The United States has often been referred to as the most business-friendly nation on Earth. It is therefore not surprising that many foreign nationals become interested by the prospect of conducting business in the United States. Although it is possible to invest in American businesses from abroad and even to run them from overseas, many aspiring and established business owners would prefer to live and work in the U.S. in order to be closer to their American businesses and to take advantage of other stateside opportunities. In such cases, E-2 visas provide an excellent immigration option for many entrepreneurs.
Eligibility and Preparation
It is important to note that not every foreign entrepreneur is eligible for E-2 visa status. Only foreign nationals whose home countries have treaty investor visa agreements with the United States are eligible for E-2 visa status at this time. An experienced immigration attorney will be able to help you determine whether you meet eligibility requirements. For example, if you are a citizen of Japan, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Italy, Denmark or a number of other countries, you may be eligible for E-2 visa status. If you do not meet current citizenship requirements, you may be eligible for other investment or employment-based visa opportunities. The U.S. actively seeks to attract foreign investors and entrepreneurs, so if you are not eligible for an E-2 visa, do not lose heart.
In preparation for the formal application process, you must invest or be in the active process of investing a certain amount of capital in an eligible for-profit business opportunity in the U.S. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you with regards to which enterprises meet the E-2 criteria for investment.
E-2 Visa Application Process
A critical aspect of the E-2 visa application process is intention. Immigration agencies in the U.S. strictly enforce the mandate that E-2 visa applicants seek to enter the U.S. “solely” to develop and manage their qualifying business enterprises. This requirement may generally be fulfilled by owning a minimum of 50 percent of the eligible business or possessing a specific amount of managerial control over that business.
Once approved, an E-2 visa applicant may generally remain in the U.S. for an initial two-year period. Two-year extension requests may generally be made and approved indefinitely, provided that the terms of the visa continue to be maintained.
Employment-Based Immigration Assistance Is Available
The criteria for obtaining an E-2 visa are both detailed and strictly enforced, so it is generally a good idea to seek legal guidance early if you plan to apply for an E-2 visa. If you are thinking about taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by obtaining an E-2 visa, please consider connecting with the team at LawTrades. We look forward to helping you explore any financial, business and immigration options available to you at this time and into the future.