How about hiring yourself to work in the U.S.?

  • Pro: Fastest way to get into the USA to work
  • Con: Complicated to get permanent residence without the EB-5 direct addition.

If your country of citizenship has an investment treaty with the United States, you may be eligible to obtain an E-2 visa to work for a company you form in the United States. Basically, you are the sponsor as well as the immigrant employee.

Investment requirements vary according to the nature of the company and its industry sector. On the low end, around $75,000 U.S. could cover it, although $200,000 and up would make things easier.


Under the E-2, visas are granted for periods of up to five years and are renewable indefinitely. Spouses of E-2s are able to obtain blanket work authorizations to work anywhere in the U.S., as well.


E-2 visas can offer a speedy entry to the USA while serving as a stepping stone to an EB-5 direct green card.

For example, I had an Egyptian client who used this visa to establish a car rental agency in Florida.  He is now en route to the EB-5 direct investment green card.

EB-1 Extraordinary Immigrants

  • Pro: Self-petitioning green card – no supporting employer required.
  • Con: You have to be a genius or reach high in your field to get it.

If you have extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics, then you can apply directly for a green card. Think Julio Iglesias, Albert Einstein, Yao Ming or Gordon Ramsay.

You will need to prove your expertise or exceptional ability in a particular field by meeting the government’s criteria for an EB-1 immigrant. Such criteria include awards and honors received, as well as any glowing publications written about you. Being a movie star doesn’t hurt, either.


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