If you are a citizen of one of the treaty countries listed by the U.S. Department of State and have a substantial amount of capital to invest in a business in the United States, the E-2 treaty investment visa (E-2 visa) can be a quick and secure way to obtain a visa to invest in and operate a business in the United States.
The E-2 visa also allows a foreign national to legally reside and work in the United States without a job offer from a United States employer. Depending on the circumstances of the applicant, it may also be one of the quickest visas to obtain.
A Virginia immigration lawyer from Fayad Law, P.C., explains what you need to know about the E-2 visa if you are interested in investing in and owning a business in the United States.
What Is an E-2 Visa?
The E-2 visa is one of the most popular ways to live and work in the United States. A foreign national of a treaty country may be admitted to the United States under the E-2 nonimmigrant classification by investing a substantial amount of capital in a United States business. The investor can buy an existing business, start a new franchise or start their own business..
If your country is included on the list of treaty countries maintained by the U.S. Department of State, you would be eligible to apply for an E-2 visa.
Qualifications of an E-2 Treaty Investor
To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:
- Be a treaty country national
- Have made a substantial investment in a bona fide United States business
- Have control over the funds invested and are placing them at risk by investing in this business (showing at least 50% ownership)
How Long Can an E-2 Investor Stay in the United States?
A maximum initial stay of two years will be permitted for qualified treaty investors and employees. Requests for up to two-year extensions of stay or changes of status to the E-2 classification may be granted. An E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted as many extensions as necessary. However, all E-2 nonimmigrants must continue to have the intention of leaving the country when their status expires or is terminated.
How Much Money Needs to Be Invested?
There is no minimum investment needed to qualify for an E-2 visa. However, the investment must be “substantial.” The amount that qualifies as a substantial amount will vary depending on the type of business involved, how many jobs were generated by the investor’s personal assets, etc. The investment should typically be at least $100,000, but it may occasionally be less. Generally, the more significant your investment in the business, the stronger your case will be. One of the immigration lawyers at Fayad Law, P.C. can assist you with determining your investment amount.
Source of Funds
The E-2 investor must have control over the investment funds, which must come from legitimate and approved sources, such as:
- investment income
- Personal savings
- Financial gifts
Both unsecured loans and loans secured by the investor’s personal property, such as a second mortgage on the investor’s home, are typically acceptable. However, loans secured by the company being invested in for E-2 visa purposes are not permitted as a source of funding for an E-2 investment.
Family and Employees of an E-2 Investor
The spouse and unmarried children under 21 may join the treaty investors and employees. Your family members will need to submit an E-2 visa application as a dependent to obtain the necessary authorization to accompany you (or follow you later). If granted, the duration of their visa will typically be the same as that of the primary visa holder. Additionally, family members joining an E-2 visa holder may apply for authorization to work in the United States. If successful, they will not be subject to any limitations on the kind of work they can do.
Fayad Law, P.C.: Your “Immigration Lawyer Near Me” in Virginia
At Fayad Law, P.C., we know how complex the E-2 investment visa process can be. With over 20 years of combined experience, we can address any complications that may arise along the way. From our offices in Richmond and Fairfax Virginia, we will do everything possible to ensure that you or your employee receives the E-2 visa as soon as possible.
If you are considering opening a business in the United States, contact one of our immigration lawyers for advice and guidance to ease the process and give you the peace of mind that you will be approved in a timely manner. Call our immigration law office at (804) 249-4747 or complete our online contact form. Let us know how we can help you.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.