Do you qualify for an E2 Visa?
If you’re interested in moving to the US to start a business, the E2 visa may be a great option for you. However, it’s important to find out if you may qualify for this visa. See below for a quick checklist to let you know right away whether this is the visa for you and your family.
- Are you from a “Treaty Country”? If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you may be eligible to get an E2 visa.
- Do you intend to return to your home country if and and when your E2 visa is terminated, regardless of the reason?
- Do you have a “substantial” amount of money to invest into a new or existing business in the US? As you likely know, there is no “magic number” on how much is enough. Generally speaking, though, you will need to show that you have invested enough to prove to the adjudicator that the business has a chance to be successful. Typically, the problem here arises if you are running a service-based business. In many cases, someone who writes for a living or fixes computers or completes marketing campaigns won’t need to invest a lot of money in order to get a business up and running. Unfortunately, that’s not what the immigration officials are looking for. They want to see that you are “all in.” This means that you have done what it takes to make a “substantial” investment in this business.
- Do you have a lease? You need one: even if you could work out of your spare bedroom or your mother-in-law said you can use her house as an office or any other example you can give. Go to a commercial building in your area, sign a lease and pay as much of that lease up front as you can. This will show that the business is “real and operating.” Also, the money you use to prepay the lease can be used to show the “substantial” investment.
- Can you show that this business has the potential to make money? More than just a marginal living for you and your family? Great! This means you’re one step closer to getting an E2 investor visa. In order to show this, you’ll need a business plan. You will need to show that you will be making money and hiring people to work at your business. There are no minimum number of employees you need to have, but it helps to show at least a few.
- Can you “direct and develop” the business? To do this, you must show that you own at least 50% of the business, that you will be personally be developing and directing the business. You may also show that you have control of the business.
In a nutshell, that’s it! If you can prove these elements, you will likely be eligible for an E2 visa. Want information regarding the specific facts of your case? If so, please contact us today. We’ll be happy to help!