LIVE AND WORK IN THE USA

September 2016

Our website contains extensive information for foreign entrepreneurs and businesses who wish to establish themselves and expand their activities in the USA. 
Our guide to the E2 Investor visa provides a detailed analysis of the requirements, eligibility and application procedure. Therefore, it is all you need to start considering the possibility of becoming a successful E2 Investor in the USA and we are at your disposal to discuss everything else. 
As long as your country has signed the E2 Treaty with the United States of America you are most probably qualifying to become an E2 Investor. The list of E2 Treaty countries is long so most likely you are eligible. Contact us to further discuss the issue and advise you step by step on the whole process as well to provide you with the options of starting up your own business in the USA or buy an existing one. 
E2 Investor Visa

What is an E2 Investor Visa?

   
The E-2 Investor Visa (businessman's visa) is a non-immigrant visa that allows an individual to enter and work inside of the United States provided that he or she invests on a business that they will be controlling, while inside the United States. This visa is generally renewed every two years, but there is no limit as to how many times it can be renewed. Basically, as long as the business is active, healthy and operating in the USA and as long as it is controlled by the E2 Investor, there is no reason that the E2 visa will not be renewed. Of course there are crucial details that we will discuss further below in this section that define the eligibility for the visa renewal.

 The first general rule is that the potential Investor is a national of a country that has signed the E2 Treaty wth the USA. In case the country of the individual is not part of the E2 Treaty (for example Greece), then no Greek national can become an E2 Investor, even if all the rest of the requirements are actually met. Nationals from countries such as Iran on the other hand qualify to become E2 Investors since Iran has signed the E2 Treaty with the USA back in 1957. Thus, an Iranian national who wishes to invest on a business in the USA (either start their own business or buy an existing one) will be eligible, provided they meet the requirements further below. 

With the exception of a business being owned and controlled equally (50-50) by nationals of two Treaty countries, a business for which E2 status is sought may only have one qualifying nationality. In the opposite case, where there are two different Treaty nationalities, it should be decided which one of the two will qualify. 
When a company is equally owned and controlled by nationals of two different Treaty countries, employees of either nationality may obtain E2 visas to work for that company.

Secondly, the investment must be "substantial." While there is no specific minimum or maximum amount for investments in order for an E2 investor to qualify for an E2 Visa, generally speaking, an amount over $50.000 could lead to an E2 Visa under the "substantial" investment rule, while an amount of $20.000 is less likely to be considered as a "substantial" investment. The actual investment amount depends on the type of business the investor chooses.

Thirdly, for new startups, the investment must be large enough to start and operate the business. The amount of investment varies on the type of business. The investment will not be considered substantial if it is not large enough to capitalize the venture. The USCIS will use an ‘Inverted Sliding Scale’ to determine whether the investment is substantial in proportion to the overall cost of the enterprise.
Upon conclusion of the business, investors must return to their countries of origin, or change their status. The holder of an E-2 visa may leave the United States at any time.

A substantial investment is defined as an amount sufficient to ensure that  investor's financial commitment to the successful establishment and operation of the business, based on a proportionality test. 
For example, if an investor chooses to establish a restaurant business, and according to the business plan he needs to invest $100.000 for the proper restaurant establishment, he will probably have to show more funds to secure the first few months of  operation until it has become a profitable business. 

Moreover, there is a requirement that the investor seeking an E2 Investor visa must be in possession of at least 50% of the business shares. An equal share of the investment in a joint venture or an equal partnership of two parties do generally give the required control for E2 visa purposes if the joint venture and partner each retain full management rights and responsibilities. 

Another requirement of the E2 visa is the lawfulness of the funds. Where did the funds come from? If the investment funds came from legal activities, personal savings, etc.. then this requirement is fulfilled. Investment earnings, gifts or inheritance sources are also accepted, as well as many other legal sources. It is not necessary that the investment funds come from outside of the United States. Money that has been obtained inside the USA can also be used for E2 investment purposes. 
For example, an Iranian entrepreneur may have family or relatives in the USA who wish to grant him or her the required E2 investment funds as a gift in order to start his own business in the USA. That can be an accepted case as long as the family or the relatives in the USA can prove the legality of the funds. 
Certain types of loans such as  any loans securing personal assets of the investor (i.e. property mortgages, or loans on the investor's personal signature - (unsecured loans)) also qualify as E2 investment funds. 
However, loans such as business - commercial loans (mortgage debt loans) cannot count towards the E2 investment. 

