If you make a substantial investment in a business based in the United States, you may be eligible to apply for an E2 visa. This visa will allow you to live and work in the U.S. for a minimum of three months and a maximum of five years, although the maximum may be eligible for extension.
Since the E2 visa comes with complex requirements, you should consult with a lawyer for immigration to help you through the process. In the meantime, you can review this list of questions to see if immigration benefits via an E2 visa may be right for you.
Are you a citizen of a treaty country?
The United States and your home country must share an E2 treaty that helps simplify economic and commercial collaboration. You can find the treaty countries online or consult with an immigration lawyer. You must be a citizen of a treaty country, not a legal permanent resident.
Are you making a substantial investment in the business?
The definition of substantial varies from situation to situation and person to person. However, for purposes of an E2 visa, it means that the investment must be significant enough to facilitate the successful operation of the business.
While the EB5 visa requires a specific minimum dollar amount, the E2 does not. In general, the investment should be $100,000 or more. In some cases, authorities may grant you a visa for a smaller investment, but typically, a larger dollar amount holds more weight.
You can document the importance of the investment to business operations with a list of items you have bought for the business, receipts, business, and personal bank statements, accounting documents, and a business plan.
Are your funds at risk?
You need to be committed to your business purchase or startup endeavor. To qualify for the E2 visa, you must have spent the funds and stand to lose your money if the business fails. Immigration authorities will not consider a loan that you have backed by investment assets.
You should do your homework for a current business to learn all about the company and its competitors to evaluate its present status and future potential. Then, to protect your investment, you can negotiate an agreement of sale with the existing owner, detailing purchase terms and conditions, pending your thorough evaluation.
If you want to prove your commitment while still protecting your funds, you can open an escrow account to hold your entire investment and transfer the funds when your E2 visa application gets approved.
Is the business real?
Your company needs to provide actual goods or services. Think of a retail location, restaurant, or physician’s office as just a few examples. For an E2 visa, you may not invest in stocks, simple real estate, or vacant land. You also may not hold the funds in a checking or savings account. Your money must be in use, contributing to an actual operating entity.
Does the business have a noticeable economic impact?
Your business investment must result in a substantial economic impact on the local community in the United States. Therefore, you cannot invest in a business with a minimal projected return on investment or one that only supports you and your family. In addition, since the business cannot be set up just to support the investor it is highly recommended the investor hire or be in the process of hiring U.S. workers
Are you directing and developing the business in the U.S.?
To qualify for the E2 visa, you need to show ownership of 50% or more of the business or demonstrate operational control in a leadership role. This means that you need to hold an executive, managerial, or supervisory position or possess a specialized skill. The average position, whether skilled or unskilled, will not help you secure an E2 visa. Your unique talents must be vital to the business’s chance of success.
If you feel that an E2 visa will meet your needs and you will meet the requirements, you should seek a law firm that provides immigration services. You can start by searching “immigration attorneys near me” or “immigration lawyer near me.”
Processing times for E2 visa applications vary from several weeks to a few months, based on the embassy you use to apply. You may take advantage of 15-day premium processing if you are already in the United States when you apply.
Are investors the only people who can apply for an E2 visa?
An employee may apply for an E2 visa as well. Your employee must hold the same citizenship from an E2 treaty country as you do. In addition, he or she must meet the definition of an employee according to laws of the U.S. Finally, your employee must be essential to your business due to managerial or executive talents or a highly specialized skill.
Contact The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC, in South Texas
If you need an E2 visa attorney or an EB5 visa attorney in South Texas, be sure to contact The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC. At The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC, our team is committed to helping families and corporations through the immigration maze because we know that immigrants are good for our country. Attorney Alfredo Lozano is a nationality and immigration law expert certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We love underdogs, and we are dedicated to assisting those seeking immigration status in good standing.
If you have questions about the E2 visa or other immigration-related issues, complete our contact form online or call our Team at Lozano Law Firm at 210-932-3600. Our experienced team of immigration professionals serves South Texas with offices in San Antonio, Eagle Pass, and San Angelo, Texas.
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