E-2 Investment Visas
E-2 Investment Visas
Immigration Law – Investment: E-2 Investment Visas
A Viable Alternative to Family-Based or Employment-Based Visas
There are two types of investment visas. There is the E-2 visa, which is a non-immigrant or temporary visa. Then there is the EB-5 visa, which leads directly to an immigrant visa or “green card.” This section will focus on the E-2 visa.
In order to qualify for the E-2 visa, one must meet the following requirements:
- There must be a treaty between the applicant’s home country and the United States;
- The capital invested in the enterprise must be at risk of loss (it cannot be based on a loan which carries an expectation of repayment).
- The enterprise must be in the possession and control of the E-2 applicant (who must have a 51% or more ownership interest).
- The investment must be substantial and the business must be a real enterprise (not a paper company). Unlike the EB-5, which requires an investment of a specific dollar amount, the E-2 visa guidelines simply require that the investment must be “substantial.” This allows flexibility, in that the investment amount will be defined by the nature of the business enterprise.
- The investment must be “for profit,” meaning it cannot be simply to make enough income to support one’s livelihood or the well-being of one’s family. The focus should be on job creation for American workers.
- The investment must be made with personal funds or loans based on personal collateral. Every step in the investment chain must be fully documented. A complete money trail will document how the investor originally obtained the capital for the E-2 investment.
- The investor must have managerial experience and his or her duties in the enterprise must be executive and supervisory.
There are two ways in which one may obtain an E-2 visa:
- If the applicant is still overseas, he or she may apply directly at the U.S. consulate in one’s home country, OR
- If the applicant is already in the United States on a B-1 visa as a business visitor, he or she may file a petition requesting a change in status. An applicant is eligible for a change in status only if she or she has continuously maintained one’s previous immigration status without violations.
One is eligible to renew one’s E-2 visa as long as the business enterprise is running. One must simply show an intent to return to one’s home country when the business ends. The E-2 investor can bring one’s family to the United States, and the spouse may go to work upon filing and obtaining approval of work authorization.
Need Help With Immigration or Asylum?
If you need legal assistance with matters related to Immigration and/or Asylum,
contact us today to schedule a consultation.