What types of real estate businesses work best for an E-2 Visa?


What types of real estate businesses work best for an E-2 Visa?

In this article, we cover some of the things that may work and some of the things that may not work for the E2 visa when it comes to the world of real estate.

In particular, we cover property management companies, house flipping companies and construction companies.  Which of these may work best for you?

Property Management

Whether short-term, long-term or commercial property management, this type of business may qualify for the E2 visa.  In fact, we have helped people apply for the E2 visa with this type of business, and they were approved.  What are some of the recommendations we make in order to have the best chance of approval?

  1. You should invest a minimum of at least $100,000 USD even though this is a service-based business.
  2. You need to have clients outside of yourself. In other words, you need to be managing properties owned by other people or entities. We always recommend that you have a minimum of two clients (landlords) and a minimum of about five doors at the time of application. These are guidelines, not hard and fast rules, but that is what we find to give you the best odds of approval for that E2 Visa. Remember that you should not have any legal or biological relationship with the two landlord/clients. These should be separate people or entities.

House/Property Flipping

This is not our favorite type of business, and it’s not the consulate’s favorite either, but an E2 visa application may be successful with a few guidelines.  In this type of business, our recommendations border on requirements.  Because this is one of the “gray area” businesses, we really go above and beyond to prove that the E2 visa requirements have been met.

  1. You should have already purchased two pieces of real estate, flipped both properties and sold a minimum of two properties prior to the application. At the time of application, you should be in the middle of flipping a third property.  By showing that this is a series of projects (not just one), you show that the business more closely aligns with the intention of the E2 visa – an ongoing business with clients, ongoing U.S. investment and U.S. employees.
  2. You should have at least two U.S. employees on payroll (sometimes called a W2 employee) at the time of application. In addition, you will undoubtedly have a variety of independent contractors (1099 contractors).

Construction Company

If you want to build houses/buildings or you are interested house/property flipping but you haven’t finished at least two flips/sales, you could always apply as a construction company.

  1. You should have at least two clients and two signed construction contracts at the time of application. These clients could be hiring you for any construction project (remodeling a guest bathroom, putting in a swimming pool, building a guest house or any other construction project).  These clients should not be biologically nor legally related to you or any of your businesses.
  2. Once you get the E-2 Visa you should always have continue to have regular customers or clients, and you can also build or flip some of your own properties.
  3. You must invest our required minimum of $100,000 USD before you apply for the E2 visa. We would be happy to give advice and suggestions about how to invest the money, but ultimately that decision will be yours.

Do you have any other questions about starting a real estate based business in order to apply for the E2 visa?  We would be thrilled to speak with you!  Reach out anytime.

PLEASE NOTE – this article does not contain legal advice.  This article is based on other applicants’ experiences.  Each case is different, and you should not take anything in this article as legal advice.  You should rely on advice only after you sign a retainer agreement with a U.S. licensed immigration attorney.

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