An excellent immigration option for investors is the E-2 nonimmigrant visa, which grants status to investors, as well as their spouses and minor children. However, the E-2 treaty is limited to nationals of countries where there is a requisite treaty between the U.S. and the investor’s nationality, for example where one holds a passport.
Treaty countries are listed in the following link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/treaty.html
The E-2 is an attractive, but often overlooked, visa option. The E-2 has many advantages over many non-immigrant visa paths. For example, unlike most employment-based visas (e.g., EB, H, or L Visas), the E-2 does not require a job offer nor a sponsoring employer. The E-2 can also be obtained with smaller investments and without the job creation requirements of the EB-5. In addition, the E-2 can be processed quickly at most Consulates, it permits self-employment, it is not as strict regarding temporary intent as most other temporary visas, and it has no maximum limit on the duration or number of extensions. Accordingly, for foreign entrepreneurs who wish to invest in the creation of a new business or the purchase of an existing business in the U.S., the E-2 may be just the vehicle for accomplishing their professional goals while also affording such individuals a legal mechanism to legally reside in the United States.
Do you qualify?
- If a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality. If the investor owns at least fifty percent of the business and does not assign control over that portion to someone else, or if the investor is an executive or manager who possesses control over the business’ operations, then the ability to direct and control the business can be established.
- The investment must be substantial, with investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. While investments of $100k may be sufficient under some circumstances, our Austin immigration attorney, Michael Murray, normally recommends a minimum investment of $150-$200k.
- The investment must be a real operating enterprise, an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account, passive real-estate, or similar security are not considered an investment.
- It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
- You must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
- You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If you are not the principal investor, you must be considered an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.
Non-treaty country Applicants
What if you are a citizen of a country that does not have an investment treaty with the United States to make you eligible to apply for an E-2 work visa? What if you live in countries like China, Nigeria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, UAE, Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan? What are your options? You can consider applying for Citizenship by Investment in Grenada, a country in the Caribbean that offers a solution because it has an investment treaty with the U.S. In a matter of a few months, investors can acquire a Grenadian passport, enter the U.S. in Treaty Investor status, spouses can obtain separate employment, and children can enroll in schools.
While it may seem intimidating, the process for citizenship by investment in Grenada is fairly straightforward. The “Citizenship by Investment” website for Grenada is detailed and informative as to the entire process. http://www.cbi.gov.gd/
Thus, for those nationals of treaty countries as well as non-treaty foreign nationals willing and able to purchase citizenship in Grenada, the E-2 is a path worth considering.
Why our Firm?
Our Austin Immigration lawyer will help you gather the required information and documentation for the E-2 Visa., then we carefully prepare all documentation needed to obtain your E-2 Visa approval. We’ll communicate with you and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) while the application is being processed up until adjudication.
Find out more about investor visas.
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