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How would an Uzbekistan citizen transition from the E-2 visa to EB-5?

I have an Uzbekistan passport and hold Uzbekistan citizenship. I do not have a job, and I do not have business experience, but I have funds for investment. I am thinking of applying for the E-2 visa before the EB-5 green card. Would there be any advantage to applying in this order? How would I eventually transition from the E-2 to EB-5?

Answers

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Transitioning from E-2 to EB-5 requires some planning and strategy, but it could be beneficial because the E-2 process will take several weeks to a couple of months, while the EB-5 process will take over a year and perhaps much longer. While both the E-2 and EB-5 categories are based upon investment, the requirements are different in some important ways. The E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa and does not really require must job creation (but job creation can help an E-2 by showing that it has the capacity to make a positive economic contribution), but does require at least 50 percent ownership by a treaty national. The EB-5 is an immigrant visa (resulting in lawful permanent residence) and does require the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers, but it does not have any requirement as to ownership percentage. To transition from E-2 to EB-5, you must first qualify for E-2, enter the United States, and then you must meet the independent EB-5 requirements, after which you could adjust your status in the United States, or you could return to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country to complete immigrant visa processing.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are not eligible for the E-2 visa based on your Uzbekistan passport because Uzbekistan is not an E-2 treaty country with the United States. If you are a citizen or national of another treaty country, then you may explore the E-2 visa option. Otherwise, the EB-5 visa may be a good option for you if you have a legal source of funds from which your investment is derived. The EB-5 visa leads to permanent residence, and you do not need business experience, especially if you consider investing through a project in a regional center where you can be a limited partner, take advantage of indirect job creation, and a lower investment threshold.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can first obtain an E-2 visa to enter the United States and direct your own U.S. business. Then while you are under legal E-2 status, you can file an EB-5 investor petition either for your own U.S. business or for an EB-5 regional center business. Once the I-526 petition is approved, and if you are maintaining legal E-2 status, you can apply for adjustment to conditional permanent residency status in the United States without leaving the United States.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An E-2 requires less money to initiate a business. EB-5 requires a minimum of $500,000. E-2 will usually be granted in less time than an EB-5 approval which is now over 13 months. The initial amount for an E-2 could be used as part of a future EB-5 investment. The advantages to E-2 are the time and money involved.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Uzbekistan is not an E-2 treaty country so an E-2 visa is not an option (unless you have another passport also). EB-5 does not have country restrictions so this is an option for sure.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    My understanding is that they are two totally different things. EB-2 requires active participation in a direct investment, which generally means you need to live nearby the actual investment. This is why EB-5 is preferred, as you do not have to be actively involved in the management of the business. You generally cannot "move" money from EB-2 to EB-5, so going through EB-5 first would be key. Getting into an investment before 9/30 may be a concern, as the amount of money may go up from $500,000 to $800,000. In looking at investments, be sure to work with both an immigration attorney and a securities attorney to perform due diligence on your potential investment.

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    Olga Karasik

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Thank you for your question. Applying for E-2 visa first might have some advantages in your situation.

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