E-2L-1ARegional Center EB-5Direct EB-5
Amount of investmentAny amount, but usually over $200,000Any amount$500,000 or $1,000,000$500,000 or $1,000,000
Must Create Jobs?Can be small numberUsually multiple levels of employees required overseas and in U.S. for extension after 1st year10 direct or indirect jobs10 direct jobs
Investor's EmploymentManage the business or develop and directManager of the businessLimited partner or member of LLCEquity; engaged in business
TimingUsually 1-3 monthsCan be < 15 business days with premium processing> 2 years> 2 years
ProcedureCan go direct to consulUSCIS approval requiredUSCIS approval, then consul or I-485USCIS approval, then consul or I-485
Can your spouse work?YesYesWhen conditional residence approvedWhen conditional residence approved
Permanent ResidenceCan be EB-1 after 1 year of active businessCan be EB-1 after 1 year of active businessFile after I-526 approvedFile after I-526 approved
Can family/investor attend school?YesYesWhen conditional residentWhen conditional resident
Employment authorizationImmediateImmediate3 months after I-485 or when enter as CPR3 months after I-485 or when enter as CPR
Can investment be a gift?Yes, but must be investor's moneyYesYesYes
Can investment funds be a loan?Enterprise cannot be collateralYesEnterprise cannot be collateralEnterprise cannot be collateral
ExpediteDepends on consulPremium Processing AvailableNoNo
Relevance of countryOnly Treaty countryNot relevantSource and tracing of funds issueSource and tracing of funds issue
Necessity of overseas companyNoYesNoNo
Buying existing companyOKOKNoMust add 10 jobs
Geographical areaAnyAnyRural/high unemployment for $500,000Rural/high unemployment for $500,000
Prior employment overseas required?NoYes, 1 year as managerNoNo
Initial length of visaUp to 5 years1 year start-up2 year conditional permanent residence, then permanent residence2 year conditional permanent residence, then permanent residence
Maximum periodUnlimited extensions available7 yearsPermanentPermanent