When you apply for an E2 visa, your eligibility to live and work in the U.S. based on a substantial investment in a U.S. business can be confirmed. The E2 visa is available to individuals from countries with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States.
Eligibility Requirements for E2 Visa
- Be a citizen of a country with a commerce and navigation treaty with the United States.
- Make a substantial investment in a U.S. business. The investment must be significant enough to ensure the business's success, and the individual must have control of the funds.
- The investment must be in an active, for-profit enterprise. Passive investments, such as real estate, do not qualify.
- The individual must come to the United States to develop and direct the investment enterprise. They must play an active role in the management of the business.
- The investment must be at risk. This means that the funds invested must be subject to lose if the business does not succeed.
- The individual must intend to depart the United States when their E-2 status expires or is terminated.
It is important to note that no specific dollar amount qualifies as a "substantial investment." Rather, the investment must ensure the business's success and create jobs for U.S. workers. The amount of the investment will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Application Costs of the E2 Visa
The filing fee for an E-2 visa application is $205, paid to the U.S. Department of State.
Investor Visa Treaty Fee
Some countries require an additional fee known as the Investor Visa Treaty Fee, which ranges from $0 to $2,250, depending on the country of citizenship.
Business Registration Fees
To qualify for an E-2 visa, the individual must have already invested in a U.S. business or plan to do so. Business registration fees will vary depending on the state and type of business entity. Generally, the fees range from $50 to $800.
It is recommended that individuals seeking an E-2 visa hire an immigration attorney to assist with the application process. Attorney fees will vary depending on the complexity of the case and the attorney's hourly rate.
Other costs associated with the E-2 visa application may include document translation and certification fees, travel expenses for attending the visa interview, and medical exam fees.
It is important to note that the costs associated with the E-2 visa application can add up quickly. It is recommended that individuals seeking an E-2 visa clearly understand the associated costs and budget accordingly.
Tips for a Successful E2 Visa Application
Hire an Experienced Immigration Attorney
An experienced immigration attorney can guide you through the complex E-2 visa application process and help you avoid costly mistakes. They can also help you gather the necessary documentation, prepare the application and support letters, and ensure that everything is submitted on time.
Provide Strong Evidence of Investment
To qualify for an E-2 visa, you must provide evidence of a substantial investment in a U.S. business. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your application will be. This can include financial statements, contracts, bank statements, and other documentation.
Demonstrate that the Investment will Create Jobs
The E-2 visa is intended to support U.S. job creation, so it is important to show that your investment will lead to job creation. This can be demonstrated through a detailed business plan and financial projections.
Be prepared for the Visa Interview
As part of the E-2 visa application process, you must attend a visa interview. Be prepared to answer questions about your business, investment, and intentions in the United States. You should also bring all relevant documentation to the interview.
The E-2 visa application process can take several months or even longer, so it is important to plan and allow plenty of time for the application to be processed. Make sure to gather all necessary documentation and work closely with your immigration attorney to ensure that everything is submitted on time.
Key Terms for E2 Visas
- Treaty Country: A country with a treaty of commerce and navigation or a bilateral investment treaty with the United States.
- Investor: An individual who has made a substantial investment in a U.S. business and will be actively involved in managing the business.
- Essential Employee: A treaty investor or enterprise employee with special qualifications essential to the business's operation.
- Substantial Investment: An amount of capital significant in proportion to the total cost of establishing or acquiring a qualifying enterprise.
- Qualifying Enterprise: A business that meets the requirements for eligibility under the E-2 visa program, such as being a bona fide enterprise, having the nationality of a treaty country, and being engaged in active trade or services.
Final Thoughts on E2 Visas
The E2 visa can be a great option for foreign nationals who want to invest in and manage a business in the United States. However, it is important to carefully consider the requirements and restrictions of the visa before applying.
To qualify for the E2 visa, the investor must be a treaty country national, have made a substantial investment in a qualifying enterprise, and be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise.
Additionally, the enterprise must be engaged in active trade or services. It must not be marginal, meaning it must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their family.
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