E-2 Visa Lawyer Services
The E-2 is essentially a visa for entrepreneurs who want to come to the U.S. to open and operate a business. The regulations refer to it as a “Treaty Investor Visa” and this simply means that there must be a treaty between your country and the U.S. that allows you to apply for the E-2. Most countries are eligible, however some major countries like China, India, Russia and Brazil are not.
The Basics of The E-2 Visa
The E-2 visa is an excellent option for entrepreneurs starting or purchasing businesses in the U.S. The regulations do not state a minimum required investment for the E-2 visa. In our experience, we have successfully represented clients investing as little as $75,000.
The Processing Time for The E-2 Visa
The client may receive their E-2 visa in as little as 15 days of application with the USCIS if premium processing is selected, or as little as 30 days of application at a consular post.
Other Considerations You Should Think About
- Unlimited duration: the E-2 visa can be renewed as long as the business continues to operate
- Validity periods are often 5 years at a time
- Does not require a massive investment (at least $80,000 USD)
- Not all countries are eligible
- The applicant must clearly show the source of funds for investment
What is the Role of an E-2 Visa Lawyer?
There are numerous ways that foreign investors can enter the United States for business purposes. One of the most popular of these options is the E-2 visa. When a foreign national invests a substantial amount of money into a U.S. business, they may apply for an E-2 visa to live and work in the United States.
To obtain an E-2 visa, the applicant must be from a country where the U.S. already has a treaty of commerce. Though the “substantial” investment amount is not specific, our lawyers suggest an investment of at least $75,000. The treaty investor visa is initially valid for two to five years, but it may be extended.
Consult Our USA E-2 Visa Lawyer to Get Started
The E-2 visa offers an excellent opportunity for large companies wishing to invest in the U.S. or families who want to buy or create a business, and consulting a US immigration lawyer is the best way to get started.
At Path Law Group, we are dedicated to helping foreign nationals bring their international investment dreams to life. Our trusted immigration lawyers represent clients throughout the US and around the world who want to obtain the E-2 business visa through investment and begin their pursuit of the American Dream.
An E-2 Visa Attorney Explains Investor Visa Requirements
Obtaining the E-2 visa is relatively simple for those who qualify. However, not all who are interested will meet these strict qualifications.
The general requirements for receiving an E-2 visa include the following:
- The investor must be a national of a treaty country.
- The investment must be, as mentioned, substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the success of an operation.
- The investment must be bona fide. It must be an operating enterprise and not a speculative one.
- The funds must be committed and in a bank account.
- The investment must generate more income than just to provide a living to the treaty investor and family.
- The investment must have a significant economic impact.
- The treaty investor should have control of the funds.
- The treaty investor must come to the U.S. to direct or develop the enterprise. If they are not the principal investor, they must be employed as a supervisor or executive. Unskilled workers do not qualify for E-2 visas.
Due to the complex nature of the above requirements, it’s always best to reach out to an E-2 visa USA lawyer to determine whether you qualify prior to filing your application. When you meet with the experts at Path Law Group, we will thoroughly examine the facts of your investment and your business goals and let you know whether you qualify for the E-2 visa. If not, we can help you navigate your other foreign investment options. If you do qualify for the E-2 visa, our team of skilled immigration lawyers can guide you through the application process and help you gather all necessary documentation to support your case.
Perhaps the most important requirement to receive an E-2 visa is the applicant must have made a substantial investment into a business that is new or already existing. There are no guidelines on what is considered substantial, but our experts advise at least $80,000 for the best chance of having your E-2 visa application approved. USCIS will use elaborate tests to determine what is substantial according to your unique situation, though there is no minimum dollar amount.
In order to pass these tests, the business must establish one of the following:
- The investment must at least match the total value of the business in question (when the business is already existing).
- The investment amount should be considered necessary to establish a business.
Even if you believe that your investment doesn’t meet the above requirements, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Path Law Group attorney. Applying our extensive skills, resources, and experience, we may be able to help you explore alternative options. Take a look at our services for more information.
Investor Visa Lawyer
According to the law, all used funds must be at risk in order for the investment to qualify. Generally, the funds must be paid and the investment committed, held in a trust, or be under contract. Most of the investment should be made by the time the E-2 visa is filed, though a reasonable amount can be placed in an operating account. Additionally, any existing business or the creation of a business qualifies.
