For Swedish investors and entrepreneurs, an E2 visa represents a chance to live and work in the United States while developing and directing their own business. This type of visa requires a “substantial investment” in a commercial enterprise or business that the applicant will be coming to the United States to manage or work in as a highly skilled employee. There is no specific minimum investment amount though generally an investment of at or above $100,000.00 may be necessary to gain approval.
Swedish nationals will find that there are many benefits of an E2 visa as compared to other visas. While there is not a direct path to a green card (permanent residency) with an E2 investor visa, it can be renewed indefinitely after the initial five year validity period. In addition, investors with E2 visas can bring dependents to the United States with them, including their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21. Spouses of E2 investor visa holders can also seek employment once in the United States and children can study in the U.S.
There are a number of requirements that must be met in order to be approved for an E2 visa. First, the investor (either a real person or a corporation) must be a national of a country that has a valid commerce and navigation treaty with the United States. Sweden has such a treaty with the U.S., so Swedish nationals can move forward with the other E2 visa elements.
The other factors that will be evaluated in an E2 visa application focus on the investment itself. It must be substantial, which is measured by whether it is sufficient to ensure the success of the operation, rather than a specific dollar amount. These funds must be irrevocably committed to the enterprise, and must be “at risk” in the commercial sense. If the investment is in the form of a loan secured by business assets, for example, it will not be considered at risk. The investor must also have control of the funds, and be able to demonstrate that they come from a lawful source.
The enterprise itself must be real and operating. It cannot be a speculative (or passive) business, like real estate investing. The investment may not be marginal, which means that it has to generate more income than just enough to support the investor and their family. This is generally demonstrated through a business plan that shows growth over five years or that the business will maintain employees over its future operations. Finally, the investor must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise, and must have the skill and experience to be capable of this task.
In Sweden, applicants can apply for E2 visas at the U.S. Consulate General in Stockholm. All applications are processed online, first by completing Form DS-160 online, then by registering online and creating a profile. Applicants must pay the appropriate fee, and then submit the required documentation via email to [email protected]. Currently, the Swedish Consulate is reviewing E2 visas in approximately 60 days; after the application is reviewed, an interview will be scheduled an approval or denial will be issued. This is another benefit of applying for this type of visa, as it has a relatively quick turnaround time.
The E2 investor visa attorneys of Colombo & Hurd have substantial experience representing investors in obtaining E2 visas. Please note that although we have provided an overview of the Visa requirements and process here this is a relatively complicated process in order to provide a successful application and we would strongly consult at a minimum you consult with an attorney before beginning the process. At Colombo & Hurd, we work hand in hand with our clients to put together E-2 visa petitions and supporting documentation, including business plans, that will help them achieve the best possible outcome. If you are considering an E-2 visa, contact us to schedule a consultation. In the meantime, feel free to look over some of our recent E2 Visa approvals here