BUSINESS: Graphic/Product Design
TIMELINE: 8 Weeks
E-2 Visa Case Study – Play&co
Play&Co is the brainchild of Australian designers Brendan and Karen Hutchieson. They approached us in early 2015 with grand ideas of leaving their design jobs and pursuing their dream of starting their own firm. After several Skype conversations we nailed down a road map to get them to the U.S. on an E-2 visa. We faced a couple challenges:
CHALLENGE 1. Proving to the Consulate that their investment was sufficient to justify an E-2 visa.
Immigration regulations require that investment in an E-2 business be “substantial in a proportional sense”. We’ll spare you the drawn-out legal explanation of this language by summarizing: The amount of money invested in the business should be similar to what it would cost to either buy a similar business outright, or to start a similar business from the ground up. We chose to prove “proportionality” by working together on a comprehensive outline of similarly situated design firms. We then approached some of these firms here in Los Angeles and secured letters outlining the minimum costs required to open such a business.
CHALLENGE 2. Quick Turnaround Time.
The nature of the E-2 visa is that much of the investment has to be committed prior to the filing of the application. Understandably, the investor needs to move quickly in order to ensure that their significant investment is not wasted. During this time the investor is usually scrambling to tie up loose ends at home while still managing a new business here in the U.S. In the case of Play&Co, they had already secured client contracts and needed to return to the U.S. ASAP in order to meet deadlines. Thus, we had less than 2 weeks to prepare the application. Executing a complex E-2 application at this speed requires very clear communication between the client and attorneys. Any misstep in document gathering or company formation can cause major delays.
Thankfully, Brendan and Karen were about as prepared and responsible as any clients we have ever encountered. With their help we were able to prepare the application at light-speed and got them back to the U.S. in time to meet their deadlines.
Brendan and Karen are now in the U.S. and Play&Co is growing by the day. We are proud to now call them our friends.
If you want to view some of their brilliant work, you can look them up at: www.playandco.com
Now here’s Brendan, in his own words:
“I am an Australian citizen and Ashkan and Jessica recently helped me prepare and apply for an E2 Investment Visa. What impressed me about their service was their timeliness and speed, honesty, professionalism and diligence.
Here’s a high-level overview:
Step 01: An open no-obligation consultation over Skype, where they listened intently to my objectives and provided candid and frank feedback about the E2 visa application criteria.
Step 02: I met Ashkan and Jessica face to face. They spent almost 3 hours with me reviewing my business plan with a fine-toothed comb and walking me through the visa checklist.
Step 03: While I was assembling all required documentation for the visa application process, They were available around the clock to answer any questions I had. They even went above and beyond, getting documentation from outside sources that would support my case regarding proportionality of my investment. Additionally, during this time he was talking to the US consulate in Melbourne to ensure that my application was filed in accordance to their particular procedures.
Step 04: Once I’d gathered all the necessary documentation, they compiled the application (almost 600 pages worth) within 3 days for submission to the US consulate. Once submitted, my interview with the consulate happened within 3 weeks. I was approved without hesitation or hick-up and know without any doubt that it was because my case was so thoroughly prepared.
This visa application went extremely smoothly and fast, I’d definitely recommend Ashkan and Jessica without any hesitation for someone who is seeking expert immigration advice.