How to Determine Whether You Qualify for an E2 Visa
If you have a substantial amount of capital that you would like to invest within the United States, then you may be eligible to apply for an E2 Visa. The United States highly values investors that would like to contribute to the American economy. Of course, much like any other country, the United States has certain requirements that must be met prior to allowing foreign nationals entry into the country. This is especially the case when there is a large amount of funds being brought into the United States. Therefore, in this article, I will address what an E2 visa is, the eligibility requirements for an E2 visa, and much more.
What is an E2 Visa
An E2 visa is defined as an investor visa which is meant for owners and investors of foreign countries that would like to invest in the United States. Essentially, this visa allows foreign nationals the opportunity to enter and work within the United States based on an investment that they will be in control of. Additionally, an investment is defined as the individual’s placing of capital, which include funds and possibly other assets, at risk, commercially speaking, with the objective of creating a successful profit. This visa is only available for foreign nationals from treaty countries. Treaty countries specifically include countries such as Argentina, Belgium, Chile, France, and many more countries. It is important to determine whether your country is a treaty country prior to applying for this visa.
How to Qualify for an E2 Visa
Much like any other immigration application to enter the United States, there are specific criteria and qualifying requirements that applicants must abide by. In order to qualify for an E2 visa, you must:
- Be a citizen of a treaty country
- Come to work in the United States for a company that you own or are at least 50% owner of
- Be the owner or key employee of the business
- Travel to the United States to invest in a new or existing business
- Be a part of a bona fide enterprise of significant importance
- Ensure you have sufficient funds in order to invest in the business
- Show evidence of where the money came from for the investment
- Intend to come to the U.S. to develop and direct the business
In order to successfully apply for this visa, you must invest a substantial value. Specifically, if you are trying to start up a new business within the United States, you must ensure that the investment is sufficient for the startup of the business as well as maintaining the business’ operations. Keep in mind, this amount will differ depending on the type of business you plan on starting in the United States. However, it is important to note that if the investment you are contributing is not enough to capitalize the endeavor, then the investment will be classified as unsubstantial. To accurately determine this, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will utilize the ‘Inverted Sliding Scale’ to find out whether the investment is substantial or not.
In order to better understand what a substantial amount of capital is, I will include a detailed description of the factors that are included within a substantial amount of capital. Specifically, a substantial amount of capital is essentially also substantial in relation to the total cost of either purchasing an established business or establishing a new one; sufficient to guarantee the investor’s financial commitment to successfully operate and maintain the business; and, of a magnitude to support the probability that the investor will successfully develop and direct the business. Please note that the lower the business costs, the higher the investment must be in order to be considered a substantial investment.
How to Apply for an E2 Visa
The application process for an E2 visa is different depending on whether you are applying from within the United States or outside of the United States. If you are applying from within the United States and you have lawful nonimmigrant status, then you may file an I-129 form to request a change of status to an E2 visa. Additionally, the employer may also file this form on the employee’s behalf. On the other hand, if you are applying from outside of the United States, then you cannot file an I-129 form. The interested investor must then refer to the U.S. Department of State for more information on applying for an E2 visa from abroad. Thus, when a visa is then issued to the interested investor, they may then apply at a United States port of entry for a E2 visa.
How Long is an E2 Visa Valid For
The E2 visa is usually valid for a period of up to two years. However, the validity period may be extended in increments of two years each time. Luckily, there is no maximum amount of times that you are permitted to extend this visa. However, it is very important to note that any foreign national investors that participate in this program must demonstrate an intention to leave the United States once their status expires or is terminated.
Foreign investors may also travel while on the E2 visa and are permitted to return to the United States so long as their visa is valid.
Contact Akrami & Associates
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration, if you intend on applying for an E2 visa to the United States. If you want to apply for an E2 visa, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help prior to submitting the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration matters. We have helped many of our clients obtain E2 visas to successfully invest in a business in the United States. If you believe that you may be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!