Investor Visa: Everything You Need to Know
An investor visa is a very valuable tool if you want to come to the United States to open or expand an existing business.4 min read
An investor visa is a very valuable tool if you want to come to the United States to open or expand an existing business. Before making an application, be sure to review all aspects of this type of visa to ensure you are able to legally start a business.
Information About the E2 Investor Visa
The E-2 investor visa is one that is unlimited, without quota, and without a cap. It is a long-term and renewable work visa that is available to investors and entrepreneurs from other countries in which the United States has a Treaty of Trade and Commerce.
This visa lets foreign investors from the countries with this trade agreement to start and conduct business in the United States. It is provided via the U.S. embassy of the country of origin of the applicant.
The E-2 investor visa can be applied for while a foreigner is within the United States. However, if he or she travels out of the country, the current status will be lost. The validity of the visa will also depend on the amount of revenue the business brings in. It must bring in enough revenue enough profit to comfortably support the investor and his or her family.
Family Members of E-2 Visa Holders
The visa can cover certain family members, including the investor’s spouse and all children under the age of 21. After the age of 21, the E-2 visa will be void, requiring the investor reapply for another status. The spouse of the visa holder may also apply for a different job with a different employer should he or she prefers to do so.
Who Typically Uses the E2 Investor Visa?
Those who use the visa are those who want to be a franchisee or to start a business in the United States. They are also those who wish to spend their years of retirement within the United States. In addition, visa holders are those who want to deal with real estate.
In Order For the Business to Qualify
For a business to qualify for the visa, there are certain requirements that must be met:
- The investor or applicant must own at least half of the U.S. based business.
- While there is not a minimum amount of money that needs to be invested, there should be enough to begin a fairly lucrative business. This money must need to come from either personal accounts or through a loan secured by the investor’s property.
- The business needs to make money and be profitable. It should employ U.S. workers and provide economic stimulation.
- It should provide justification for the applicant to work in the U.S. full time.
Countries That Maintain Treaties of Navigation and Commerce With the United States For E2 Visa Purposes
The visa applicant must be a legal citizen of one of the following countries to apply:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of Congo
- Romania, Senegal
- Slovak Republic
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom
Additional E-2 Investor Visa-Related Information
There are some additional pieces of information the applicant must know when applying for this visa. He or she may expand into a different or a new area of business. The visa holder and his or her dependents are allowed to study in the United States. In addition, the E-2 visa holder does not have to live in the United States for a specific time period. They are advised to prepare their documentation to avoid worldwide taxation.
Are You Eligible for a Green Card Through Investment?
There are two ways to get a green card via investments. One way is through the “regional center,” which is an institution that conducts a business that creates jobs. The second way is through a direct investment. You would be required to invest $1 million or $500,000 in your business, depending on your location.
A regional center is selected and approved by the USCIS to help an investor with requirements for the conditional visa. The investor needs to know which regional center to use in order to provide him or her with the best outcome.
A regional center is not permanent in U.S. immigration law. Unless Congress provides an extension, the program will expire on April 28, 2017.
A direct investment requires that you invest $1 million for a new or expanding business in the United States. The investment will need to be $500,000 for a business if it is located outside the city where there is a high level of unemployment.
If you need help with obtaining an investor visa, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.