The principal investor from the foreign treaty trader country must have control of these funds. To establish ownership of a business, the treaty investor must control 50% of the enterprise.
One of the big questions surrounding E-2 visas is whether the business should be active or whether you can buy an inactive business or land to qualify for the treaty investor visa in the United States. To put it simply, the business must be active and personal homes, idle investments, or undeveloped land do not qualify.
When the USCIS immigration officer reviews your case, they will require that a physical location is secured, whether it be by lease or purchase of commercial office space or warehouse space where a business can be operated. An investor visa lawyer or immigration lawyer can help you supply the necessary documentation to prove this.
Investment Amount & E-2 Visa Attorney Fees
Another investment requirement for an E-2 visa concerns whether the funds are considered “at-risk”. When applying for an E-2 visa, only money that is personally at risk qualifies toward your investment amount.
Qualifying investment funds include the following:
- Secured loans by the investor’s own assets, like a mortgage
- Reserves of cash in a business account (with source of income proof)
- Unsecured loans
- Inventory, property, or equipment that was contributed by the investor
Non-qualifying investments include:
- Loans or mortgage debt secured by the enterprise
- Loans against the business
- Cash held in personal bank accounts
If you’re unsure exactly which of your investment funds falls within the qualifying and non-qualifying categories, Immigration lawyer can help you calculate a more precise estimate of your qualifying investment amount. With this information, you will be able to determine whether the E-2 visa or another option is right for you and begin your application.
In addition to your investment, you will need to pay a number of fees in order to file your application. Here is the breakdown of these fees:
- I-129 basic filing fee: $460
- Premium processing fee: $1,440
- DS-160 fee: $205
Additionally, if you choose to work with an immigration attorney, you should expect an additional fee for your immigration attorney. Speaking with an E-2 visa attorney is the best way to learn how much your visa will cost in its entirety, including any applicable attorney’s fees.
How to Apply for an E-2 Visa: A Lawyer Explains
If an employee will be placed in an executive, supervisory, or special skill position, they may also qualify for an E-2 visa. Unfortunately, unskilled workers do not qualify for this type of visa, but you may have other work visa options when your employer transfers to a U.S. business. If you are a foreign investor, you may want to learn how to sponsor an employee for a green card.
You cannot obtain permanent residency through this type of visa. However, you can use it as a vehicle for coming to the U.S., and then pursue permanent residency through another method. Additionally, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may accompany the E-2 visa holder to the U.S.
To get an E-2 visa, the application must be submitted to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If a person applies at a U.S. office abroad it may be more difficult to qualify.
The following forms are necessary to apply:
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application
- Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader
- A valid passport
- One 2×2 photograph
With the help of an E-2 visa lawyer, an E-2 visa applicant must ensure that the business qualifies by law and complies with all the requirements of an E-2 visa. The consular officer may supply the applicant with special forms to determine if they qualify. The applicant should expect the consular officer to request additional documents and to make an eligibility determination for an E-2 visa, but having a skilled immigration lawyer by your side can make this process easier.
Contact an E2 Visa Attorney Today
If you are considering beginning your business journey in the U.S. with an E2 visa, hiring an experienced immigration lawyer is essential. As your immigration lawyers, Path Law Group is here to listen to your story, guide you through your options, and help you bring your goals to life.
E-2 visa applications are tough to file and can be extremely time-intensive. Proving “substantial financial investment” is likewise particularly tough when the investment amount is on the lower end of the spectrum. In such cases, a strong argument needs to be made that your financial investment meets the substantiality requirement based upon the nature of the business.
Additionally, understanding what the immigration officials anticipate from you is essential to your success. In some consulates, there are specific format requirements that if the candidate fails to fulfill, the case will be instantly denied.
When you work with Path Law Group’s skilled immigration lawyer, our goal is to ensure that your application is approved so you can begin to reap the benefits of bringing your business venture to the United States. We are located in Los Angeles, California, but we are also available for virtual consultations, and our attorneys are always personally available to our clients no matter where they are in the world. If you are ready to begin your path forward, contact the top E-2 visa law firm today to schedule an initial consultation.