E-2 Investment Visa
Many people dream of coming to the United States and starting a business. However, it is difficult to get a visa to enter the country unless you have US resident family members or an US employer to sponsor you. Foreign nationals can overcome this problem by choosing a visa option allowing them to temporarily reside in the United States to start a business, which is the E-2 Investor Visa. This non-immigrant visa option allows individuals from countries that have an investment treaty with the United States to have the option of investing in a new business and becoming an entrepreneur. This article will offer a step-by-step guide on the process of securing an E-2 Visa.
What are the requirements for an E-2 Investment Visa?
E-2 visa holders must have a substantial amount of investment in a US Company, which is dependent on the type and size of the company. While there is no minimum stated amount, an investment closer to $100,000 or more increases the chance for approval.
- Number of Investors
There can be many partners from the treaty nation but only one partner can enter the United States on an E-2 to manage the business operation.
The business can have US resident partners but investors from the treaty investor country must have control of the business. While the share of the ownership is not strictly defined, having at least a 50% stake in the company would classify as having an active role in the business. An active role also means being involved in making major decisions, and overseeing day-to-day operations.
- Risk of Loss
The E-2 investor must bear the risk of loss in case of a business failure. Loans secured by the investor's personal assets are allowed, but loans secured by business assets are not allowed.
- Type of Investment
The investment must be in an active, for-profit physical business operation and must be irrevocably committed to the E-2 business. Businesses that are considered a marginal enterprise, speculative or passive investments are not allowed.
What is the E-2 Visa processing time & length of stay?
Normally, E-2 Visas are initially valid for up to 2 years but they can be renewed over and over as long as the business continues to operate and meet the E-2 requirements. Some visa holders are allowed to stay up to 15 years or longer. Unlike other non-immigrant visas, you do not need to maintain a foreign residence to get an E-2 visa. However, you must have the intent to depart from the US once your investment ends.
The length of time it takes to get an E-2 visa depends on the consulate you are applying to, which can take anywhere from two weeks to five months to complete. After the initial review, the consulate will set up an interview with the applicant.
E-2 premium processing is available for a $1,225 fee, and USCIS will approve, deny or issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) within fifteen days. If USCIS issues a RFE, they will make a second decision within 15 days of submitting the additional evidence.
Note that all persons covered by E-2 visas are permitted to travel in and out of the U.S. The primary visa holder will automatically get a two-year extension granted on re-entry to the country.
However, this does not apply to family members, who are encouraged to carefully monitor how long they can stay and apply for any E-2 extensions on time.
What are the benefits of an E-2 Investment Visa?
- Managers and Specialty Employee
E-2 Investors can petition to bring managers and specialty employees to run the business operation. The manager must be a high-level manager that will run the business operation. The specialty employee must have “special skills” that are unique and required for the business.
- Derivative Family
E-2 Investors and their E-2 Employees can bring their spouse and children under the age of 21 with them to the United States.
- Employment for E-2 Spouse
The E-2 Spouse can obtain an unrestricted employment authorization document that will allow work anywhere in the United States.The E-2 Spouse can obtain an unrestricted employment authorization document that will allow work anywhere in the United States.
- Schools for E-2 Children
Children under 21 of E-2 status holders have similar educational benefits as US residents such as entering local schools.
- No Extension Limits
The E-2 Investment status can be extended in two-year increments as long as the qualified investment enterprise is still in operation as outlined in the initial submission.
E-2 Investment Visa Frequently Asked Questions1. Am I allowed to Change Jobs on an E-2 Visa?
No. The E-2 visa holder is typically only authorized to work in the US business they have invested in.2. Do E-2 visa holders pay taxes?
Yes. E-2 visa holders must file federal and state tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for all income earned in the US.3. Do the E-2 Visa require you to have a sponsor?
No. You do not need a US employer to sponsor you for an E-2 visa.4. Can I travel outside the US on an E-2 Visa?
Yes. E-2 treaty investors can travel outside the United States and will typically be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the country.
E-2 Investment Visa Dependents
E-2 Visa holders can bring their spouse and minor children with them. An E-2 Spouse may apply for an unrestricted employment authorization card to work in the US E-2 Children can enter public or private schools in the United States. Check out this article right here for a more detailed description about E-2 Investment Visa Dependents.
Meet Our US Visa Team
What Siam Legal can do for you?
We offer professional and reliable assistance on E-2 Investment Visa for individuals from countries that have an investment treaty with the United States. Our service package includes the following:
- Guidance on E-2 Investment Requirements
- Advice on the Formation of the Business
- Advice to Ensure the Proper Transfer of Funds
- Assistance with Obtaining IRS Tax ID Number
- Advice on the Opening of Financial Accounts
- Guidance with the Preparation of the Business Plan
- Packaging of the Documents
- Completing the E-2 Visa Form
- Monitoring the E-2 Case Processing
- Attorney Representation with the Consular Office
- Access to a Licensed US Immigration Attorney
- E-2 Interview Preparation
- Advice on E-2 Business Requirements Post-Visa