Should You Apply for an L1 Visa or an E2 Visa? Use this Guide to Make the Right Decision

If you are like some people, you may not be sure about whether to apply for an L1 visa or an E2 visa. These visa options are ideal for investors, business professionals, and entrepreneurs. But, no matter which option you opt for, an Immigration Lawyer in Dallas can help streamline the visa application process for you. 

The L1 visa is also called the intra company transfer visa. It permits a non-U. S. company to transfer a certain employee to work for a related company in the United States. Through this visa option, an employee can be petitioned by the U. S. company to transfer from the related foreign company to the U. S. company. Meanwhile, the E2 visa or an investor visa allows an investor to invest in a U. S. business by starting their own business or buying an existing business. When deciding with visa option to go for, consider the following:

Satisfying the L1 Visa Requirements

With an L1 visa, there should be a foreign company that will transfer a qualified employee to a related company based in the United States. Additionally, if you choose to acquire this visa, you must have worked for the non-US company for one year, full-time, within the last three years before the L1 petition is filed. Also, you should have worked as either a manager, a specialized knowledge worker, or an executive. Another important consideration is that the U. S. company must be decently sized. 

How Much Should You Invest If You Choose the E2 Route?

The E2 visa regulations don’t necessarily specify the dollar amount of investment. Although there is technically no minimum investment amount, in practice, it is best to invest at least $100, 000 in your business. This will give you a better chance of your investment being considered substantial. So, if you are planning to invest a substantial amount of money into the United States business, the E2 visa may not be for you.  

Your Long-Term Goals in the United States

If you are looking to become a legal permanent resident of the United States, you must understand that both the L1 visa and E2 visa are nonimmigrant visas. Thus, they won’t help you get a green card. But, both visas can let you eventually transition and convert from this visa category to a green card. For instance, you can eventually get the EB1C visa after holding an L1 visa. If you hold an E2 visa, you can get a green card through the EB-5 visa.