E-2 INVESTMENT VISA
Given To Foreign Nationals Who Want To Invest
This visa is given to foreign nationals who are looking to invest in the US and oversee that investment. The best way to describe the E-2 Investment Visa is through a series of questions.
1. How long can I stay on the E-2 visa? You will be granted an initial period of two years to come to the United States, however, this may be renewed and extended almost indefinitely.
2. Can my family members join me through the E-2 visa? Yes. Your spouse can remain in the US for the duration of the visa, and after applying, will be able to work in the US. "Minor" children can also join you in the US through this visa. However, they are no longer eligible to remain in the US under your E-2 visa once they reach the age of 21 or get married.
3. Do all citizens of all countries qualify for the E-2 visa program? No. Only certain countries have treaties with the US that enable participation in the E-2 program. Countries with E-2 treaty status include Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Colombia, and Pakistan, among others.
4. Do I have to invest in a particular kind business to get an E-2 visa? You can invest in whatever kind of business you like.
5. What criteria will the USCIS use to evaluate our application for my E-2 visa? There are numerous factors the USCIS will use to evaluate your E-2 visa application. Among others the USCIS will analyze: (A) whether your investment in the business is "active"; (B) whether your investment is "substantial," (C) whether your business will create jobs for US workers; and (D) whether you will fulfill a key role in the company. In a bit more detail:
|Total value of business or cost to start new business||Minimum percentage of investment required|
|Less than $500,000||75%|
|$500,000 to $3,000,000||50%|
|More than $3,000,000||30%|
6. Can I just purchase part of a business? Yes. However, the USCIS will want to make sure that you are the "principal investor" responsible for the development and direction of that business. For example, you should purchase a majority interest in the shares of an enterprise and you should retain a high degree of managerial control.
Under some circumstances, however, it will not be possible to qualify for an E-2, investment visa. For example, when a treaty does not exist between the U.S. and home country. In such cases, another method is through the L-1 visa category.