Home - Complete E2 Visa Guide Simplified: Frequently Asked Questions
Our team has assisted entrepreneurs with their E2 visa since 2004, and throughout the years, we have worked on more than 1,600 visa applicants. We created an E2 Visa guide by compiling the most common questions asked by applicants, so you don’t need to look for answers everywhere.
The E-2 Visa is a non-immigration visa known as an investor visa for citizens of treaty countries. The E-2 Visa allows individuals to build and manage a business they desire in the United States.
The E-2 Visa treaty countries list can be viewed here. If you are not a citizen of a treaty country, you can still have an E-2 visa by applying for dual citizenship in Grenada and then applying for an E-2 visa from Grenada. You can read this article if you would like to know more about E-2 Visa Grenada.
While obtaining an E2 Visa is not impossible, it does require substantial document preparation and thoroughness. One crucial aspect is the creation of a comprehensive business plan that adheres to USCIS guidelines. This process can be daunting, and without accurate information, there is a risk of jeopardizing the approval of your E2 Visa. To increase the likelihood of success, it is crucial to meticulously follow all necessary procedures and seek guidance from a consultant. If you are in need of a consultant, feel free to contact us here at no cost.
We can also help you match up with the right franchise business according to your expertise and experience. A franchise is one of the best business options for an E2 Visa as it already has a proven track record and system that you can follow along. Buying a franchise also can increase your success rate in obtaining E2 Visa.
There is no set rule on how much investment you need to make. Nonetheless, based on our experience E2 Visa minimum investment can start as low as \$50,000. The lower the investment the more E2 visa expertise is needed because the applicant is less committed financially. The E2 Visa investment examples include purchasing a business fee, employees’ payroll, legal fees, leases, and working capital.
Many people got denied when applying for E2 Visa; most cases are due to their source of investment. You must ensure that the source of funding you use is legit, and you must show proof of it. Having an organized bank statement is one way to prove your investment’s legitimacy.
The E2 Visa is open to a wide range of businesses, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. Some common types of businesses that qualify for an E2 Visa include:
Start-ups: Entrepreneurs who are launching new businesses in the United States can apply for an E2 Visa. The business should have a solid business plan and a realistic growth strategy.
Franchises: Investing in a franchise can be an attractive option for E2 Visa applicants. Franchises offer a proven business model, established brand recognition, and ongoing support from the franchisor.
Existing Businesses: E2 Visas can also be obtained by investing in an existing business in the United States. This could involve purchasing an existing business or partnering with an American business owner.
Real Estate Ventures: Investing in real estate projects, such as residential or commercial properties, can also qualify for an E2 Visa. The investment should demonstrate job creation or stimulate economic growth.
Consulting Services: Setting up a consulting firm or providing specialized services in fields such as technology, finance, or healthcare can be eligible for an E2 Visa.
It’s important to thoroughly research and analyze the chosen business to ensure it aligns with E2 Visa requirements and has the potential for success in the United States market.
To be eligible for an E2 Visa, there are several requirements you must meet:
1. Citizenship: Ensure that you are a citizen of a treaty country.2. Investment: You must have made or be in the process of making an investment in the United States. It is essential to provide evidence of the legitimacy of your funds.3. Business Management Skills: Highlight your skill set in running and managing a business. Emphasize your educational background, resume, and previous experience.4. Substantial Investment: Typically, a significant investment of around $100,000 is required to meet the E2 Visa requirements.5. Non-Marginal Business: Your business should not be marginal, meaning it should have the potential to generate profit and expand by hiring additional employees.6. Intent to Depart: Demonstrate your intent to leave the United States once your E2 Visa expires.7. Avoid Home-Based or Consultancy Businesses: Immigration authorities may not approve applications related to home-based or consultancy businesses.
The processing time for an E2 Visa is usually between three to six months. However, if you require a faster processing time, there is an option for premium processing. Additional fees are applicable for this service, and it can expedite the issuance of your visa.
The document preparation and submission process for an E2 Visa application involves gathering and organizing various supporting documents to demonstrate eligibility and meet the requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here is an overview of the key steps involved:
Business Plan: Prepare a comprehensive business plan that outlines the nature of the business, investment details, marketing strategies, financial projections, and job creation plans. The business plan should demonstrate the viability and potential economic benefits of the investment.
Investment Documentation: Gather documentation that proves the investment is substantial and at risk. This can include bank statements, financial records, loan agreements, purchase contracts, or capitalization tables.
