Are you looking for a Phoenix E-2 Visa lawyer to help you with the process of acquiring a visa?
E-2 investor visas are for people who are coming to the United States to invest in a new or existing enterprise.
Compared to the EB5 green card program the E-2 investor visa is much cheaper. There is no minimum investment for the E-2 visa. The EB5 requires an investment of either $500,000 or $1,000,000 at least in a U.S. company.
Those who qualify for E-2 investing visas can be granted a maximum initial stay of up to two years.
There is no limit on the number of times extensions can be granted. The extensions can be for a period of up to two years.
There are several key requirements that one must fulfill in order to be approved for an E-2 investor visa.
There are also other details that may be helpful for one to know before completing the necessary legal forms needed to obtain E-2 visa status.
Here we will share some tips to assist you in obtaining your E-2 visa. We will also outline some of the E-2 investor visa requirements.
1. Substantial and “At Risk” Investment an E-2 Visa
The E-2 investor must prove that the capital he or she has invested in the business is both large and is at risk. The investor should have a business plan detailing the future plans of their venture. The substantiality of the investment is based on the following;
- Typically the applicant must own at least 50% of the business he or she is investing in;
- In place of owning 50%, the investor can control operations through a manager position;
- The amount invested compared to the total cost of buying or creating the enterprise;
- The amount has to be considered enough to ensure the applicant is financially committed to the success of the business;
- The applicant should be active in managing the business to direct and develop their investment.
As a general rule of thumb, the lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher proportion of the total cost of the investment must be. If the total investment is less than $100,000, the E-2 investor should provide the entire amount.
The investment must be “at risk” or irrevocable.
The capital must be subjected to partial or total loss if the investment is not successful. Several types of documents can be used to prove that the applicant’s investment is at risk, including:
- Canceled checks or money orders
- Business bill of sale
- Escrow documents
- Itemized list of goods and materials purchased for the start-up of the business
2. Marginal Nature
The business cannot be of a marginal nature. This means that the business investment cannot be one that provides for a potential increase in value by idle means.
An example of idle means would be the purchase of land to hold for future value increase.
Furthermore, the business enterprise of an E-2 visa holder must generate a significant income. They should earn more than a just living for themselves and his or her family. They must earn enough to provide an economic contribution to the United States.
3. The Investor Must be a Citizen of a Treaty Country
The E-2 applicant must be a legitimate citizen of a country that has an investment treaty with the US. The list of treaty countries and their status can be found on the US Department of State’s website.
Being a permanent resident of a treaty country is not enough. You must be a citizen with a passport issued from the treaty country.
You do not have to currently live in a treaty country to apply for an E-2 visa.
An example of this would be if a Japanese citizen was living in Russia. Russia doesn’t currently qualify as a treaty country, but Japan does. Therefore, Japanese citizens would be able to apply for an E-2 visa.
4. Employees of Treaty Investors
Under certain circumstances, E-2 treaty investors may be accompanied by foreign employees of the business they wish to run. Under the E-2 visa, US workers should also be employed. There is no set number of US workers required, so even two or three should suffice.
The following are general requirements for foreign employees of a treaty investor:
- The employee must be of the same nationality as the treaty investor.
- The employee must be employed in either an executive or supervisory capacity. If they are not, they must possess skills that are highly specialized and essential to the operations of the business.
- Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify. Likewise, knowledge of a foreign language, culture, or previous employment does not meet the requirement. These must be paired with other skills to meet the special qualifications required.
5. Family Members of Treaty Investors and Employees
Family members of principal treaty investors and accompanying employees may be eligible for E-2 visa status. If granted the spouse of the E-2 applicant may work in the US. Children, however, are not authorized to work; just to study. They must meet certain conditions to qualify.
Conditions for a family member and employee E-2 Visas:
- Family members must be spouses or dependent children of the treaty investor or employee.
- The children must be under 21-years-old.
- The nationality of the family member is irrelevant.
- The term of the family member visa is the same as of the treaty investor or employee.
There are also some differences between the principal treaty investors and employees.
The principal investor must work on the specific task for which they were approved. The employee can work for parent or subsidiary companies of the organization.
If the employee is working for a parent company or subsidiary they must meet a few more requirements.
These requirements are:
- The relationship between the organizations needs to be established;
- If working for a subsidiary executive, supervisory, or otherwise essential skills are required;
- The terms and conditions of employment cannot have changed
There are several requirements that must be met in order to qualify for an E-2 visa. An experienced immigration attorney can help you through the process. They will ensure that the supporting documentation is complete and submitted properly. Roya Habich has the experience and skill required to guide you through this process.
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