Investor Visas: Requirements & Benefits

This comparative chart provides an overview of three main types of investor visas, the E-2 visa, the L-1 visa (“start up L”) and the EB-5 (Job Creation visa).  The chart highlights broad differences between requirements and benefits of investor visa categories.  Other conditions may apply.

Amount Invested Special Requirements Duration of Stay/Status Participation in Investment Business Future of Business
E-2 Visa

Treaty Investor

Substantial investment: Sliding scale depending on the value of the business. The lower the value of the business, the higher the percentage of the business value must be invested. Nationality & Treaty Based. Country information can be found on the Department of State website under “Reciprocity by Country.” (Not Brazil, China, Greece, Israel, India or Russia, among others.) Temporary visa, but long duration of stay, dependent on business status and reciprocity of treaty country. Active investor. The investor develops and directs the business by controlling it through 50% or more share of ownership, by managing operations, or by other corporate role. Profitability requirement. Plan to make more than a livelihood, or have the capacity to make a significant economic contribution within five years.
L-1 Visa

Manager Intra-company Transferee

(Path to EB-1 Multinational Manager Immigration Visa)

No new investment, but business must be able to support the wages of the L-1 manager & the business. Adequate premises leased, if establishing a new office. Employed abroad by company related to the US company for one year in the last three in a managerial role or a role requiring specialized knowledge. Temporary visa, up to seven years in US. Path to legal permanent residence through
Multinational Manager Immigrant Visa (EB-1).
Management role overseeing the organization or a department, or important function of the organization. Entity must continue to operate as a going concern.
EB-5 Visa
(Green Card)
Job Creation
$500,000 if in a targeted high unemployment rate or rural area;
$1,000,000 elsewhere.
At risk investment.
Legitimacy of the investor’s source of funds must be proven with tax returns, inheritance documents, or other means. Conditional permanent residence for two years. Legal permanent residence once conditions are cleared. Passive Investor need only be engaged in policy-making decisions for the company, not daily management. Job Creation: ten permanent, full time jobs must be created. Job creation may be indirect, if investment is in a Regional Center.

Map© 2009-2015 Chavin Immigration Law Office. This comparative chart provides legal information, not advice for any particular individual.

If you have questions on obtaining an investment-based visa, please contact:
Melissa Chavin
Kensington, London, United Kingdom Tel. 44 7546 456-068.

On Twitter: provided the graphic of the US map.

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