Business Entity Documentation: Provide proof of the business entity, such as articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, or operating agreements. This demonstrates the legal establishment of the business.
Treaty Country Nationality: Submit proof of the applicant’s nationality, such as a passport or birth certificate, to establish eligibility as a national of a treaty country.
Supporting Evidence: Include additional supporting documents to strengthen the application, such as market research, contracts, leases, licenses, permits, or evidence of intellectual property rights.
Forms and Fees: Complete the necessary USCIS forms, such as Form DS-160 or Form I-129, and pay the required application fees.
Submission and Follow-Up: Submit the application to the appropriate USCIS service center or consulate. Keep track of the application’s progress and promptly respond to any requests for additional information or interviews.
A comprehensive business plan plays a vital role in the E2 Visa application process. It serves as a roadmap for the business and demonstrates the applicant’s understanding of the investment and its potential economic impact. Here are some reasons why a well-prepared business plan is crucial:
Demonstrates Viability: A business plan showcases the viability of the investment and provides evidence of its potential success. It outlines the market analysis, competitive landscape, target audience, marketing strategies, and financial projections, giving USCIS a clear picture of the business’s potential.
Enhances Credibility: A well-crafted business plan enhances the applicant’s credibility by showcasing their knowledge of the industry, market trends, and business operations. It demonstrates that the applicant has thoroughly researched the investment and is equipped to manage and grow the business successfully.
Supports Job Creation Claims: Job creation is a significant requirement for E2 Visa eligibility. A business plan outlines the projected job creation, including the number of jobs, job roles, and estimated timelines. This helps USCIS assess the potential economic benefits of the investment.
Facilitates Financial Assessment: The financial projections and investment analysis included in the business plan provide USCIS with insights into the financial viability of the business. It demonstrates the applicant’s ability to invest a substantial amount of capital and generate a reasonable return on investment.
Guides Business Operations: A business plan serves as a guide for the day-to-day operations of the business. It helps the applicant stay focused, make informed decisions, and adapt to changing market conditions.
It is essential to craft a well-structured and detailed business plan that aligns with the specific requirements of the E2 Visa application process. Seeking professional assistance from business consultants or immigration attorneys can ensure the business plan effectively addresses USCIS expectations and increases the chances of a successful application.
If you are currently residing in the United States, one option to apply for an E2 Visa is through a change of status from your current visa status. This can be done through the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). It is important to note that once your visa is approved, you cannot leave and re-enter the United States.
Alternatively, you can apply for an E2 Visa through a consulate in your home country. We often recommend this approach as it allows for more flexibility in terms of travel once the visa is granted. Applying through a change of status only grants a two-year visa validity. However, depending on your specific circumstances, a change of status may be more convenient. It is crucial to discuss this with your consultant before proceeding with your application.
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Besides creating a business plan and preparing all the required documents, you must also prep for an interview. We usually do a mock interview and help to guide our clients with the potential interview questions. Here are E2 Visa guide for interview questions:
The E2 Visa interview is a crucial step in the application process, as it provides an opportunity for immigration officials to assess the applicant’s eligibility and intentions. Here is an overview of the E2 Visa interview process and some tips for success:
Appointment Scheduling: After submitting the required documents, the applicant will receive instructions on how to schedule an interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. It is important to schedule the interview promptly and arrive well-prepared.
Preparation: Before the interview, applicants should thoroughly review their application materials, including the business plan and supporting documentation. They should be prepared to answer questions related to the business, investment, job creation, and their qualifications. Practice interviews with a friend or family member can help build confidence.
Dress Professionally: It is important to make a good impression during the interview. Applicants should dress professionally, as they would for a formal business meeting, to convey seriousness and professionalism.
Answering Questions: During the interview, immigration officials will ask questions to assess the applicant’s eligibility and the genuineness of their intentions. It is crucial to answer questions truthfully, confidently, and concisely. Applicants should provide specific details about their business, investment, and plans for the future.
Be Prepared for Additional Documentation: In some cases, immigration officials may request additional documents or evidence to support the application. Applicants should be prepared to provide these documents promptly to avoid delays or possible denials.
Demonstrate ties to home country: Immigration officials may inquire about the applicant’s ties to their home country to assess their intention to return after the E2 Visa expires. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their connections to their home country, such as family, property, or business interests.
Stay Calm and Confident: It is natural to feel nervous during the interview, but it is important to remain calm and composed. Maintaining a confident and positive demeanor can leave a lasting impression on the immigration officials.
