What is the difference between E-2, L-1, and EB-5 visas?

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If you have thought about starting a business in the United States, there are multiple employment-based immigration processes that could help you grow your venture.

In this blog article, you will learn which Employment-Based visa categories are best suited for you to build your business portfolio in the U.S.


       What is the E-2 visa?

    The E-2 visa allows investors that are citizens from certain countries, in which the United States has a trade agreement, to invest in or purchase a U.S. company.
    To apply for this visa, the investor must comply with:
    • Being a citizen of a country in which the U.S. has a commercial treaty with.
    • Having already made previous investments or are planning to invest in a U.S. company.
    • Seeking and willing to immigrate to the U.S. solely to manage the company they’re investing in. To prove this claim, the investor has to own at least 50% of the company.
    • The amount of the investment depends entirely on what type of business is being invested in.  Some investments can be as low as $100,000, others would require significantly more money to start with.
    Those who receive the E-2 visa may initially stay in the U.S. for up to two years, which may be extended, and these visas can be issued to the investor’s family members and employees to bring them to the U.S.

       What is the L-1 visa?


    The L-1 visa allows employers to apply in order to bring their working staff to the United States. This visa is divided into two categories. The L-1A is designed for executives or managers that are in the same organization where the petitioner works, and the L-1B is meant for skilled professionals that have specialized expertise or knowledge.
    • L-1A Visa:

    To apply for this visa, the US employer must have a qualifying relationship with a foreign company. In addition, they must prove that they’re doing business as an employer in the U.S. market and at least one other country.
    In addition, it is a prerequisite that the employer works in the company that has requested their visa for at least one year prior to their entry to the U.S. and must have worked in a managerial or executive position.
    • L-1B Visa:


    The petitioning company must prove that the employer is currently doing or will do business in the United States and at least in another additional country. Furthermore, the company has to come forward with evidence that the employee for whom they are requesting the visa has specialized knowledge or expertise that is useful to the organization.


    Executives, managers, or specialized employees who receive the L-1A or L-1B visa will be granted an initial stay of 1 to 3 years. Furthermore, they may also bring and settle in the U.S. with their spouse and unmarried children that are under 21 years of age.

       What is the EB-5 Visa?

    If you’re currently thinking of investing in the United States, the best visa category that fits your needs is the EB-5 visa. With this visa, investors, their spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21 can apply to become U.S. residents.
    To apply and be granted an EB-5 visa, the employer must make an investment in a new U.S. company or regional center investment that seeks to create or maintain 10 jobs for skilled workers. Depending on the location of the business, the investment must be at least either $800,000 or $1,200,000.
    If you need help with your immigration process, at Kuck Baxter, we are waiting to help you. For more information about Employment-Based visas, call us at (404) 844-4634  to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys at our Atlanta office.



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