E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is an excellent option for non-American citizens to create and manage a business or acquire a company in the United States
First of all, it is very important to note that the E-2 visa is a temporary (non-immigrant) visa, and never leads directly to a green card for permanent residence in the United States. To learn more about this visa, we recommend you visit the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors
BASIC REQUIREMENTS AND ELIGIBLE NATIONALITIES
If you have citizenship of one of the countries that are part of the U.S. trade and navigation treaty and have a substantial amount of capital to invest in a business in America, the E-2 visa can be a quick and safe way to get a visa to stay in the United States while running YOUR business in the country.
Check the updated list to the U.S. State Department Treaty countries find out if your country is on it and, consequently, if you would be eligible to apply for the E-2 visa. Note that Individuals with citizenship of multiple countries can choose which one is most convenient for the E-2 visa process
Unfortunately, neither Brazilian citizenship nor Portuguese citizenship gives the right to apply for the E-2 visa. However, individuals who hold dual citizenship with one of the countries that are part of the trade and navigation treaty with the United States can use this citizenship to apply for a visa. Common situations we find are, for example, Brazilians who have Italian, German, Japanese, Dutch, etc. citizenship, or Portuguese who have French or Luxembourg citizenship and can use these citizenships to apply for the E-2 visa.
One of the advantages of the E-2 visa is that it allows the foreigner to invest in basically any form of legal U.S. business. AG Immigration’s attorneys have successfully introduced E-2 investor visas for applicants who have started businesses or purchased the assets of restaurants, retail stores, janitorial services, e-commerce companies, pet sitters, tutoring centers, transportation companies, professional services, business consulting services, and more.
However, although the E-2 Visa is flexible in terms of permitted business activities; it is important to structure the investment in a way that meets the E-2 visa requirements.
To be eligible for the E-2 visa, the funds raised must have been “irrevocably committed,” which the government understands they have already been spent on business expenses. Funds that have been transferred to a US bank account, but have not been spent for business expenses yet, will therefore not be eligible for the required investment amount.
In addition, the source of the funds must be declared and be traceable. Improper transfer of funds can sometimes disqualify an investment that could be valid, so it is essential to talk to an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that funds are known, transferred, and invested in a way that meets E-2 visa requirements.
E2 VISA VALIDITY PERIOD
As we explained above, the E-2 is not an immigrant visa, which grants a green card for permanent residence in the United States. The visa validity period varies depending on the treaty country, but for most countries, it is valid for 5 years.
However, the good news is that there is no limit to the number of times the visa can be renewed, as long as the applicant and their company continue to meet the E-2 visa requirements.
THE ROLE OF THE APPLICANT IN THE COMPANY/BUSINESS IN THE USA
The E-2 visa is designed for foreigners who intend to come and manage their business directly in the USA. So, a job outside of the intended business in the U.S. is prohibited for the main E-2 visa applicant. In addition, the rules require that an individual must be at least 50% owner of the U.S. company through which he or she is applying for a visa and have full managerial control of the company. Two individuals, each with full managerial control and 50% ownership, can qualify through the same E-2 company.
Spouses and children under the age of 21 of the main E-2 visa applicant may also receive E-2 visas.
They can also study at public or private schools, or even at US universities. The spouse of the main E-2 visa holder can apply for and receive a Work Permit, which allows him/her to work in any type of employment, either with the E-2 visa applicant’s company or with another U.S. employer.
How do I determine what type of business to start or buy?
Any legal business segment can be used to be eligible for the E-2 visa, as long as all other requirements are met. We recommend seeing a licensed business consultant who can help you find an established business to buy that fits your budget and is in accordance with your professional goals.
Are you interested in learning more about the E-2 visas to take your business or start a company in the United States?
So, schedule a consultation with Alexandre Law’s legal department right now and start making your American dream come true today
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