E2 Visa to Green Card

E2 Visa to Green Card

If you do not have family green card options or want to make a supersized EB5 investment, there are two primary ways to obtain a green card as an E2 visa holder.

1. Self sponsored green card option

In an effort to encourage foreign nationals to immigrate to the United States, establish or purchase a business and employ US persons, USCIS has established a new set of regulations specifically for foreign entrepreneurs.  This new regulations allow entrepreneurs to obtain permanent residency through the  EB2 NIW category.  This blog post will cover using the NIW to obtain a green card by establishing a US business and hiring US workers.

The National Interest Waiver allows a foreign national to apply for permanent residency through the EB2 category without having a US employer or a job offer.  This means that there is no requirement to undergo PERM labor certification and petitions can be approved in as little as 3 months provided that the entrepreneur’s immigration is in the national interest.

The entrepreneur can show his immigration is in the national interest if he can establish the following three points.

1. The NIW entrepreneur must seek employment in an area that has substantial intrinsic merit.  An example would be a structural engineer working on highway bridges.
2. The NIW entrepreneur must demonstrate that the proposed benefit to be provided will be national in scope.   For example, the entrepreneur might be able to demonstrate that the jobs his or her business enterprise will create in a discrete locality will also create (or “spin off”) related jobs in other parts of the nation. Or, as another example, the entrepreneur might be able to establish that the jobs created locally will have a positive national impact.
3. The NIW entrepreneur must demonstrate that the entrepreneur will serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than would an available U.S. worker having the same minimum qualifications.  The entrepreneur who demonstrates that his or her business enterprise will create jobs for U.S. workers or otherwise enhance the welfare of the United States may qualify for an NIW. For example, the entrepreneur may not be taking a job opportunity from a U.S. worker but instead may be creating new job opportunities for U.S. workers. The creation of jobs domestically for U.S. workers may serve the national interest to a substantially greater degree than the work of others in the same field.

The USCIS is finally recognizing that immigrants are vitally important to the success of the US economy and are providing additional avenues to permanent residence for them.  If you are considering starting, purchasing or expanding a US business, the NIW may be the right choice for you.

2. Employer sponsored green card option (EB2/EB3)

The EB2 employment based green card is for individuals who are members of the professions with advanced degrees (any degree above a baccalaureate degree or a baccalaureate degree and at least 5 years progressive experience in the professions) or who have exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business who will substantially benefit the United States.  The combination of a baccalaureate degree with 5 years experience in the professions is deemed equivalent to a Master’s degree. If a doctoral degree is required for the particular profession, the alien must possess the doctoral degree.

EB3 employment based green card is for professionals who hold a US baccalaureate degree or foreign equivalent degree that is normally required for the profession. Education and experience may not be substituted for the degree.

The EB3 employment based green card is also for skilled workers and other workers who are not seasonal or temporary and require at least two years of experience or training as well as other workers are those who are capable of performing unskilled labor, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the US.

In order to obtain permanent residency through the EB2 or EB3 category, the applicant must have an employer willing to sponsor him or her through PERM Labor Certification. The applicant does not have to be employed when labor certification/PERM is filed. A job offer is sufficient. Labor certification/PERM is the process whereby, the US government determines whether qualified US workers can fill the open position. Once the labor certification is approved, the employer may sponsor the applicant for permanent residency.

The EB2/EB3 process is as follows:

  • The employer performs the PERM labor certification process;
  • The employer sponsors the employee for a green card; and then
  • The employee adjust his or her status to permanent resident.

We have successfully helped thousands of clients obtain green cards.  Feel free to call us at 305-515-0613 or email us at info@messersmithlaw.com.  We look forward to helping you and your family obtain green cards like we have for thousands of other clients.

E2 Visa for a Canadian Citizen

Can a Canadian get a green card with 30000$? I heard I can invest 30000$ in a business and get a green card – is this correct?

I have a bachelor’s degree in commerce. Please let me know what is involved legally  


No, you cannot obtain an investment based green card with a $30,000 investment. You would need to invest a minimum of $500,000. However, it may be sufficient for an E2 investor visa but $30,000 is still a little low for that. While the law does not list a minimum investment amount, the smallest investment that our firm has received an approval for is about $50,000. The State Department recognizes that the cost to establish a service based business is low and that they will look at the “amount necessary to establish a viable enterprise.”

E2 Visa Investment Requirements

I have $100,000 to $200,000 to invest in a new company. Is this enough to get E2 visa?

Immigration law does not identify a specific minimum required for an E2 investment visa. However, in our experience an investment of less than $50,000 will not be approved and an investment less than $100,000 may be difficult depending on the USCIS Service Center or US Consulate where the E2 application is filed.

In most cases $100,000 to $200,000 will be considered sufficient but you must be able to show that the amount is both “substantial” and not “marginal.” A substantial investment is an investment that is:

  • Substantial in the proportional sense, i.e. , in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating the type of enterprise under consideration;
  • Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.

Whether an amount of capital is substantial in the proportionality sense is understood in terms of an inverted sliding scale; i.e. , the lower the total cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to meet these criteria.

A marginal enterprise is an enterprise that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. An enterprise that does not have the capacity to generate such income but that has a present or future capacity to make a significant economic contribution is not a marginal enterprise. The projected future capacity should generally be realizable within five years from the date the alien commences normal business activity of the enterprise.