What are the differences in financial requirements between E-2 and EB-5 visas?

The threshold investment amount for an EB-5 visa currently stands at $1,050,000. For a project located in a targeted employment area (TEA), the reduced investment amount is $800,000. By contrast, the E-2 visa does not have a fixed minimum investment amount. The official requirement is that the E-2 investor must contribute a “substantial amount” to a new or existing U.S. business. However, various sources agree that an E-2 investor should be prepared to invest at least $100,000 into their chosen U.S. business.

Because the two visas diverge significantly in terms of actual financial requirements, a prospective investor deciding which to pursue should consult an immigration attorney.

EB-5 Visa: Financial Requirements

Beyond the minimum investment amount required for an EB-5 investment, an EB-5 investor will likely incur legal costs as a result of hiring an immigration attorney. These fees could range from $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the attorney’s rates. Furthermore, there are filing fees and administrative fees to account for. The I-526 petition, for instance, has a filing fee of $3,675 and the I-829 petition, used to remove conditions on the EB-5 investor’s permanent resident status, has a filing fee of $3,750.

EB-5 investors who seek to invest indirectly through a regional center will also need to pay a further specified amount for administrative services.

E-2 Visa: Financial Requirements

While starting with $100,000 is widely agreed to be a good rule of thumb for E-2 investors, the actual investment amount could vary depending on the specific enterprise the E-2 investor chooses to invest in. Because the official requirement is that the investment must be “substantial”, the investment amount for a low-cost business must be higher than the investment percentage for a high-cost business. The E-2 investor can provide evidence that their investment is “substantial” by compiling documentation for proof.

As with the EB-5 visa, the E-2 investor must irrevocably commit their investment capital and ensure the funds remain “at risk”. And just like an EB-5 investor, an E-2 investor has the option of placing their investment funds into an escrow account and having the funds transferred if their E-2 application is approved.