The E2 visa, which brings extraordinary benefits for anyone wanting a pathway to doing business in the United States, is a non-immigrant visa however it does not mean you don’t have a foothold towards obtaining a Green card. In fact, obtaining an E2 visa means you’re in a place to gain access to permanent residency that others wouldn’t have immediate access to.
There are several ways you can transition from having an investor’s visa to obtaining a Green card and perhaps citizenship in the United States that are indirect, but effective.
The EB-5 Visa
This visa is also known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and has long been offered as a pathway to residency. People who already hold an E2 visa may have the additional resources to take this route by giving a direct qualifying investment into their existing business or through a regional center project via an indirect investment.
This pathway to an EB-5 visa requires, for direct investment, USD 1.800.000 in a U.S. business or USD 900,000 in a «targeted employment area.» What that means is if you invest in a business that exists in any area that has either high unemployment or is a rural area, you can save on your direct investment.
On your path to an EB-5 visa, you can also invest in your own E2 business and there is a benefit regarding the minimum investment amount mentioned earlier. By investing in your own business, that initial investment and all additional capital can count towards the minimum need to obtain an EB-5 visa.
The regulations and requirements for an EB-5 visa were changed in 2019 and are subject to further revisions, so be sure to know the latest conditions.
Adjustment of Status
One benefit of already living and working in the United States via the E2 visa is the opportunity to adjust the status of your visa from non-immigrant to immigrant. The main requirement here is that you must be in the U.S. under a lawful status in order to apply, which means you must keep your E2 visa up to date as they need to be renewed periodically. During the adjustment process, you are not required to leave the U.S. and then return, you simply remain until approved and then continue on, though under different conditions. We strongly advise working with an immigration lawyer if taking this route to transition from an E2 visa to a Green card as some steps are tricky.
National Interest Waiver
The EB-2 National Interest Waiver grants residency to those who are highly skilled or who hold advanced degrees without the need for sponsorship from an employer or undergoing the PERM process. Under the National Interest Waiver, the applicant can request the Employer Sponsorship and Labor Certification requirements be waived because it is in the best interests of the U.S.
There are three main criteria to gain a Green card through the waiver:
- The foreign national’s proposal has both substantial merit and national importance
- The foreign national is well-positioned to advance the endeavor
- It is beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements of the EB-2 category
The reason for the National Interest Waiver being a popular option for those wishing to transition from an E2 visa to a Green card is that many E2 visa holders are already taking substantial steps towards being eligible. During the waiver process, the US Immigration Service looks at the applicant’s education, skills, knowledge, and record of success along with the proposed plan for future activities, the progress made towards achieving, and the level of interest among potential customers.
Beginning with the E2 Visa and Citizenship by Investment
The first move towards being able to turn an E2 visa into a Green card is obtaining the visa itself. That is where Range Developments can help you. We’ve guided many individuals through the Citizenship by Investment programme in Grenada, and therefore have helped them gain access to the United States via the E2 visa. It is far more cost-effective to invest in Grenada than the United States and brings a wide array of other benefits, such as visa-free travel to over 140 other countries and citizenship in a beautiful island nation.
Range Developments has begun constructing our third luxury hotel, the Six Sense La Sagesses, and is on schedule for completion in 2022. It’s the first step for anyone seeking to turn an E2 visa into a Green card and by aligning with us, you’re partnering with a group of people who’ve had 2 successful and completed developments, and a company with a good working relationship with the government of Grenada. This is the perfect opportunity to gain an E2 visa and begin the journey towards residency in the United States.
If you have any questions regarding this process or are ready to start moving on the pathway to living in the U.S., we encourage you to speak with one of our Citizenship by Investment consultants.