Visas are available to individuals entering the U.S. for a temporary period of time based on treaties between the United States and their home country in order to carry out international trade (E-1 Treaty Trader) or to develop and direct an operation in which the individual has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (E-2 Treaty Investor). Managers, executives and other key employees of qualifying treaty investor/treaty trader companies also qualify for E-1 and E-2 visas if they share the nationality of the owners of the company.
Our office will review your business plans and operations to determine eligibility for an E visa and prepare all necessary applications, petitions and documentation to successfully apply for this visa category. We can also work closely with Atom Law’s Corporate Law group to assist you with organizing and setting up your US business entity, negotiating for the purchase of a US company, and any other business transaction needs you may have.
E-2 VISA INVESTOR PROGRAM
The E-2 visa is an investment-based nonimmigrant visa for entrepreneurs who want to come to the United States 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 the investor’s country of origin and the United States that allows the investor to apply for the E-2. some countries such as China, India, Russia, and Brazil are a few of the larger countries not eligible.
The E-2 visa allows owners and directors to bring essential employees from their home country to help with their business. Furthermore, the visa does not have strict job requirements, unlike the EB-5 program. However, the foreign national must demonstrate that the business can generate significantly more income than required to provide a living for the foreign national, which means creating jobs and having a positive impact on the U.S. economy.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
The E-2 visa allows spouses and unmarried children under 21 to enter the United States with the principal applicant. They are permitted to work and attend school without hindrances.
Ownerships by Investor:
The treaty investor visa specifically allows (requires) the investor to own at least 50% the U.S. business. This ownership may be as an individual proprietor, majority partner, or majority corporate shareholder. Unlike many countries, there is no requirement that a U.S. citizen or resident own any interest in the investment.
No Minimum Investment:
Unlike the EB-5 Program, E-2 doesn’t have a set amount, The law states however that the investment must be significant.
E-2 allows a great amount of flexibility about HOW investment funds are deployed.
Short Processing Time:
Because the E-2 is a non-immigrant visa there is no quota waiting period.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
The first eligibility criterion is the nationality of the investor. Only investors from countries on this list (Official State Department’s Website) are eligible to apply for the visa. Once treaty eligibility is established, the investor must satisfy several more criteria.
Ownerships by Investor:
The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
The investor must have control of the funds.
Real & Operating:
The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify.
WE CAN HELP!
At Atom Law Group, our attorneys will work with you to determine whether a prospective or current investment will qualify for immigration benefits and will represent you in obtaining the initial (conditional) resident status and in having the conditional status removed after two years. Our lawyers are uniquely qualified to approach the EB-5 investor visa from both an immigration and business standpoint. Unlike typical immigration benefits tied to a family member or employment, investor visas are tied to the ultimate success of the investment and thus doing proper due diligence is critical.