Deciding between an E-2 visa and an L-1 visa depends on your individual circumstances and business goals.
The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign investors to live and work in the United States based on their investment in a U.S. business. To qualify, you must make a substantial investment in a U.S. business, and you must own at least 50% of the business. The E-2 visa is typically valid for up to five years and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investor maintains their investment in the U.S. business.
On the other hand, the L-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows multinational companies to transfer executives, managers, or specialized knowledge employees from a foreign branch to a U.S. branch. To qualify, the foreign employee must have worked for the foreign company for at least one year in the three years preceding the transfer and must be coming to the U.S. to work in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity. The L-1 visa is typically valid for up to three years and can be extended up to a maximum of seven years for executives and managers, and five years for specialized knowledge employees.
If you are an investor who wants to start a new business in the United States, the E-2 visa may be the better option for you. If you are an executive, manager, or specialized knowledge employee of a multinational company with a U.S. branch, the L-1 visa may be the better option for you.
It is important to note that both visas have their own requirements and limitations, and it is recommended to consult with an immigration attorney to determine which visa is best suited for your individual circumstances.