Furthermore, in order for an E2 visa to be granted, the E2 business must be a real and active commercial business producing some type of services or commodity. It is imperative that the business has all legal licenses and permits to operate as required by the government. The business cannot be a paper organization or an idle speculative investment. It must be a commercial investment for profit eliminating non-profit organizations. 

Therefore, a business plan or an investment plan on paper will never qualify for an E2 visa. The investment funds must be put irrevocably at risk before the E2 visa proceedings, in other words the E2 investor must have actually spent the funds towards the establishment of the business and with such proof he/she can then initiate the E2 visa proceedings.

 
Other Investment Visas:

- EB5 Investor Visa

  E2 Investor's  Spouse & Children  
The spouse and children of the E2 Investor may obtain E2 visas as dependents (family members) to reside in the USA. Such family members may apply for an E2 visa at the same time, or after the main E2 Investor applies and children can only apply until the age of 21. Beyond that age children will not be considered as dependents and they will not qualify for a dependent visa. 

The spouse may also apply for a work permit after arriving in the USA. This is a separate application and it does not mean that since a spouse received an E2 visa she or he will also be able to work automatically. This special work permit is called "Employment Authorization Card" and it provides the spouse with great flexibility as it allows him/her to work anywhere.

Regarding the children of the E2 Investor, the E2 visa allows them to attend school in the USA by enrolling in either public or private schools. 
E2 Visa requirements
Following the aforementioned information, the general requirements of the​ E2 Investor visa can be summarized as follows:

  • Investor is a national of an E2 Treaty country;
  • Investment funds amount to a "substantial" investment;
  • Investor is actively running the business;
  • Investor seeking E2 visa must have at least 50% of the business as well as full rights and responsibilities;
  • It is a genuine business (proven establishment and operation);
  • The investment funds have been acquired from lawful sources;
  • The business is fully active;
  • The Enterprise is not marginal;
  • The investment funds must have been put irrevocably at risk.

To whom does the  E2 Investor Visa apply?


The E2 Investor Visa applies to foreign investors and their employees who wish to live and work in the USA on a particular business, whether new one or a bought out existing one. Foreign businessmen who wish to invest in the USA and who establish a new business or purchase an existing one could qualify for an E2 Visa.  E-2 visas are also available to non- investor employees of the business, as long as the employees are of the same nationality as the investor and are destined to exercise specialized skills that are essential to the efficient operation of the US business, or they perform executive/supervisory roles.

Also, foreign corporations may also use the E2 Visa to send employees to the United States through their US subsidiary company.

What can our company do for you?

We are business consultants with extensive knowledge on startup companies,  mergers and acquisitions, or Company relocating in the USA and we have teamed up with the best American Immigration Law Firm in order to provide excellent service throughout. We  are ready to discuss with you investment opportunities, and aside of the E2 visa preparation we can also implement your project in the USA fast, efficiently and above all safely.

Our Services include:

  • Business strategy and methodology
  • Project implementation & management
  • Helping clients evaluate businesses for E2 investor visa eligibility
  • Advising clients on how to establish a business that qualifies for an E2 Investor Visa
  • Preparing clients (E2 Investors) visa applications or filing with the Embassies or USCIS
  • Guiding clients and answering all potential questions and concerns throughout the application process
  • Keeping track of clients' applications and updating the clients constantly
  • Communicating with government Authorities to solve any problem on clients' behalf.

Notice on the E2 Visa

It is a fact that the E2 visa has very strict requirements. It is always better that you consult a Business consultant as well as an Immigration Attorney before investing your money in order to protect yourself. You might find a business that looks great to you but find out later that you have invested your money on a business that does not qualify for an E2 visa. In our case, by contacting us, you automatically combine the business part of the case with the Immigration visa part. You no longer need to retain and spend money on individual specialist. We offer everything that you will need for a safe investment which will lead to a successful E2 visa. 

And since immigration law if Federal, we serve clients in all 50 States as well as worldwide. No matter where you intend to establish yourself in the USA we are here to help you start your business .


Disclaimer:
All the information displayed on this website is not considered legal advice. Such information is solely for education purposes to the public and individuals should not try to resolve any problems relying on this information. Readers are cautioned not to attempt to solve individual problems on the basis of the information contained herein and are strongly advised to seek professional advice from an expert.