contact us.

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