So, you have decided the E2 Treaty Trader Visa is the right US visa for you. This is all great and you are probably all eager to get going but, where do you start and which business is right for you? An immigration attorney might be able to help you gain easier access to a work visa for investments in the US. Below are a few things you should consider:
What is an E-2?
In the United States, foreign investors may be able to start a business for an investment that starts off as little as 50,000 USD, depending on the type of business and the capital needed to start it. That is the easy part, as any immigration attorney will explain the hardest part is meeting all legal requirements for obtaining the visa. Also, be warned about the fact that, if you are approved but the company you are investing in does not succeed, you, as an owner can lose the visa and right to reside on US soil for good.
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is generally applicable to a national of a country that is under a commerce regulation treaty with US authorities. The national may be coming to the US to direct investments towards a cooperation with an existing local company or to invest capital into a new business. The most positive aspect is the fact that almost any legal activity qualifies for purposes of E-2 Visa classification.
What are the E-2 requirements?
According to the law:
1) Your investment needs to be substantial
2) You have to be a citizen of a Treaty Country
3) You will have to come to the US to direct the new business or entreprise
The law does not set a specific amount for the investment, and the determination is made on a case-by-case basis. You should know that such a visa may be granted even with a relatively small investment, if you and your immigration attorney can prove that the business is a viable one, and will not become a marginal initiative. The minimum amount for qualifying actually depends on the nature of the business and the qualifications you provide, as an investor.
Other things to consider:
– This is a non-immigrant Visa. It is generally granted for an initial period of admission of 5 years (it can be lower, down to 24 months, in case you have obtained a change of status as a legal immigrant In the US). There is no limit to the number of extensions an E-2 may be granted, as long as the business is active and did not become a marginal enterprise.
– You have no possibility of stepping on a path to full citizenship, unless you grow your business to the qualification status of EB-5.
In most cases, an immigration attorney will be able to help you get what you need to obtain an E-2. Seek a specialized lawyer, who can provide a flawless track record in what regards visa and immigration cases.