E-2 Visa Intro
Generally speaking, the E-2 investor visa is for foreign investors who have investor plan to invest a substantial amount of capital, such as $120,000, in opening a new business or buying/sharing an existing business in the U.S. These foreign investors must be a national of a treat county, which is a country with which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
To qualify for the E-2, the treaty investor must demonstrate that he is from a treaty county, has invested or is investing into a bona fide business in the US, and that he is seeking entry to the US only for the reason to develop and take care of this business. He can do this by showing that he owns at least 50% of the company
The investment can be any for legal business for profit, such as opening a diner, grocery store, gas station, car dealership, etc. The investor must demonstrate to the immigration that the investment will sustain a living for himself and his immediate family. In other words, the business must generate enough money starting from the minute the investor enters the US. This can be proven by presenting a competent, rational and feasible business plan, projecting the future financial goals of the investment.
It is usually easier if the investor is investing in an already existing business that is already showing positive income and employees on the payroll. When opening an entirely new business, it becomes somewhat of a challenge, because it is slightly more difficult to prove the financial future projections. Furthermore, the investor should demonstrate that he already financially committed himself into the business plan by wiring money into the US business account or by opening an escrow account.
This visa permits an initial stay of a maximum 2 years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in 2 year increments, an indefinite period of time. While there is no maximum limit to granting extensions, the investor must always intend to eventually depart the US, when their authorized stay is terminated.
Spouses and children under the age of 21 may accompany the treaty investor and are also permitted to request extensions of their stay in two year increments.
The E-1 visa, also known as the treaty trader visa, applies to investors who are planning to establish an international business, mainly between the US and the foreign country, which must also have a treaty agreement with the US. The rules are similar to the E-2, with the exception that it must prove the viability of the business internationally.
If I apply for an E2 visa are my spouse and children covered by my application? Yes.
Can my spouse work in the US? Yes.
Can my children work in the US? No, not under the E2.
How long am I allowed to stay in the United States with my E-2 visa? An E-2 Visa is not an immigrant visa—so it will not grant you the right to permanently remain the U.S. Also, an E2 visa does guarantee admission into the US; it allows you to travel to the US and then to apply for a treaty investor. An inspector from the US Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security makes the decision whether or not you can be admitted into the US.
How long does an E-2 petition take to process? Regular processing takes approximately 15 weeks. USCIS offers expedited 15-day Premium Processing for an additional fee of $1,225.
What kind of businesses qualify? A vast variety of businesses can qualify. What is important is that the business makes more than sufficient income to support you and your family and that it creates employment.
Do franchises qualify for E-2 visas? Yes, and there are the same requirements for a franchised business as any other type of business, whether it is a new franchise or an already existing franchise.
What happens if I later sell my business? If you sell the business without first purchasing another business that qualifies, you are no longer eligible for the E-2 status. If that happens then you either have to leave the US, or you can apply to change your status status.
___________________________ E- 1 and E-2 Treaty visas This type of visa is available for certain countries that have a treaty agreement with the US. Generally speaking, the E-2 investor visa is for foreign investors who plan to invest some investment, such as $120,000 in opening a new business or buying or sharing an exciting business. The visa petition is usually adjudicated or reviewed by the consulate where the foreign investor resides. If the investor is already in the US he/she can apply for change of status from inside the US. The investment can be any legal business for profit, such as opening a diner, grocery store, gas station, car dealership, etc. the investor must show to the immigration that the investment will sustain a living for him and his immediate family. In other words, the business must generate enough money starting from the minute the investor enters the US. This can be proved by presenting a good rational and reasonable business plan projecting the future financial goals of the investment. It becomes easier if the investor is investing in an existing business that is already showing positive income, employees on the payroll, etc. For opening new investments, it gets harder to prove the financial future projections without showing a solid business plan. Also, the investor must show that he already committed himself financially into this investment such as wiring the money to the US business account or by opening an escrow account. In other words, there has to be an unequivocal commitment from the foreign investor that the money will be ready on the same day the investor arrives to the US. The visa is usually given in a two year increment which can be renewed indefinitely as long as the business is in operation, hiring employees, paying taxes, etc. This visa is provided to the foreign investor and his immediate family members such as the spouse and children less than 21 years of age. The immigration would like to see that the foreign investor has already purchased or leased a premises and made substantial steps toward opening the business upon arrival to the US. This requires some capital to be invested into the business such as purchasing furniture, etc. Also, the immigration would like to see that you are in the process of hiring local workers which can be presented in your business plan financial forecast. To check countries eligible for the E-2 visa go to http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3726.html The investor must show that he/she is the owner of the US business or at least 50%. Moreover, the investor must prove his ability to run the business by having enough education experience or both. In addition, the immigration looks at the value and cost of the investment, in which the lower the value or cost of the investment or enterprise is the higher the investment must be. This is required to show that the investment is substantial, this should be applied proportionally. E-1 visa or what’s called the treaty trader visa, applies to investors who are planning to establish an international business, mainly between the US and the foreign county which has the treaty agreement with the US) The rules are similar other then proving the viability of the business internationally.