Key Visa Requirements for E2 Investors
Filing an immigration or visa application can be very confusing, daunting, and downright nerve-wracking. This is especially true if you do not understand the legal requirements and are not sure what documents and supporting evidence you are required to submit. It is also very commonly overlooked that there are different requirements for investors, employees, dependent family members, and sponsored individuals. Therefore, it is of paramount importance that you are well aware of your application status, qualifying status, and document requirements.
Before getting into the details, let’s first discuss what an E2 visa really is. The E2 visa program is essentially an investor agreement visa of non-immigrant status reserved for investors and entrepreneurs of foreign nationalities. This investor visa enables the applicant to enter, live, and work in the U.S. on the basis of a considerable investment that he can inject into the American economy.
Holders of the E-2 visa can:
- Work legally in the US, specifically within the company filed as the investment partnership;
- Live in the US for a prolonged period with an unlimited number of two-year extensions, provided that the E-2 requirements are maintained;
- Travel freely across the US border;
- Bring along dependents under the age of 21, allowing them to work in the US and attend US schools, universities, and colleges.
However, the E2 visa is only applicable to nationals of specific countries, which have been listed in this article. Also, E2 applicants are limited employability wise and can work for the particular employer/self-owned company, which acted as the E2 visa sponsor.
It must also be noted that in order to be able to successfully file an application, you need to ensure that you have submitted all the necessary requirements with your application. In this blog, we have discussed all the details regarding the required documents, supporting evidence, and other necessary factors of the E2 visa.
Prime E2 Visa Qualification Requirements
The E2 visa specifies certain requirements that need to be met by an applicant in order for him or her to be eligible for the visa. One of these requirements is that the petitioner invests in a bona fide endeavor. If the projected endeavor fails to be authenticated, the application is automatically rejected. For the business, company, or enterprise to be determined as a bona fide organization, it needs to be recognized by the government as “a genuine, practicing entrepreneurial or commercial activity which creates goods or services for profit.”
The list below specifies a few of the required supporting pieces of evidence that immigration authorities request in order to determine if your enterprise is bona fide or not.
- Tax returns;
- Notice of issuance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) specifying an Employer Identification Number (EIN);
- Financial and bank statements;
- Payroll summaries or quarterly income reports (i.e., W-3 and W-2s);
- Trade licenses;
- Detailed organization chart of the business;
- Utility bills, and telephone directory listing;
- Contracts and customer/vendor agreements;
- Charter agreement;
- Escrow documents.
The Investor Must Belong to a Treaty Country
As mentioned earlier, the E2 visa program only applies to foreign nationals of certain countries. These countries are referred to as the treaty countries because they have signed a treaty of trade and commerce with the United States of America. In alphabetical order, these include:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of Congo
- Slovak Republic
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom
It is of paramount importance that the applicant is a legal and recognized national of one of the 60 aforementioned countries for him/her to be eligible for the E2 visa. It is also important to note that maintaining a permanent residency or residency permit of one of these countries does not qualify as citizenship.
Moreover, it must also be noted that even though possessing a nationality of one of these treaty countries is an essential requirement, the applicant does not necessarily need to be residing in the country at the time of application or even during the processing of the application. In fact, the petitioner can file an E2 visa petition from within the US as well.
Applicants can request additional information from the Bureau of Consular Affairs.
A Substantial Investment Needs to Be Made
Another crucial requirement specified by the law is that the amount of investment being made by the applicant needs to be substantial. It should be adequate enough to guarantee that the enterprise will be able to operate profitably. There si no explicit minimum requirement.
Ideally, the investment percentage for a low budget business enterprise will need to be higher than the investment percentage for a high budget business venture. While the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) or Consular Offiers approve certain investment ventures of less than $100,000, it is always best to ensure that the investment principal and funds should at least be $100,000 in order to increase the chances of success of your petition.
Some evidence that can be used as a confirmation that the investment capital is of a substantial amount is:
- Related personal and/or business statements, bank statements, and financial reports;
- A receipt of supplies purchased to aid the start-up;
- Consequent financial accounting documentation.
A detailed business plan that lists your estimated future profits can make your case stronger and help show your expected substantial monetary contribution to the economy, too.
Is a Business Plan a Necessity?
Although not officially specified as a requirement by law, a business plan is always encouraged. Our immigration lawyers will ensure your business plan is comprehensive since that strengthens the applicant’s E2 visa application. It is because a business plan allows the Consular Officer or USCIS to understand your projected venture and provides them with the surety that your enterprise will be able to create the required amount of employment opportunities.
A well-developed business plan must be comprehensive and demonstrate critical thinking, pragmatic planning, as well as a strong probability of success.
Can Terra Immigration Help Me?
Many applicants often abruptly abandon their plans of moving to the US because of the countless difficulties they face during the documentation and application process, which is why we strongly suggest seeking professional assistance for your E2 visa application.
The immigration attorneys at Terra Immigration will not only prepare your E2 visa application but also ensure that your application complies with all the legal requirements. You can call us at (407) 818-1244 or send us a message here for an honest assessment of your E2 visa. We speak English, Spanish and Portuguese.