Free Investor Visa Video
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Eligibility Requirements
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If you’re an investor from a foreign country wanting to move to the United States to grow your business, you have a number of options of different investor visas to pursue. We are here to help you decide which visa is best for you.
The E-2 treaty investor visa is the most traditional visa for investors. It allows you to live and work in the United States for an indefinite period of time. Decades, even! As long as your company continues generating revenue — and it must generate more revenue than you need to support your family, but we’ll get into that later — you are allowed to apply for renewal of your E-2 treaty investor visa every few years. And unlike many other visas, there is no cap on the amount of times you may renew your E-2 visa.
Of course, there are some requirements you have to meet in order to be eligible for an E-2 treaty investor visa. Let’s go through the requirements one by one:
1. You must be moving to the United States from a treaty country.
The E-2 treaty investor visa is only available to citizens of foreign countries that are considered “treaty countries.” This means the country has an international treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. These countries include Mexico, Canada, and many countries in Western Europe.
The exception to the rule is Australia. Although Australia doesn’t have a treaty with the U.S., Australian citizens are eligible to apply for an E-2 treaty investor visa.
For a full list of the treaty countries, click here.
2. You must be investing a substantial amount of money.
The E-2 visa is for investors, which means you must be investing or have already invested a substantial amount of money into a company in the United States. There is no specific amount of money, but a good rule of thumb is at least $100,000. Generally, the bigger your investment in the company, the stronger your case will be.
A test will be conducted to ensure the amount of funds is proportional to the fair market value of the established business. If the business has a lower market value, the amount of investment considered substantial will be higher, and vice versa.
3. You must have an active investment in the enterprise.
You can only apply for an E-2 treaty investor visa if you have already invested money or are in the process of investing funds into the U.S. company. The funds must already be deposited in a trust in the United States. The government wants to see you are committed to the company.
The E-2 treaty investor visa can be used to start up a new business, or purchase an already established company. We always advise our clients to include a clause in their contract stating that the purchase is “subject to the approval of the E-2 visa.” This safe-guards your investment in the company, in case anything goes wrong during the approval process for the E-2 treaty investor visa.
There are many complexities when it comes to your investment. Feel free to call us at (877) 223-4684 if you have any questions, and we will be happy to assist you.
4. Your enterprise must be considered commercial.
If you’re investing money in a nonprofit institution (such as schools), or entrepreneurial development, or in stocks or underdeveloped land, you are not eligible to apply for an E-2 treaty investor visa. You must be investing funds in a commercial business. If you are not sure if your business is considered commercial, give us a call at (877) 223-4684.
5. You must have a controlling interest in the enterprise.
You, the principal investor, must own at least 50 percent of the business. For a smaller enterprise, stock ownership generally indicates control, though majority ownership is not enough if you are not also the manager of the company. You must play a major role as a manager or supervisor, actively directing and developing the business.
6. The enterprise must generate a substantial amount of revenue.
Your business must, must, must generate more than enough income to support you and your family members. Your goal should be to grow your business and create jobs in the United States. So make sure you’re investing in an enterprise you will enjoy!
We always advise our clients to create a five-year plan for their business, to show it has the capacity to generate substantial revenue. The business plan should include a SWOT analysis, marketing and advertising plans, as well as a 3 or 5-year financial projection. We are happy to prepare a plan for you, or you may prepare one on your own and we will review it.
Have more questions, or ready to get started? Give us a call today for a consultation!
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