E-2 Investor Visa for a Small Business (Treaty Investors)
I.S. Law Firm secured and successfully extended an E-2 visa for a small electronics retailer. We are happy to have been able to overcome the challenges of the process and to achieve success on behalf of our client.
E-2 visas can be obtained by investors in small businesses located the United States. E-2 is a non-immigrant visa, but in many ways it is similar to a green-card. The holder of an E-2 visa, his/her family, and employees are allowed to enter and leave the U.S. as much as needed, as long as the business exists. E-2 visa holders may engage in self-employment (in furtherance of the qualifying investment), may remain in the U.S. for indefinite periods of time, and are not required to maintain ties to their home country. Unlike EB-5 immigrant investor visas, E-2 visas require less investment and no job creation.
To secure the approval of an E-2 visa petition for our client, we had to prove on our client’s behalf that he meets the following requirements:
- The investor must be a citizen of the treaty county.
- The investor must have possession and control of the funds invested. The source of the funds does not need to be outside the U.S., i.e. it can be a gift from someone in the U.S.
- The investment must be at risk. This means that just putting the money in the bank account does not qualify as investment. It must involve some enterprise, something that can be at risk, i.e. a business that can be closed if things do not go that well.
- The investment must be committed. This means that one cannot just show money in the bank account and claim investment. The money must be either spent for the business, or there must be contracts with customers or vendors showing commitment. For example, a one year lease contract for show-room or office will be enough to show that the amount of that one year lease is committed as investment.
- The business must be a bona fide commercial undertaking. This means that we need to show that the business is not created solely for immigration purposes. This requirement is satisfied with showing that the actual business is being undertaken, office is leased, entity is formed, business plan exists, contracts are made, etc.
- The investment must be substantial. There is no special figure. This amount may vary depending on the type of the business. For example, if your business investment is opening a car dealership, the investment of $100,000 will probably not be sufficient; however, if you are opening a restaurant, this sum may be enough.
- Investment must not be marginal. This means that the investor must have bigger plans, i.e. the business is not only to earn living, but to expand and grow. This is done by preparing a business plan, and showing the evidence that the business will continue growing.
- Finally, the investor must have ability to develop and direct the business. This is proven by showing evidence of the investor’s prior experience, education and skills relevant to managing the intended business.
PLEASE NOTE THAT CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DESCRIBED BELOW DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY I.S. LAW FIRM, PLLC.
I.S. Law Firm provides services from the beginning of the process to the final point. We can establish a business entity, negotiate agreements, draft contracts, and handle entire immigration process for the investor and the family. For a consultation, please call +1-703-527-1779 or email us at [email protected].