How do I show I have invested for an E2 visa?
Our firm gets many calls from potential clients who are interested in getting an E2 visa, but have questions about the investing process. And so, by popular demand… the answer!
Before your E2 visa packet is prepared and sent, you need to show that you have invested or are in the process of investing. According to the “Foreign Affairs Manual,” or “FAM,” there are several ways to determine whether the money has been invested.
1. Possession and control of funds. You, the investor, must show that the money used to start or purchase the business is in your possession and control. In order to be successful in getting an E2 visa, you will need to trace the money you use for investing. This money must be controlled by you and it must’ve been received by legitimate means. You can inherit the money, get the money as a gift, earn the money, or get the money based on a loan secured with your personal property (not the business, however). The source of funds can be inside OR outside the US. The crucial element here is to trace the money.
2. The capital must be at risk. You must be investing the money in order to get a “financial return.” this means that you must be investing the funds in order to make money. However, it’s critical to show that if the business fails, the capital is gone, as well. This means that no non-profit businesses will be accepted.
3. Funds must be “irrevocably committed.” This is where many potential clients seeking E2 visas get held up. And this is where the true risk of these visas is apparent. The money must be spent. It’s not enough to simply have money in an account waiting for E2 approval. “Mere intent to invest, or possession of uncommitted funds in a bank account, or even prospective investment arrangements entailing no present commitment, will not suffice.” You need to show that the money is spent. If you are purchasing a business, you may place the funds in escrow with the only contingent being approval of the E2 visa. However, in most other cases, you will need to show cancelled checks, bank statements, credit card statements or other documents to show that the money is already “out the door.”
Have more questions about the E2 visa process? Contact us today! We focus on E2 visas, and we’re ready to help.