The E1 visa is based on trade, E2 is based on investment in an active business, and EB-5 is based on investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs. E1 and E2 visas do not directly lead to permanent residency, while the EB-5 visa can.
No, an investment in a U.S. business is not required for the E1 Visa. This visa is based on trade.
A "substantial" investment refers to a significant amount of capital that is invested in a bona fide enterprise in the U.S. The amount varies depending on the type of business, but it should be sufficient to ensure the investor's financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
The investment for an E2 Visa must be in an active business as opposed to passive investment such as stocks or real estate.
A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is either a rural area or an area experiencing high unemployment. If the investment is made in a TEA, the minimum investment for an EB-5 visa is reduced to $900,000.