Although this visa requires a "substantial" investment, the relevant regulations do not define what is "substantial." The sum of $100,000.00 is usually the beginning of the "comfort zone" but cannot be used as a strict guide.
--The investment must be substantial.
--The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify;
--The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States;
--The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed; and
--The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity.
E-1 (Treaty Trader) Visa
The E-1 requires "substantial" trade, but again, this term is not defined. The visa officer will look to both the amount of goods being traded and the continuous nature of the transactions. Thus, a one-time transaction, although it may be for a very large amount, would almost certainly not qualify. The trade must be both sizable and continuing.
The requirements for the E-1 Treaty Trader category as set forth by the US Department of State are as follows:
The applicant must be a national of a treaty country;
The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U.S. must have the nationality of the treaty country;
The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country;
Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other; and the applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm.
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