For individuals and businesses, an E2 investor visa can be an excellent opportunity to invest in a new or existing company in the United States. An E2 investor visa allows foreign nationals to enter the country to direct and develop a commercial enterprise in which they have invested a substantial amount of capital. These types of investor visas have specific requirements, including that the investor (an individual or a corporation) be a national of a country that has a treaty of commerce with the United States. Unlike other types of investor visas, such as the EB-5, there is no specific dollar amount that must be invested in order to qualify for an E2 visa. However, the investment must be “substantial” in relation to the total value of the enterprise. At Colombo & Hurd, our Tampa E2 visa lawyers are experienced in assisting individuals and businesses obtain this type of investor visa.
Advantages of an E2 Visa
Compared to other types of visas, there are many advantages to pursuing an E2 visa. The processing time for E2 visas tends to be shorter than other types of visas, so that you can typically enter the United States more quickly than with other types of visas once you are approved. This type of visa is also not subject to annual limits. In addition, you may bring your dependents with you on an E2 visa; this includes your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
Once you are in the U.S., you will be able to remain in the country for an indefinite period of time, provided that you maintain valid E2 status. In other words, as long as the business remains in operation and you comply with the visa requirements, you will be able to renew your visa and stay in the U.S. You will be able to work legally in the U.S., and your spouse may seek employment though an employment authorization card. If you have children under the age of 21, they can study in the United States. You will also be able to purchase real estate in the United States. Each of these factors makes an E2 visa attractive to many individual investors.
Requirements for an E2 Visa
To be approved for an E2 visa, an investor must meet specific criteria. As an initial matter, the investor must be a national of a country that has a treaty commerce with the United States. Your Tampa E2 visa lawyer can advise you if your home country has a qualifying treaty. Next, the investment in a commercial enterprise must be substantial. While there is no specific dollar amount that must be invested in order to meet this standard, the government will look to a number of factors to determine if an investment is substantial. This includes the amount of the investment in proportion to the total business, and whether the amount of the investment is typical of the amount normally considered necessary to start a viable business of this type. At Colombo & Hurd, our attorneys have assisted many investors in obtaining E2 visas, and can advise you on whether a proposed investment is likely to meet this standard.
An investment must also be in a genuine operating enterprise, not in a speculative or idle investment. The money to be used in an investment must be personally at risk in order to qualify for an E2 visa. Examples may include loans secured by an investor’s own assets, or cash reserves placed in a business accounts. It is acceptable to have partners in the investment, but the applicant for an E2 visa must control the investment, which typically means having ownership of more than 50% of the business. The investment funds must be committed at the time that the application for an E2 visa is filed. This can generate substantial anxiety for investors, as there is a possibility that a visa will not be approved. That is why it is so important to have a seasoned Tampa E2 visa lawyer, such as the attorneys of Colombo & Hurd, to guide you through the process and help to protect your investment.
When it comes to the enterprise itself, the government requires that it not be marginal. This means that it must generate significantly more income than just enough to provide a living for you or your family, or that it must have a significant economic impact in the United States. The investment can either be in a new business, or in an existing business, such as a franchise. Finally, to qualify for an E2 visa, the investor must be coming to the U.S. in order to develop and direct the enterprise. If the investor is not the principal investor in the enterprise, then he or she must work in a supervisory, executive or highly skilled capacity.
If approved, an E2 visa is generally issued for a period of two to five years. It can then be renewed or extended indefinitely. An E2 visa does not provide a direct path to permanent resident status. However, there may be other ways to obtain a green card or permanent resident status through an E2 visa. A skilled Tampa E2 visa lawyer can assist you with obtaining the initial visa, and exploring options for obtaining a green card in the future.
Contact an E2 Investor VISA Lawyer Today
At Colombo & Hurd, our immigration attorneys in Tampa have successfully helped investors around the world obtain E2 visas. We work with clients to not only help them be approved for their initial visas, but to improve their chances of being approved for a renewal. With individualized attention and commitment to personal service, we provide the highest quality legal services to help our clients navigate the complex immigration process. To learn more about E2 investor visas or to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our Tampa E2 visa lawyers, contact Colombo & Hurd today.