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What is the difference between EB-5 and EB-2 or EB-3?

My friend has been in the United States for the last two years on an H-1B visa. So far, he has saved $300,000 as a foreign worker. Should he plan on applying for the EB-5 visa once he saves $500,000, or wait longer and apply for EB-2 or EB-3 through his employment? What are the main differences between the three visas?

Answers

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order to answer your question, more facts are needed. If your friend was born in India or China, it may make a difference as to which category ultimately will be faster. EB-2 and EB-3 require an offer of full-time employment, labor certification (some EB-2s do not require L/C) and a sponsor who can demonstrate good faith recruitment (looking for a qualified U.S. worker first) and the financial ability to pay the offered wage (so as not to adversely affect the wages of U.S. workers). The EB-5 category is completely different. It is a self-petitioning immigrant category based upon investment and job creation. Each case is unique and really requires an in-depth interview and screening with the applicant to determine which course of action is best for him or her.

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    Jimena G Cabrera

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The main difference is sponsorship. EB-2 and EB-3 require an sponsor employer (unless your friend qualifies for the National Interest Waiver in the EB-2 visa category) and EB-5 does not. Meaning that with the EB-5 visa your friend can start the process as soon as he has the money to invest. He does not depend on anyone to file a petition for him. Another difference is money; with the EB-5 visa your friend is required to invest at least $500,000. The EB-2 and EB-3 visas do not require any investment/money. Also, it is important to take into consideration visa availability.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-2 and 3 are employment visas and, as such, are dependent on an employer filing for you, and also that the job remain open during the period of adjudication, which can be lengthy. The EB-5 is pretty much up to you. You decide on the investment and you do the application without the need for depending on an employer or the job market shifts.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5 is an investor green card where you invest either $500,000 or $1 million in a project that will create 10 full time jobs. EB-2 and EB-3 are employment-based green cards where a company sponsors you to work for them. For both of these, you must go through a labor certification process where the employer must prove that a qualified U.S. worker does not exist. For EB-2 you may also self petition if you apply for a National Interest Waiver.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The main differences are the money required (technically no money is required if an employer is petitioning for you), but also you are expected to actually show up to work for the petitioning employer, whereas for an EB-5 visa you do not actually work for the EB-5 entity as an employee.

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    Olivia Orza

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are many factors to consider when deciding what preference category is most suitable for you. USCIS.gov does a great job explaining the differences, but I recommend you contact an immigration attorney to discuss your specific case and determine which preference category benefits you most.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The key is do they qualify for EB-2/3? Most of those categories are employer-sponsored, although there is a self-sponsored EB-2 category. They need to see which is faster, but if there are no EB-2/3 options, then EB-5 is definitely viable for many.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    EB-5, EB-2, and EB-3 are all "Employment-Based" (hence "EB") immigrant visa categories. The numbers (i.e., 2, 3, or 5 after EB) denote preferences EB-2 is an employment-based 2nd preference visa category, EB-3 is an employment-based 3rd preference visa category, etc. In both EB-2 and EB-3 categories, the foreign national beneficiary needs an employer to petition for and sponsor the immigrant visa processing, whereas, with the EB-5 investor visa category, there is no "employment" relationship per se and the only requirements are the investment of the requisite capital and job creation, etc. A major difference between the the EB-2 and EB-3 processing vs EB-5 would be that EB-5 processing bypasses the time-consuming first step of the labor certification requirement before commencing the immigrant petition. This is a very simple explanation of a complicated process involving different standards of proof, etc.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The differences are many. The one big difference, however, is that with the EB-5, you do not need employer sponsorship.

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