The E-1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa that enables a trader of a treaty country, which enters into bilateral treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States, and their qualifying employees to enter into the United States to engage in substantial international trade, including but not limited to trade in goods, services, qualifying activities and technology. The amount or number of trade would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis since no specific criteria is set while the trade volume is highly emphasized when reviewing the E-1 Visa application. The E-1 Derivative Visa may cover the E-1 holder’s immediate family as well. With respect to the validity, the E-1 Visa may be issued for an initial stay of up to two years and additionally granted for an extension of up to two years each as long as the E-1 holder maintains the qualification. The E-1 Visa holder must intend to depart the United States or further change visa status upon the termination or expiration of qualification status.
The E-2 Visa allows an investor of a treaty country, which has form a treaty with the United States, to enter and work in the United States for operating and setting up the business. Compared to the treaty countries listed under the E-1 Visa requirements, more countries are qualified for the E-2 Visa. Although no minimum amount is specified by law, the substantial investment requirement varies from business to business. With the same nationality as the investor and holding either a managerial/executive/supervisory position or an essential role requires specialized and unique expertise for the business, non-investor employees of the business are eligible for the E-2 Visa as well. The derivatives of the E-2 holder may be granted the E-2 Derivative Visa, allowing them to live and work with employment authorization in the United States according to a series of requirements. Unless otherwise instructed in certain reciprocity agreements between countries, the E-2 Visa may be granted with a validity period of up to five years and continuously renewed with two-year extensions. Upon completion of the business, the E-2 holder must depart the United States or further change visa status.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Visa grants eligible international investor and his/her immediate family to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States by making a minimum investment of either $500,000 in a targeted employment area in regional center or $1,000,000 in a new commercial enterprise owned by the investor, and by which directly or indirectly creating or retaining at least ten full-time jobs for American workers within two years following the investment. Unlike the E-1 Visa and E-2 Visa, an annual cap on the number of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Visa is imposed (10,000 EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Visas are issued each year, among which no less than 3,000 shall be reserved for investors in targeted rural or high-unemployment area and another 3,000 shall be set aside for investors in regional centers), resulting in its threatening viability.
|Non-Immigrant Visa||Immigrant Visa|
|O-1A / O-1B||EB-1A / EB-1B||EB-2 NIW|
(Noted that a direct employer or an agent or manager, who represents the beneficiary’s interests and obtain works for them, maybe eligible for filing O-1 Visa petition.)
|Prior Work Experience||No||
||Yes, at least 5 years of post-graduate progressive work experience in a related field, provided the individual holds only a bachelor degree|
|Processing Time||1 Week to 3 Months; 15 Days for Premium Processing Service (Additional fee $1,410)||9 to 14 Months; 15 Days for Premium Processing Service (Additional fee $1,410)||9 to 16 Months|
|Dependents||Spouse and Children under 21||Spouse and Children under 21; Children over 21 may be protected pursuant to CSPA after application filed||Spouse and Children under 21; Children over 21 may be protected pursuant to CSPA after application filed|
|Dependents’ Work Permit||No||Yes, Spouse and Children under 21||Yes, Spouse and Children under 21|
|Validity||Up to 3 years. Indefinite extension of up to 1 years each is available.||10-year valid Green Card||10-year valid Green Card|
|Individual has to stay in the U.S.||No||No, but subject to permanent resident travel limitation||No, but subject to permanent resident travel limitation|
|Intent to Depart||Yes, non-immigrant visa;
(Noted that as a dual intent visa, O-1 holders may file for Permanent Residence)
|Eligibility to Permanent Residence||Yes, as a dual intent visa, O-1 holders may file for Permanent Residence||Yes||Yes|