EB5 Immigrants and Travelers
As you apply to participate in the EB5 investor visa program, you will frequently encounter the terms “non-immigrant visa” and “immigrant visa.” These visas are distinct in that an immigrant visa can lead to permanent residence. Technically, the term visa always indicates a temporary stay in the US. However, calling a visa an “immigrant visa” changes the meaning to that of a green card. The EB5 immigrant investor visa is synonymous with the EB5 green card, and will be used interchangeably.
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Non-immigrant visas are for individuals traveling, studying, or living temporarily in the US, without the intent of taking up permanent residence or attempting to gain citizenship. Unlike green cards, non-immigrant visas are temporary, with a finite duration.
The E-2 and L-1 visas are both investor visa options for immigrant investors who wish to live and work temporarily in the US, without relocating to this country and eventually pursuing citizenship. Non-immigrant visas are an alternative to the EB5 investor visa for individuals satisfied with a temporary stay.
Immigrant Investor Visa for Relocation to the US
The EB5 investor visa is an immigrant visa. This means that it is also a conditional green card, which becomes unconditional and establishes permanent residence after two years if the investor meets all EB5 program requirements. If you are currently spending time in the US with a non-immigrant visa and wish to establish permanent residence, talk to your immigration lawyer about obtaining an immigrant visa, or a green card. Making an EB5 investment is one option in obtaining a green card. This may be preferable for investors, since the EB5 green card program allows you to circumvent substantial backlogs behind many other types of immigrant visa.