Want to invest? You came to the right place. The United States welcomes investors from Treaty countries through our E2 treaty investor visa program. The program is designed for nationals of treaty countries to make substantial investments in companies here in the U.S. The E2 visa is renewable indefinitely. In other words, you, the E2 investor, and your spouse will be able to work and live in the U.S. as long as the business is still functional.
In order to qualify as a E2 investor, there are a few things you’ll need to show.
- As an investor, you need to be able to show citizenship of the treaty country.
- A majority of the business must be owned by a person/people who are nationals of the treaty country.
- You must prove that the investment/business is real. It cannot simply exist on paper or be speculative or idle.
- You must show that the investment is “substantial” and that the investment you made/will make is “committed and irrevocable.” You will not be able to show an investment with uncommitted funds.
- The investment you make must be enough to support a successful business of the type in which you are investing.
- As an E2 investor, you must show control of the money, and you must show financial/commercial risk. You may not secure your investment with the assets from the business.
- Your trip to the U.S. must be for the purpose of guiding and developing the business.
- This investment/business must have a “significant economic impact in the U.S.” or you can show that it will generate “significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family.”
What are the Requirements for an E2 Investor Visa?
There are several requirements in order to apply for an E2 Investor Visa
You must be a national of a visa country. If you aren’t a national of one of these countries, you may try a different path to entrepreneurship in the US.
You must invest in a new or existing business in the US with the goal of making a profit.
Your investment in the new or existing business must be “substantial.” A “substantial” investment is not defined as a number, but is judged under totality of the circumstances. The location of the business and the type of business will be considered. That said, you should be sure that you can invest at least $30,000 in order to show substantiality.
Your investment should be in a “bona fide enterprise” and cannot be “marginal.” According to United States Citizen and Immigration Services (hereinafter USCIS), “bona fide enterprise” is one that can be defined as a “real, active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit.” In other words, the business must be active on a day-to-day basis. You must show more than just an investment waiting to mature. For example, a simple real estate investment or a stock investment will likely not pass muster.
Additionally, the business must not be “marginal.” The government is looking for a business that has “present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family.” This is not a hobby business or a part-time business. You should be actively working on the business and intending the business to be a full-time venture that will financially support you and your family.
You must have the funds to be spent, and the funds must be “irrevocably committed.” This means that you must be in possession of the money. In addition, you must show that the funds have been spent or will be spent on the business. (A purchase agreement may be a way to show that the funds will be spent, and receipts are a way to show the money has already been spent.)
You must be able to trace the money. In other words, you must be able to show that the money is yours – not investors’ or third parties. It goes without saying that you must also show that the money was not received as a result of criminal activities.
Your goal in coming to the US is to “direct and develop” this business. In other words, you need to show that you have the ability and capacity to “direct and develop” the business. This is typically demonstrated by showing that you have at least 51% ownership in the business.
E2 Visa Lawyer
Angie Rupert is an E2 investor visa attorney based in Los Angeles, California. She has had the pleasure of helping clients from all over the world get E2 visas in order to run businesses here in the United States. She is the founder of Rupert Law Group, one of the few law firms in the US that focuses almost exclusively on E2 visas.
Unlike many immigration attorneys, Ms. Rupert understands the ups and downs associated with starting a successful business. In addition to founding Rupert Law Group, she built a full-service marketing firm that offered comprehensive traditional and digital marketing strategies to a variety of industries including legal, health care, education and finance. Ms. Rupert’s marketing expertise benefited businesses ranging from start-ups to $100 million revenue companies.
Contact Rupert Law Group to speak with an E2 visa lawyer. We’ll be happy to discuss your options.