Something that the L1 and EB5 visa share in common is they allow foreigners to immigrate to and legally work in the United States.

But they are not common at all when it comes to their requirements and the more specific purposes behind them. Let’s talk about the major differences between these two visas in greater depth:

The L1 Visa

The L1 Visa is designed to help transfer executives, employees with specialized knowledge, or managers over to the United States, and is also referred to as an intracompany transferee. The visa will be good for a period of one year.

There are several requirements that you will need to meet in order to be eligible for the L1: you will need to have been employed for a minimum of one year with the company abroad who you will be continuing to work with/for in the United States, all of your accompanying family members must be admissible into the United States as well, and the job that is offered to you in the United States has to be in either a manager’s or executive’s capacity as well.

One of the biggest challenges to acquiring the L1 Visa is the fact that you need to provide evidence of specialized knowledge (if you are applying as an employee with specialized knowledge), and this is not always easy. You’ll also need to acquire bank statements that show salary deposits, and letters of support that display you have been employed abroad for at least one year and that detail your position.

That being said, the L1 visa still has a myriad of different advantages as well. For example, it requires significantly less investment money than the EB-5, you can easily bring any children who are under the age of twenty-one, your spouse will be allowed to apply for work authorization, and you can easily travel inside and outside of the United States throughout your stay. In addition, no educational degree will be required on your part either.

EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 visa is a program that will allow any foreign investor the chance to obtain a green card in exchange for either investing one million dollars or half a million dollars into a business in the United States. The requirement will typically be at least one million, but half a million can be invested in areas that are determined by the government to be either too low of income or in need of economic investment.

The requirements for the EB5 are that you must invest either the full million or half a million (depending on the specific requirement for the region), prove that the source of this money is legitimate, and ensure that as a result of the investment a minimum of ten full-time jobs will be created for United States citizens and for a minimum period of two years.

The biggest challenges to obtaining the EB-5 are that only 10,000 visas are allowed to be authorized by the government each year, so it can already be difficult to obtain one when you’re up against the competition. You’ll also have to pay legal fees, administrative fees, and additional expenses, and the overall process of applying and being accepted is very slow as well.

But at the same time, the EB-5 provides a myriad of advantages. It will allow your immediate family members to be admissible into the United States just like you, and they will be eligible to become green card holders as well. Your children will be free to work or attend school and take advantage of in-state tuition rates.

In essence, being accepted for the EB-5 means that you and your family will become permanent residents of the United States, and you will eligible for citizenship within five years. It’s also not necessary for you to be responsible for the management of the business you are investing in or to even speak English, and you will be allowed to travel inside and outside of the United States.


Basically, the L1 is a better short term visa and the EB5 is a better long term one. If you still have more questions or need to find out more information, then it is advisable that you contact an immigration attorney who will have much more knowledge on the subject. Hiring an attorney will also greatly improve the odds of you being improved as well.

Here at Rahbaran Law we have a 100% approval rate on EB-5’s and years of experience with L-1’s. If you’re interested in more information or looking to get your immigration processed started you can contact us here.