1. Treaty Investor Visa (E-2 visa)
The Treaty Investor Visa, E-2 visa, is a non-immigrant visa granted under bilateral agreement between the United States and other foreign countries. An E-2 visa is for a citizen of a treaty-country with the United States who intends to come to the United States to invest and manage substantial amounts of business in the United States. You can apply for an E-2 visa either at the US embassy in other foreign countries (including South-Korea) or in the US depending on your current immigration status. Although there is no exact requirement in terms of an investment amount, it is generally recommended for an investment between $50,000 and $100,000 to get an E-2 visa. However, if you go through Consular Processing with an interview at a US embassy in a foreign country, it is recommended to invest at least $150,000 as the screening process is more challenging. Investments should be made on the premise that the source of capital invested is legitimate and that risking the business for profit makes it possible to lose the capital invested if the business is not lucrative.
The period of stay in the United States as an E-2 status may continue for an additional two years at any one time, indefinitely, as long as your investment in the United States continues. If there is a significant change in the investment business (e.g., merging, selling or acquiring an investment business), a new E-2 application must be completed and submitted to the USCIS or to the US Embassy. Spouses of E-2 applicants and unmarried children under the age of 21 are also eligible for E-2 status. E-2 spouses are eligible to apply for a work permit (EAD) for employment in the United States, but not for accompanying children. Also, if your child is 21 years of age or older, he or she must obtain an F-1 or other non-immigrant visa or green card to continue your legal stay in the U.S.
2. Investor with at least $500,000 (EB-5 Immigrant Visa)
EB-5 requires ten times more investment than the nonimmigrant investment visa, E-2. To get EB-5 immigrant visa, you need to invest a minimum of $ 500,000 or $ 1,000,000 depending on the area (those investing in government-designated economically disadvantaged and targeted unemployment areas will have a reduced investment of at least $ 500,000), and to hire more than 10 employees to obtain a permanent resident status.
An EB-5 is an immigrant visa that starts with a temporary permanent residency, and acquires permanent residency after two years, based on the re-assessment of the USCIS, whether you have fulfilled the promise of an immigrant investor. This is called a Removal Condition. The reason for removing the condition in two years is to confirm the business plan that the investor has fulfilled at the time of applying for the investment. When deleting the condition, the examination of the investment amount which is said to be invested, rather than business, is the main examination object.
Unlike other employment-based immigration, it is advantageous to obtain a (conditional) permanent residency in a short period of time within 1 year ~ 1 year and 6 months. Unlike the E-2 visa holders who must stay in the US, there is no restriction for EB-5 holders on the residential area or occupation, and there is no requirement to stay in the United States. However, after the issuance of the conditional green card, you have to stay in the US at least for 6 months during a year unless there are exceptions.