What are the pros and cons of EB-5 Regional Center case vs. E-2 NIV case?
The advantages of Regional Center EB-5 (the "RC EB-5) case over E-2 visa are:
1. Since E-2 is a nonimmigrant visa/status, obtaining E-2 does not lessen the need to obtain permanent resident status.
2. With RC EB-5 case, you can reside anywhere in the U.S., whereas with E-2 visa, you have to reside near the location of your E-2 business.
3. With E-2 dependent children, once they become 21 years old, they automatically fall out of E-2 status. This means they have to, on their own, apply for other NIV status -- usually F-1 student status. With RC EB-5 case, as long as the I-526 petition was submitted prior to their reaching 21 years of age, the dependent children's ability to obtain LPR status will not be adversely affected.
4. RC EB-5 Investor does not need to exert energy towards the day-to-day or even primary managerial control over the new commercial enterprise.
5. RC EB-5 Investor can pursue other jobs and/or activities, whereas for E-2 Investor, that is pretty difficult in practice.
6. In many cases, the amount of investment is not a lot. Many E-2 business investment requires more than $300,000 USD and even close to $500,000 USD, which is the same amount that RC EB-5 case that also combines TEA feature.
7. With RC EB-5, there is rarely a need to contribute additional capital infusion, but with E-2 investment, additional capital infusion may be required depending on the business situation.
8. There is a greater chance to fail in E-2 investment than with RC EB-5, at least from our perspective.
The bottom line is this. E-2 may seem like a great deal, but if the business doesn't do well, the business dream of being an E-2 Investor may turn into a nightmare.