E-2 Visa

/E-2 Visa
E-2 Visa 2019-02-19T11:14:36+00:00

E-2 Treaty Investor

In order to be eligible for an E-2 Visa there must be a treaty of commerce and navigation between your country and U.S., or your country must be on the list of countries eligible for the E-2 nonimmigrant visa program. You also need to prove that you intend to make a substantial investment in a U.S. business, existing or new. You can find de list of treaty countries on the Department of State website.

With an E-2 visa you benefit from an initial period of stay of up to 2 years, period that can be extended or renewed in 2 year increments.

Is the E-2 Visa a solution for you?

To find out if you are eligible for an E-2 Visa answer the questions below:

  • Does your country have a qualifying Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, or Navigation or an equivalent with the United States? If you don’t know, you can find the answer on the Department of State’s Treaty Countries webpage.
  • Are you an investor or do you plan to make a significant investment in the near future in a bona fide U.S. enterprise?

  • Do you own at least 50 percent of the enterprise, or do you have a managerial position that can prove operational control? Can you prove operational control by or other corporate devices?

E-2 Requirements

There are a few key requirements that you need to meet to become eligible for an E-2 Visa, requirements that also need to be demonstrated as fulfilled. In order to understand them better, we are discussing them in detail below along with the forms of evidence you can use to prove them.

An E-2 investment is defined by USCIS as capital (funds and other assets) invested in an U.S. enterprise and therefore placed at risk in the commercial sense, to generate profit. You might be doing that as part of the process of establishing a new business venture or by simply buying an existing business. No matter what option applies to you, in order to qualify for an E-2 Visa, you need to prove that your investment is substantial.

You are not eligible for an E-2 Visa with an idle investment such as one made in undeveloped land or by buying stocks in an enterprise whose investors have no intentions of directing it. Your investment qualifies you for an E2-Visa only if is made in a real commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, active in producing services or goods and generating profit.

Your investment must also not be in a marginal enterprise, meaning that the enterprise you are investing in has to generate enough income to make significant economic contribution to the state or to provide a minimal living for you and your family.

  • How can you demonstrate a bona fide enterprise?

    To demonstrate that your business is a bona fide you can use financial documents such as financial statements, tax returns, escrow documents, contract or agreements with customer and vendors, any bank statement, bills for your utilities and any other financial document showing activity and profit. You can also use documents demonstrating office and employees such as lease agreements, business organizational charts, payroll summaries or quarterly wage reports, notices of assignment of EIN from the IRS. You can also use business licenses and any other documents showing your business is active.

  • What documents can demonstrate that a business is not marginal?

    To demonstrate that your business is not marginal you can use documents such as financial statements of tax returns (U.S. or foreign), payroll summaries for a business that is already created and active and detailed business plans or executive summary for a new business, that show your business will be able to produce more than a minimal living profit and it will create substantial economic contribution. Business plans and executive summaries need to be accompanied by evidence supporting your statements.

First of all, you need to demonstrate that the money you are investing are your own. Second, you need to demonstrate that your investment represents a substantial amount reported to the total cost of creating or purchasing the type of business you are investing in. And the last, but not the least important is the necessity to demonstrate that your investment is irrevocably committed to the business and exposed to partial or total loss if the enterprise fails.

  • How do I demonstrate that my investment is substantial and irrevocably committed?

    To demonstrate that your investment meets the requirements of being substantial and irrevocably committed you can use documents such as:

    Personal and/or business bank statements and escrow documents
    Detailed list of goods and materials that have been acquisitioned for the start-up
    Financial accounting documentation, canceled money orders and/or checks
    Lease, loan and/or mortgage agreements
    Capitalization table, Term Sheet, Letter of Intent, or Memorandum of Understanding
    Bill of sale
    Valuation analysis and purchase agreements for business assets
    Valuation analysis of stock and stock purchase agreement (which can be accompanied by meeting minutes, stock ledger, stock certificate, corresponding forms of payment for stock)

Additional to proving that the capital is your own, you must also demonstrate the source of the capital that you are investing and be able to prove it has not been obtained by criminal means.
  • How do I demonstrate the source of my capital?

    To demonstrate the source of the money you want to invest you can submit evidence such as bank statements (domestic or foreign), payment records, wire transfers, canceled checks, money orders, property records and mortgage or loan agreements.

As a requirement in your application for an E-2 Visa you also must demonstrate operational control by proving you will have a managerial position, ownership of 50% or more of the business or by another corporate device that proves operational control. This shows that you will direct and develop the enterprise.
  • How do I demonstrate that I have the capacity to develop and direct my business?

    Your capacity of developing and managing your business can be proven by a detailed list of the business owners including percentage of ownership. In this case, you will need the signature of all owners specifying that you have controlling capacity if you are ether one of two owners with 50% share each or you have less than 50% ownership.

    Other documents that can be submitted as proof are: capitalization table, stock purchase agreement, stock certificates and stock ledger, articles of incorporation or organization, partnership or franchise agreements, by-laws, meetings minutes, letters of intent, term sheets, annual reports or U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 10-K.