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E-2 Treaty Investor Visa for Entrepreneurs

If you are seeking to start up a business in the United States as an entrepreneur, you may qualify for the E-2 treaty investor visa if you meet certain criteria. This article explains the fundamental requirements of the E-2 visa in order to help you determine whether you qualify, and whether this visa would be a suitable fit for you based on your circumstances. For more information, or to have a consultation with an attorney about the specific facts and nature of your case, contact the experienced attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. Our lawyers have more than 50 years of combined experience in numerous complex immigration law matters.

What is the E-2 treaty investor visa?

The treaty investor visa is for those who will invest a substantial amount of capital into a commercial enterprise. The initial period of stay is two years can be extended in two-year increments. There is no limit to the amount of extensions you can have. This visa is for treaty investors who will work solely in the activity for which investment was made. As a treaty investor, you can also bring your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 as your dependents. They may be coming with you to the United States, or they may already be in the United States under another visa status.

An intention to depart the US is required

Although there is no limit to the amount of extensions you can get, the E-2 visa requires that you maintain the intention to depart the United States when your E-2 status ends. To apply in the future for a green card, you would need to first depart the US and reenter with a different visa. Let us plan a business strategy that works best for you. We are an innovative firm with proven results.

You must be coming to the United States to invest in a new or existing enterprise

In order to qualify, you must be a national of a country that the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation with. You must already have invested, or currently be in the course of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide US enterprise. You must be coming to the US for the sole purpose of developing and directing the enterprise, which may be established by proving that own at least 50% of the enterprise, or you have operational control of the enterprise such as with a managerial position or other supervisory authority. The enterprise may already be in existence or may be a new enterprise in which you are investing.

Your investment must be substantial

You must have invested, or being actively in the process of investing, a “substantial” amount of capital in the enterprise. This means that it must be substantial while looking at the entire cost of either making a purchase of an already existing enterprise, or cost of creating a new enterprise. Your investment must be enough to ensure that you have a financial stake in the enterprise’s successful operation. The investment must be large enough to make it likely that it will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.

The capital of your investment must be at risk

You must establish that your capital investment will be placed at risk depending upon the success of the enterprise. Your capital investment must be subject to a total or partial loss in the event the enterprise fails. The investment must not be in the nature of a loan or some other construct that would protect you from an actual loss should be investment fail.

You must invest in a bona fide enterprise

You must provide evidence to establish that enterprise is a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking that does produce services or goods for profit. The enterprise must operate legally within the laws of the jurisdiction in which it does business.

The enterprise must not be marginal

You will not qualify if the enterprise is marginal. The term “marginal” means that the enterprise does not have the capacity in the present or in the future to produce enough income for you to maintain at least a minimal living for you and your family. In some cases, the enterprise might not be considered to be marginal if it can be established that it should be able to generate enough income within five years from the date you obtain E-2 visa status.

The funds to be invested must be in your possession

The funds that you will commit to the investment must be in your possession, they must belong to you, and you must have acquired them legally. Contact us for details. If you have any questions about the E-2 treaty investor visa for entrepreneurs or any other of the immigration visa categories that you may be interested in pursuing. Please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA for a consultation with an attorney at the nearest office close to you.

Click here for a list of treaty countries.

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