E-2 visas are Treaty Investor visas and therefore require that a treaty be in place between the United States and the country of citizenship of the pricipal applicant that permits this visa. A list of the treaties is maintained by the US Department of State at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/87221.pdf. Although the E-2 visa applicant has no control over whether or not a treaty is in place, without the treaty, an E-2 visa cannot be issued.
In order to qualify for the E-2 visa, the E-2 visa applicant must be coming to the United States solely to manage an active investment in the United States. The visa can be issued as long as the investor is at least in the process of investing the funds.
A frequently asked question is “How much do I need to invest?” While there is no specific amount required, as it varies depending on the business the money is invested in, the amount must be an amount normally considered sufficient to ensure that the investment succeeds and is not just a “marginal enterprise.” A “marginal enterprise,” for purposes of an E-2 Treaty Investor visa, is a business that does not have the capacity to generate more than minimal living for the investor and the investor’s family. An example of a “marginal enterprise” would be a small restaurant that only employs the investor and the investor’s family.
The E-2 Treaty Investor visa requires that the funds invested by at risk. In other words, the investor cannot simply put the money in a savings account. If funds are placed in escrow, they must be placed in escrow irrevocably so that the only protection is if the E-2 Treaty Investor visa is denied.
Other requirements include that the funds be the investor’s, that the funds not be the product of criminal activity, and that the investor have controlling ownership of the businessControlling ownership can be 50% ownership.
E-2 Treaty Investor visas are issued for two years and are renewable in two year increments.
This is a quick overview of the E-2 Treaty Investor visas. The application process is complex, and can be affected by many factors, including trade embargoes.
We have successfully handled countless E-2 Treaty Investor applications. Call our office to start your case: (213) 622-2255.