With an E-2 visa, business investors are able to work in the United States for the company they have invested in. The visa is sometimes referred to as a “Treaty Investor” visa because it is only available to citizens from countries with which the U.S. has an appropriate treaty.
Although the investor E-2 visa is not a permanent immigrant visa, it can be renewed indefinitely, which allows holders to pursue numerous opportunities in the U.S. Because this type of renewable visa is so desirable, immigration officials scrutinize applications closely. Applicants seeking an E-2 visa generally find it beneficial to work with a dedicated immigration lawyer to avoid common pitfalls that could cause their application to be denied or delayed.
American Dream™ Law Office understands the factors immigration officials are looking for in an E-2 visa application and can help you prepare to obtain your visa without unnecessary delays or errors.
An E-2 Visa Requires a Substantial Investment
A treaty investor must place a substantial amount of funds or other assets into a bona fide enterprise in the U.S. with the goal of generating a profit in order to obtain an E-2 visa. The assets invested must be placed at risk in the commercial sense, meaning that they could be lost if the business does not turn a profit. The investor will need to show that the funds invested were not obtained through illegal activity or money laundering.
How much does the government consider “substantial?” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains that to be substantial, the amount invested must be:
- Significant when compared with the total cost of buying an existing established enterprise or starting one from scratch
- Enough to show the investor’s financial commitment to the successful business operation of the enterprise
- Sufficient to demonstrate that the treaty investor will be developing and directing the enterprise (and not just a passive investor)
Generally, the less the total enterprise is worth, the more investors must put into it for their contributions to be considered “substantial.”
Other Characteristics of an E-2 Visa
The investment required for an E-2 visa must not only be substantial but it also must be made into a bona fide enterprise. The business must produce services or goods for a profit, meet applicable legal requirements for business operation, and it must be active.
An applicant seeking an E-2 visa must be a citizen of a “treaty country.” The U.S. State Department maintains a list of countries with whom the U.S. has current applicable treaties in force.
An employee working for a treaty investor may also qualify for an E-2 visa if they are the same nationality and they either have specialized knowledge or skills or work in a supervisory or executive role for the enterprise. Spouses and unmarried minor children of investors and qualifying employees may obtain an E-2 visa as well.
Find Out How an Immigration Attorney Could Help You Obtain Your E-2 Visa
To qualify for an E-2 investor visa, you must demonstrate that you will be entering the U.S. solely to direct and develop the business enterprise you are investing in. You must show that you will hold operational control or that you own at least 50 of the business. Then you must also show that the business itself is bona fide, and that your investment is substantial and at risk.
If you fail to prove that you meet all these qualifications, you could be denied an E-2 visa. However, a knowledgeable immigration lawyer at American Dream™ Law Office could help you prepare your application and supporting documentation in a way that satisfies the legal requirements, and your legal counsel can assist with other aspects of the application process to help you succeed in gaining your visa. To learn more about how we help with visa applications, contact our office today.