If you are interested in owning or managing a U.S. business, Aretz and Chisholm Immigration may be able to help you obtain an E-2 non-immigrant visa. Obtaining an E-2 visa can be difficult and overwhelming. Aretz and Chisholm Immigration can provide you with guidance to navigate this complex process.
E-2 Investor Visa
Certain foreign nationals may be eligible for an E-2 visa if they plan to individually invest, or have already invested, a “substantial amount of capital” into a U.S. business. E-2 visa applicants generally apply through a U.S. consulate abroad, although applying from within the U.S. may be an option in certain cases.
An E-2 applicant must be from a country that maintains a trade treaty with the U.S. The applicant must have invested, or be actively investing, a “substantial amount of capital” in a genuine U.S. business. An investment is defined as a placing of capital to generate profit, but is subject to partial or total loss in the event of failure. While there is no set or defined number that is considered a “substantial amount of capital,” the amount of capital invested is considered in relation to the total cost of the purchased business, and it must be investment that is sufficient to ensure the applicant’s commitment to the success of the business. The investment must be more than “marginal,” meaning that the investment is likely to produce a profit that will financially support the applicant and his or her family.
The applicant must also be seeking to enter the U.S. to develop the business; thus, the applicant must demonstrate either a minimum of 50% ownership interest, or control of the business in a managerial position.
Employees of Investors
An employee of an investor may also apply for an E-2 visa. The employee must be from the same country as the employer-investor, and be working as a high-level manager or “specialized knowledge employee.” In order to be eligible for this visa, however, the business must employ other U.S. workers in addition to the prospective employee applicant.
The E-2 visa for both investors and employees of investors is a nonimmigrant visa, meaning that is does not create a path to permanent residence (“green card”) or U.S. citizenship. The E-2 visa duration is dependent upon the treaty with the home country, but can generally be renewed.
Aretz & Chisholm Immigration can work with you if you are thinking of investing or have invested in a U.S. business. Contact Aretz & Chisholm Immigration today to set up a consultation to discuss the specifics of your business interests and future plans.