Five Misconceptions About the E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

November 6, 2018

When it comes to investing or expanding your business to other countries such as the United States, many investors or business owners are worried because they don’t know where to start, or even think they can’t do this process since everything seems very complicated. The good news is that, although investing in the United States has its degree of complexity, it is not impossible, and it is easier to obtain this type of visa than one who ever think.

Here are five misconceptions that could be stopping you from working in your dream business in the United States.

Misconception No. 1: “You must invest a lot of money to obtain an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.”

The investment of the E-2 visa is not normally that high. Although it is required by law to be a “substantial” investment in a US company, no specific dollar amount is defined in the law, nor does it necessarily have to be six figures. In fact, depending on the type of business, an investment of at least $ 60,000 may be sufficient to meet this requirement, if it is large enough to have an impact on the expansion, operation or success of the business. The most important thing is to present evidence that the proposed investment will be substantial about the needs and objectives of the business. For this, you need a good lawyer and financial advisor who can help you write a clear and complete business plan that will improve your chances of meeting this crucial requirement.

Misconception No. 2: “The E-2 visa can be used for any type of business.”

While the United States offers many opportunities to businesses of all shapes and sizes, as an E-2 applicant, your company will be subject to several specific requirements. To start, the business must be legally registered in the United States and must be operating actively.

The business or company created in the United States to which you are investing must be created for profit, that is, non-profit organizations do not enter into a visa. Additionally, the investment should not be marginal, which means that it must generate enough income to support other personnel, in addition to the investor and his family. Finally, the investor for this visa must play an active role in the daily operations of the company. Passive investments such as the purchase of shares or real estate will not be approved for the purpose of this visa because they are considered passive and marginal businesses for the purposes of this visa.

Misconception No. 3: “It is not necessary for an E-2 company to hire U.S nationals.”

The rules of the E-2 visa are clear that the business cannot be one that is used only to support the investor and his family. As such, the E-2 visa investor must hire American workers. American workers do not have to be hired the first day or even the first year, but a company must have a solid business plan that demonstrates that the company will eventually hire American workers. You should keep in mind that your family members do not count as US workers, even if they have work authorization in the United States.

Misconception No. 4: “All E-2 visas are granted for 5 years.”

The period during which an E-2 visa is granted depends on the country of origin and the strength of your E-2 visa case. In the most extreme case, for some countries, the visa can be granted for 3 months (for example, Iran, Egypt, Thailand) and the maximum amount of time that the visa can be granted is 5 years (for example, Mexico, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Pakistan). Even when the maximum visa issuance time is 5 years, the Consulate can issue the visa for less time. This happens when the Consulate wants the applicant to return within a shorter period to show that the business is still viable and that they are on track to hire American workers.

Finally, the E-2 visa can be renewed without number restrictions, as long as the business remains viable. There have been certain cases where investors maintain a good business and can remain in the United States for more than 20 years.

Misconception No. 5: “The E-2 visa is very difficult to obtain.”

It is true that the immigration and commercial system in the United States is notoriously difficult to navigate, and even qualified candidates have difficulty meeting the requirements and completing the application process. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case if you work with capable immigration and business lawyers. If you want specific legal advice for your case please contact the attorney Daniela Marquez Albert, founding partner of Elyon Business & Immigration Law Firm, PLLC. Daniela has helped foreign citizens around the world to obtain the non-immigrant and immigrant visas they need to meet their business goals in the United States, including the E-2 visa. For more information, send an email to info@elyon.legal to schedule an electronic consultation and we will gladly answer your questions.


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Five Misconceptions About the E-2 Treaty Investor Visas

When it comes to investing or expanding your business to other countries such as the United States, many investors or business owners are worried because they don't know where to start, or even think they can't do this process since everything seems very complicated.

Daniela M. Albert

I am an attorney that knows the challenges and complexities of immigration law. Not only because my legal background but also because I am an immigrant myself.

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