The USA is offering foreign investors opportunity to obtain a E2 Investor Visa, which gives the tight legally to reside and run business in the country. The E2 visas cannot directly lead to a Green Card, as it is a Nonimmigrant (temporary intent) Visa. Although, it can be renewed for indefinite times. Visa prolongation needed every 2 to 5 years, depending on the country the Investor is from. This type of visas can be granted only to the citizens of those countries, with which the USA has signed a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation or bilateral investment treaty (see the list of countries below).
United State of America
E2 INVESTOR VISAS
- Right to travel freely to and from the USA;
- Right to renew visa for indefinite times;
- Right to include spouse and children (under 21 and unmarried) in the application;
- Options to invest in a new or existing business, or purchasing a franchise;
- Relatively low investment expectations, compared to other immigration schemes;
- Quick processing times, as there are no waiting lists;
- Potential tax benefits over permanent residents;
- Opportunity to apply for a Green Card at a later stage.
- No need to prove knowledge of language, education or previous work experience;
- Right to work in the USA for a spouse;
- Qualified applicants’ children have right to get education and the tuition fees will be the same as for US citizens;
- The freedom to retire on a full- or part-time basis and the ability to qualify for U.S. naturalization.
The E2 investor visas are granted to those entrepreneurs, who are ready to invest and run business in the US. There is no investment threshold in order to qualify, but investment of at least USD 100,000 is desirable to increase the chances of an application success. Moreover, for different types of businesses the amount can be varied.
There are specific requirements in order to qualify for an E2 visa in the US. They can be summarized in the following categories:
- Nationality – the investor must be the citizen of a treaty country with the USA;
- Temporary intent – the applicant must declare an intent to return to home country someday;
- Possession of the invested capital – the investor must control the capital that will be invested;
- Investment risks – invested amount must be at risk and irrevocably committed;
- The investment must be a real operating enterprise – the investment must be in a bona fide enterprise actively engaged in commerce. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify;
- Substantiality – the investment must sufficient to guarantee the success of the business; and
- Marginality – the business should not “marginal” and must have the capacity to generate positive significant economic impact.
The most scrutiny focuses on the requirements of ‘substantiality’ and ‘non-marginality’.
The investor should hold at least 50% (or 30% if the business is big and substantial) share capital of the enterprise. Investment can be made in a totally new enterprise or in an existed one. Investors can also qualify, if they purchase a franchise in the USA. But applicants are required to be actively involved in the management of enterprise. If this condition is not preserved, the request for visa prolongation can be rejected.
Loans received by using enterprise’s premises as collateral cannot be used for investment and the investor should prove a legal origin of invested funds.
The E2 investor visas do not require a job offer, nor a sponsoring employer.
In addition to an immigration lawyer, the E-2 professional-services team should typically include a business plan writer, a financial advisor, a business broker (if investing in an existing enterprise), a corporate lawyer, and a tax specialist.
As E2 visas are non-immigrant visas, investors are not automatically considered as tax residents of the USA, unless they spend no more than 122 days a year in the country. Applicants do not have to pay a tax on world-wide income, if they are not regarded as tax residents.
Application should be submitted to the US consulate and its initial review can last from two weeks to four months, depending on the consulate. After the initial approval, the consulate will set up an interview with the applicant. If the E2 visa is approved, it may take up to a week for the visa itself to be issued.
List of countries, citizens of which are eligible to apply for E2 investor visa in the USA
Signing the agreement with an immigration firm and provide them with all requested documents.
Application preparation, gathering all necessary documentation, including a business-plan for the enterprise. Review of the application.
Making investment and submission of the application through authorized lawyers.
Interview in the US consulate (if application is submitted not from the USA)
E2 investor visa issuance by a consulate if the application was submitted from outside USA; or changing immigration status, if the applicant was residing in the USA.