On an E-2 investor visa in the USA, I start or buy a business. Do I need to employ Americans, or can I operate as a sole trader?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Tampa, FL

On an E-2 investor visa in the USA, I have to start or buy a business. Do I need to employ Americans, or can I operate as a sole trader as long as I am making a reasonable living?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Neil Ian Fleischer


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It sounds like you are confusing the requirements for an EB-5 investor visa. You should hire an attorney to help you as the requirements are difficult
    An E does not need to employ Americans

    Neil I Fleischer (513) 977-4209 www.immigrate2usa.com Note: Neil Fleischer is an attorney licensed in the State... more
  2. Nisha V. Fontaine

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hello,

    Thank you for posting your question.

    You are correct that as an E-2 investor, you are required to either start your own business or purchase an existing business (i.e. invest in the U.S.). One of the main requirements of qualifying for an E-2 visa is satisfying the 'marginality' requirement - i.e. that the investment is more than a marginal one solely for earning a living. Therefore, you need to have employees - whether they are U.S. citizens, Lawful permanent residents, etc.

    I hope the above addresses your question.

    Should you have any other questions regarding E-2 visa requirements, please feel free to contact our office for a detailed consultation. Our consultation would include discussing the viability of prospective businesses that you may consider purchasing for E-2 investment purposes as well as addressing any questions/concerns you may have regarding the E-2 visa application process.

    Good luck!

    Thank you,
    Nisha V. Fontaine, Esq.
    Serotte Reich Wilson, LLP

    Ph: 716-854-7525
    Email: NFontaine@srwlawyers.com
    Web: www.familytousa.com

  3. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You will need to show that the investment is not marginal. In other words, that it is not so small that it is only generating enough income for you. That generally means that you will need to grow the business to the point where you are hiring people.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more

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