E-2 - TREATY INVESTORS

E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant Visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the United States for the purpose of directing and developing substantial investments made in a U.S. business. Investor must make a Substantial investment, which may include capital, goods and/or equipment. There is no required amount of investment.

For new startups, the investment must be large enough to start and operate the business. The amount of investment varies on the type of business. The investment will not be considered substantial if it is not large enough to capitalize the venture. The USCIS will use an ‘Inverted Sliding Scale’ to determine whether the investment is substantial in proportion to the overall cost of the enterprise.

E-2 Visa is typically granted for 2-year term E-2 may be renewed for unlimited amount of times, based on qualification. There is no set minimum level of investment that may qualify for E-2 status, but the lower the investment the less likely one is to qualify. Again, the level of investment must be sufficient to justify the treaty national (or his/her employees) presence in the United States.

A country with which a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or its equivalent exists with the United States.  A treaty country includes a foreign state that is accorded treaty visa privileges under Immigration and naturalization Act Section 101(a) (15) (E) by specific legislation.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR E-2 VISA?

BENEFITS OF E-2 VISA

In order to apply and obtain an E-2 Visa, Investor must meet certain required criteria.

  1. Nationality: Investor must be a National of a treaty country.

  2. Substantiate amount of Investment: The amount of investment must be substantial to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage in investment required for a low-cost business enterprise is generally higher than the percentage of investment required for a high-cost enterprise.

  3. Real, operating enterprise: Speculative or passive investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.

  4. May not be Marginal Investment: The investment must have the capacity to generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and your family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S

  5. Control of Funds: You 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 only are not considered to be at risk

  1. No minimum investment: Unlike the EB-5 Program, E-2 doesn't have a set amount, the law states however that the investment must be significant

  2. Short Processing time: Because the E-2 is a non-immigrant visa, there is no quota waiting period.

  3. Ownership by Investor: The treaty investor visa specifically allows (requires) the investor to own at least 50% the U.S. business.

  4. Permission to Work in U.S.: The E-2 visa allows the principal investor to be actively employed in the investment enterprise. He may be paid salary and/or draw dividends or receive benefits similar to those of United States workers.

  5. Investment Flexibility: Great amount of flexibility about HOW the investment funds are deployed

  6. Includes Spouse & Children: Qualified investors are entitled to request E-2 status for their spouses and children. Spouses can maintain this status indefinitely, assuming that the principal investor continues to qualify and that the marriage continues intact.

SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF INVESTMENT

An E-2 Investor may invest and apply to obtain a visa based on substantial amount of investment in U.S. business. Investors must demonstrate that he/she has invested a substantial amount of capital into a new or existing United States business. There is no specific amount that qualifies as a minimum investment. Instead, the amount invested will be viewed on a qualitative basis, taking into consideration the nature of the business and the amount of capital necessary to establish that type of business on a successful basis. If the amount of capital actually invested is the same as the cost of the business, the investment is considered to be 100% of the required funds, and is considered "substantial."

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