For immigrants looking to make an investment in the United States, an E-2 investor visa may be an appropriate option for an investor who wishes to direct and develop a commercial enterprise in which they have invested a substantial amount of money or capital. This type of visa allows citizens of certain countries to live and work in the United States for up to five years (depending on the treaty country), with the option to renew the visa for additional periods while the business is in operation. However, obtaining an E-2 visa in Florida can be complex and requires complying with specific conditions. A skilled E-2 visa attorney, such as one of the investor visa lawyers at Colombo & Hurd, can help you navigate the process.
Qualifying for an E-2 Visa in Florida
When you apply for an E-2 visa in Florida, you will need to comply with multiple conditions in order to be successful in your application. First, you must be a citizen of a nation that has a valid commerce and navigation treaty with the United States. Once this condition has been satisfied, you must then demonstrate that the funds that are being used for the investment were in the possession and control of a national or nationals of a treaty country. The seasoned E-2 visa lawyers of Colombo & Hurd can help you determine if the funds you will using to invest in the enterprise will be considered in the possession and control of a national or nationals of a treaty country for purposes of an E-2 visa.
Next, the consulate staff will look to whether the investment in the enterprise is “substantial.” Unlike investment for an EB-5 visa, your investment in a Florida enterprise need not meet a certain threshold. For an E-2 visa, the investment only has to be “substantial,” which is measured in terms of the total value or cost of the business. For example, if the total enterprise is valued at $300,000, then a “substantial” investment would likely be $200,000 or more. This standard is subjective, but generally speaking, the greater the percentage of your investment, the more likely it will be considered “substantial.” Depending on the type of business, an investment in an enterprise could cover such necessities as a security deposit and rent for a retail or office location, merchandise, computers or office equipment, marketing costs, or franchising fees.
In order to obtain an E-2 visa in Florida, the investment should either already be made at the time that the application is filed, or should be in the process of making the investment. This can be shown in a number of ways, such as by filing legal documents, signing contracts, or purchasing equipment or merchandise. Investing in an enterprise or taking steps towards doing so can be nerve-wracking for a potential immigrant, particularly when there is significant uncertainty in the E-2 visa process. While each case is different and results are not guaranteed, our knowledge of the process will help you put together the best possible case for an E-2 visa in Florida.
Finally, an applicant must be able to demonstrate that his or her enterprise is a real, operating non-marginal commercial enterprise. Under this standard, a non-marginal enterprise means a business that makes enough money to support more than just the investor and his or her family. To prove this point, you must present a five year plan to show how the business will operate, earn a profit, grow and contribute to the economy. An applicant must also show that he or she is in a position to develop or direct the enterprise. In other words, the investment cannot be passive, such as a real estate investment; the investor must be coming to the United States to be actively working in the enterprise. This typically requires at least some familiarity with the English language. For investors who are not principal investors in the enterprise, they must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly skilled capacity.
>> Related Content: Understanding E-2 Visa Capital Requirements
Investing in Florida to Obtain an E-2 Visa
There are many opportunities in Florida for potential investors to direct and develop a commercial enterprise under the E-2 visa program. A popular option is investing in a franchise, which can help applicants meet many of the criteria for obtaining an E-2 visa. Investors may also choose to invest in other types of businesses, such as a hotel, restaurant, a beauty salon, gas station, store, cleaning service, or a factory. Regardless of the type of commercial enterprise chosen, it is important that the investment is substantial, that the enterprise is real, operating and non-marginal, and that the applicant is in a position to develop or direct the enterprise.
Contact the Orlando & Miami Immigration Attorneys at Colombo & Hurd
Obtaining an E-2 visa in Florida can be challenging but can be achieved with the help of a skilled immigration attorney. Contact us today at our Orlando office at (407) 478-1111 or our Miami office at (305) 455-0590 to schedule a confidential consultation.