EB5 or L1A/EB1.C Which is A Shorter Path to Green Card. EB5 Seems to be Taking So Long. Can We Open a Company in the US and Come Sooner on L1?

There are two paths to the U.S. The non-immigrant path allows a person to enter the U.S. in a few weeks or months. The immigrant path to obtain a green card takes months or years. Entering the U.S. on a non-immigrant path can allow the person in the U.S. to apply for a green card within the U.S. sooner.

The EB5 U.S. immigrant visa category is one of the most talked about visa categories as a path to a U.S. green card available to investors of $1/2 Million or $1 Million dollars. The EB1.C U.S. immigrant visa category is a less known path to a U.S. green card available to investors who own an active business outside the U.S. and want to spend less than $1/2 Million.

For both the EB5 and EB1.C the investor and his spouse and children under 21 receive green cards. Under, EB5 the process to permanent green card takes about 5 years. For EB1.C the process to obtain a permanent green card takes less than 2 years.

A comparison between EB5 and EB1.C is investment include:

EB5
Requires $1/2 or $1 Million Dollars
Investment in place at least 5 years
Must employ 10 U.S. workers
Investor and Family receive green cards
Temporary Green card 2 years
Permanent Green Card in 5-6 years

EB1.C
No minimum $Dollar investment
Investment in place at least 2 years
Should employ 5 U.S. workers
Investor and family receive green cards
L1A Nonimmigant visa 1-2 years
Permanent Green Card in 1-3 years

The L1 visa has two categories. The L-1A IS for executives and managers and the L-1B IS for specialized knowledge employees. The L-1A executives and managers qualify for a U.S. green card.

The L-1A visa is a shorter path to a green card in comparison to EB5. The L-1A investor is an owner manager of an active business outside the U.S. who transfers himself, or herself, to manage a new or established business in the U.S. The L-1 A is not for self-employment. A sole owner operator without employees cannot transfer to the U.S. under this category.

The L-1A nonimmigrant transfer visa and EB1.C immigrant transfer visas do not have an investment limit. A new U.S. office for the L-1 visa may be opened for as little as $10,000. Of course, $10,000 won’t enable a green card. But, it can bring an owner manager and his or her family to the U.S. to grow a business or purchase a business that would qualify for a green card. Still, there is no dollar amount required to be invested. Should the $10,000 investment grow a U.S. company sufficient to sponsor the green card. The $10,000 invested would be all that was required. Although there is no dollar limit, it realistically can take more than $10,000 to establish a successful U.S. business that qualifies for a green card.

A big difference between EB5 and L1A is the time. Step 1 of the EB5 category is to receive a 2 year temporary green card to be certain the U.S. business is successful. The EB5 petition currently take 16 months to be approved. Then the EB5 immigrant visa takes about 8 months to be processed at the U.S. Embassy to travel to the US and receive a green card. Even then you only receive a temporary green card.

Step 1 of the path to green card through L1A intracompany transfer is to obtain a nonimmigrant L-1 visa. The L-1A petition is approved in 1 month. The L-1A allows you to travel to the U.S. in about 3 months as a nonimmigrant. It is not a requirement that the organization outside the U.S. be doing the same business as the organization in the U.S. for the L-1A.

Step 2 of the EB5 category is to apply for a permanent green card after 21 months. The business must still be operating and must employ 10 workers. This part of the process takes another 15 months. If the business isn’t a success after 2 years you don’t receive a permanent green card. All told you receive a permanent green card after 60 -65 months.

Step 2 of the L1-A intracompany transfer allows you to immediately file for an EB1.C immigrant petition and green card where the U.S business has been in existence for 1 year. If a new business is started the investor must wait 1 year not 2 years. You may then apply for a permanent green card. This is not a temporary green card. All the while you are in the U.S.

The EB1.C immigrant transfer category requires the U.S. business and the business outside the U.S. to be actively doing business. The EB1.C immigrant visa process is about 6 months processing for approval and the green card application then takes another 6 months to be approved. All told you receive a permanent green card within 12-24 months.

The L-1 nonimmigrant classification is an important U.S. visa for multinational employers enabling the U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee who was employed abroad for at least one year at one of its affiliated foreign offices abroad to one of its offices in the United States. (This classification also enables a foreign company, which does not yet have an affiliated U.S. office, to send a professional employee to the United States to establish a U.S. office.) You might visit our website to find out more. http://www.litwinlaw.com/PracticeAreas/L-Working-Visa.asp