The E-2 is a non-immigrant visa classification that allows people from more than 30 countries to enter the United States by investing a large sum of money in a U.S business. The countries that belong to this treaty have treaties of navigation and commerce, and they maintain either an eligible international agreement with or are deemed to be a qualifying country through legislation. An E-2 visa can be obtained by an individual by making a large economic contribution and setting up an office, business or practice. There are E-2 visa requirements that must be satisfied to get the visa though. This visa doesn’t offer lawful permanent residence for an investor, but the visa can be extended for an indefinite amount of time, so long as the business is active and viable.
You must be from a treaty country, and that’s citizenship and not mere residence. That country must have an appropriate treaty with the U.S. The visa isn’t offered to non-treaty country citizens,
You must have either invested in a business or are in the process of investing in the immediate future. Assuming you’ve already invested, you must show proof of where the funds came from. They must be from a legitimate source. If you’re in the process of investing, the funds must be irrevocably committed to the investment. As opposed to shopping for business locations or sites, you must close on the business. A broker will draft an asset purchase agreement between the current owners and the U.S. company. Assuming that the E-2 visa is accepted, funding will be passed on to the seller. You get the business. If your E-2 visa is declined, the fund will be returned to you.
Active and Operating
If the business is sold, it must be active and operating. It will provide goods and services for profit. Much of this will be evidenced by registration and founding documents and an FEIN. Tax returns, business licenses, employee data will also be checked to be sure that your new company is active and operating.
A Substantial Sum Must be Invested
To be eligible for an E-2 visa, the sum of money that you’re investing must have a substantial impact on the U.S. economy. It can’t be a nominal sum. Predicted future earnings must be met in five years. The E-2 investor must own at least 50% of the company. Ownership should have a significant financial impact. A substantial sum might be $100,000 to $1 million or more, depending on the nature of the business.
The Business and Immigration Plan
Embassy personnel will want to see a sound overall business plan. A financial strategy is critical, but be realistic. You need to renew your visa in two years. Meet your objectives. Your decision on what type of structure you’ll operate from should be made well ahead of time. A marketing strategy can be shown with past and future meetings. The nature of the business that you invest in should be consistent with your skill set and qualifications.
The primary investor is allowed to travel back and forth from the United States as needed. He or she is granted an automatic two years. Another two years can be sought after that. This primary investor is permitted to travel with his children up to 21 years of age. Caution should be used if children are traveling alone. It’s probably best to consult with an immigration lawyer before traveling.
The E-2 visa can be extended to employees and their families. They’re also eligible for two years in the United States. Although spouses can be employed, it’s best if the have work authorization. Before reaching the age of 21, children should consult with an immigration attorney to know their options of remaining in the United States.
E-2 Processing Time
The application time for an E-2 visa can be anywhere between a few short weeks to five months, especially if you’re outside of the United States. Note that you’re in the United States, a change of status might be all that you need. In that case, premium processing at $2,500 might be all that you need.
Leaving the U.S. When the E-2 Terminates
Remember that an E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa. On that basis, you must notify the U.S. Embassy accordingly of your intent to leave the country in writing when the visa terminates.
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