The E-1 and E-2 Investor Visas are appealing options for foreign business persons, investors, managers, and employees who wish to stay in the United States for extended periods of time to oversee: 1) an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the United States and a foreign country; or 2) a major investment in the United States.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, the key requirements are:
- Substantial Investment: The investment must be substantial. This is not defined in dollar terms, but is related to the amount normally required to purchase or develop a similar existing business or establish a new business. Investments are normally required to be in a minimum amount of $50,000 to $150,000, but can be less, depending on the type of business. It is acknowledged, for instance, that it takes far less capital to start up an internet business, than a manufacturing facility. However, it may be difficult to get approval for an E-2 visa if small amounts of capital are invested, as the consular officer may determine that insufficient monies are at risk. Some appropriate financing may be possible, however, it is not recommended that more than 25% - 30% of the purchase price be financed for investments in the range $100,000 to $500,000. The investment monies must be irrevocably committed to the purchase and, if purchasing an existing business, should be placed in a special escrow account. Funds in a business or personal bank account are normally insufficient to qualify the investor for an E-2 visa
- Non-Marginal Investment: The investor must demonstrate that the business in which they are investing will generate more than enough income to support the investor and their family, and will contribute to the economy, usually by employing US workers
- Active Investment: The business must be a fully operating business because the investor, as the applicant, must prove that they will be actively engaged in developing and directing the business. Passive investments, such as ownership of real estate or stocks and bonds do not qualify.
- Investor Must Be the Source of Funds: The invested funds must be those of the investor. Personal loans from relatives or friends can be considered part of the investment as long as the business is not collateral for the loan. Gifts of funds for the investment are also permissible
EB 1 VISA
You must be able to demonstrate extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics through sustained national or international acclaim. Your achievements must be recognized in your field through extensive documentation. No offer of employment is required.
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