Investors looking to immigrate to the United States, particularly ones who are thinking about starting a new business, start by searching for what options are open to them. Often they start with the EB-5 investor immigration program that leads to a green card. For many, this is the gold standard of investor immigration options. But for others, the minimum required investment of $ 900,000 is too much. They then turn to other alternatives. That is when they discover the L-1 and E-2 work visas as possibilities.

The L-1 and the E-2 work visas can be used for new start-ups in America and do not require nearly as much investment as the EB-5 program. Indeed, investors can get by with as little as an investment of $ 100,000 U.S. or less, depending on the proposed business. Note, however, that unlike the EB-5 program that leads to a green card, these are only work visas and do not result in permanent residence. It is difficult to discern the differences between these two work visas to decide which one to choose. It may therefore be worthwhile to look at the distinguishing features of these options more carefully to determine which one is best for a foreign investor.