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E-2 Visa Your Dream is My Dream

Tampa, FL E-2 Investor Visa Attorney

With an E-2 visa, business investors can work in the United States for the company they have invested in. The visa is sometimes called a “Treaty Investor” visa because it is only available to citizens from countries with which the U.S. has an appropriate treaty.

Although the investor E-2 visa is not a permanent immigrant visa, it can be renewed indefinitely, which allows holders to pursue numerous opportunities in the U.S. Because this type of renewable visa is so desirable, immigration officials scrutinize applications closely. 

Applicants seeking an E-2 visa generally find it beneficial to work with a dedicated immigration lawyer to avoid common pitfalls that could cause their application to be denied or delayed. American Dream® Law Office, PLLC, understands the factors immigration officials are looking for in an E-2 visa application, and we can help you prepare your visa to help you avoid unnecessary delays or errors.

Consult with our Tampa E-2 investor visa lawyer about your case. Call (888) 991-3336 or email us via our contact form to get started. Our services are available in Arabic and Spanish.

E-2 Treaty Investors Requirements

The E-2 visa classification is available to nationals of the treaty country who meet the following requirements:

  • Must show that the treaty exists
  • Individual or the enterprise possesses the nationality
  • The applicant has invested or in the process of investing in the treaty enterprise
  • The treaty enterprise is real and operating
  • Investment is substantial
  • The applicant will develop and control the enterprise
  • The employee must be an essential employee
  • The applicant intends to depart the United States after the classification is over

The nationality of the treaty enterprise is determined by the percentage of stock the treaty national controls. Ownership of 50% of the enterprise will be enough if the investor controls the enterprise. The investment funds must be at risk. They could be obtained through a loan but must not be secured by the assets of the enterprise. The funds must also be irrevocably committed to the enterprise.

The investor must also show that the funds were obtained through legal means. It can be from loans, as mentioned above, gifts, inheritance, or any other legitimate sources. Rents paid for the treaty enterprise can be counted towards the investment. The investment could also include intellectual property using the fair market value. Passive investments could not be counted.

A treaty investor must place substantial funds or other assets into a bona fide enterprise in the U.S. to generate a profit to obtain an E-2 visa. The investment must also be substantial, meaning that the amount invested must be sufficient to run the enterprise.  The assets invested must be at risk commercially, meaning they could be lost if the business does not profit. The government uses the proportionality test. In other words, investing 100% in a small company valued at under $100,000 is substantial. Alternatively, investing a smaller amount in a $10M enterprise may also be substantial. The investor must also show that the funds invested were not obtained through illegal activity or money laundering.

The enterprise may not be marginal. Marginal enterprises are ones that do not have the present or future capacity to generate enough income for a minimal living for the investor and his family. The investor must show that his enterprise will expand job opportunities, generate other sources of income, the enterprise will generate substantially more income than what is considered a living, and the investor will not simply work as a skilled or unskilled worker.

He must also direct and develop the enterprise. The investor may not compete directly as a skilled worker in the market. He must have a controlling interest in the treaty enterprise. This requirement does not apply to employees.

How Much Does The Government Consider “Substantial?” 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains that to be substantial, the amount invested must be:

  • Significant when compared with the total cost of buying an existing established enterprise or starting one from scratch
  • Enough to show the investor’s financial commitment to the successful business operation of the enterprise
  • Sufficient to demonstrate that the treaty investor will be developing and directing the enterprise (and not just a passive investor)

Generally, the less the total enterprise is worth, the more investors must put into it for their contributions to be considered “substantial.”

Other Characteristics of an E-2 Visa

The investment required for an E-2 visa must not only be substantial, but it also must be made into a bona fide enterprise. The business must produce services or goods for a profit, meet applicable legal requirements for business operation, and be active.

An applicant seeking an E-2 visa must be a citizen of a “treaty country.” The U.S. State Department maintains a list of countries with which the U.S. currently has applicable treaties.

Employees working for a treaty investor may also qualify for an E-2 visa if they are of the same nationality and either have specialized knowledge or skills or work in a supervisory or executive role for the enterprise. Spouses and unmarried minor children of investors and qualifying employees may obtain an E-2 visa as well.

Obtaining an E-2 Visa

The general application process for securing an E-2 Visa is as follows:

  • Investment Requirement: The applicant must invest substantial capital in a U.S. business. The investment should be sufficient to ensure the success and viability of the enterprise.
  • Nationality Requirement: The applicant must be a national of a country with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States, including E-2 Visa eligibility.
  • Form DS-160: Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form online. Provide personal information, details about the investment, and other required information.
  • Supporting Documents: Gather and submit supporting documents, such as business plans, financial records, contracts, and proof of investment funds.
  • Visa Interview: Schedule and attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the applicant's home country.
  • Admission to the U.S.: If approved, the applicant can seek admission at a U.S. port of entry as an E-2 nonimmigrant.

You must prove that you meet all these qualifications for an E-2 visa. However, our knowledgeable immigration lawyer at American Dream® Law Office can help you prepare your application and supporting documentation to help satisfy the legal requirements. We can also assist with other aspects of the application process to help you better seek approval. 

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