By adequately preparing for the interview, dressing professionally, answering questions truthfully and confidently, and demonstrating ties to the home country, applicants can increase their chances of a successful E2 Visa interview.
Yes, you must own at least 50% of the company to meet the E2 requirements. You must have control of the business.
Yes, the important things are you are a citizen of a treaty country, and you have the skillset and experience relevant to the business you want to invest in.
You do not have to be in the United States to start the process for filing your E2 Visa. However, if you are in the United States and want to apply for E2 Visa from the USA, you can do it via a change of status. This can be done by filling petition at the United States Citizen and Immigration Services.
You do not have to. But, it is advisable to see your investment before putting money into it. Being in the United States also allows you to research and see other business options. You can do this by using a visa waiver to research your potential business.
At risk means your investment must be committed and subject to partial or full loss. The more money you invest, the more likely you will get your visa accepted. You can be gifted or loan the money from family members; however, they will have to prove the legitimacy of the fund’s source. Make sure your family is comfortable doing so before proceeding with the E2 Visa application.
Besides the advantages, you also need to understand what are the disadvantages for E2 Visa holders:
While obtaining an E2 Visa is an attractive option for investors, there are common reasons for visa denials that applicants should be aware of. By understanding these reasons and taking necessary precautions, applicants can increase their chances of a successful E2 Visa application. Here are some common reasons for E2 Visa denials and tips to avoid them:
Insufficient Proof of Substantial Investment: One of the primary requirements for an E2 Visa is a substantial investment in a U.S. business. If the investment amount or supporting documentation does not convincingly demonstrate the substantial nature of the investment, the application may be denied. To avoid this, applicants should ensure they provide clear and comprehensive evidence of their investment, including financial records, bank statements, contracts, and other relevant documentation.
Lack of Business Plan or Inadequate Documentation: A well-prepared business plan is crucial for an E2 Visa application. If the business plan is missing, incomplete, or does not adequately address the USCIS requirements, the application may be denied. Applicants should invest time and effort in creating a comprehensive business plan that includes market analysis, financial projections, job creation plans, and a detailed description of the investment.
Ineligibility as a Treaty Country National: To qualify for an E2 Visa, applicants must be nationals of a treaty country. If the applicant fails to provide sufficient evidence of their nationality or if their country is not eligible for the E2 Visa program, the application may be denied. Applicants should ensure they meet the nationality requirements and provide appropriate documentation, such as a valid passport or birth certificate.
Incomplete or Inaccurate Application Forms: Incomplete or inaccurate application forms can lead to visa denials. It is crucial to carefully fill out all the required forms, provide accurate information, and double-check for any errors or omissions. Applicants should review the application forms thoroughly before submission to ensure completeness and accuracy.
Lack of Proof of Intent to Depart the United States: The E2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa category, and applicants must demonstrate their intention to depart the United States upon the expiration or termination of their E2 status. If USCIS determines that the applicant lacks sufficient ties or incentives to return to their home country, the application may be denied. Applicants should provide evidence of their ties to their home country, such as family, property ownership, employment, or business interests.
Failure to Meet the E2 Visa Requirements: The E2 Visa has specific requirements that must be met, including the substantiality of the investment, the nature of the business, and the generation of economic benefits for the United States. If the applicant fails to meet these requirements or cannot demonstrate their eligibility, the application may be denied. Applicants should thoroughly understand the E2 Visa requirements and ensure their investment and business plan align with them.
The premium processing option offers applicants the opportunity to expedite the processing of their E2 Visa application for an additional fee. Here are some key details about the premium processing option:
Expedited Processing: By choosing the premium processing option, applicants can have their E2 Visa application processed faster compared to regular processing times. This can significantly reduce the overall processing time and provide a quicker decision on the application.
Fee and Payment: The premium processing option requires an additional fee, which is paid in addition to the standard visa application fees. The fee amount may vary, so it is important to check the current fee with the U.S. Department of State or the specific consulate where the application is being submitted.
Processing Time: The premium processing option aims to provide a decision on the E2 Visa application within a shorter timeframe, usually within 15 calendar days. This expedited timeline starts from the date USCIS or the consulate receives the premium processing request.
Receipt Notice: After submitting the premium processing request and payment, applicants will receive a receipt notice indicating that their application is being processed under the premium processing service. This notice serves as confirmation that the premium processing option has been selected.
Communication with USCIS or Consulate: Applicants who choose premium processing may have the opportunity to communicate directly with USCIS or the consulate regarding their application. This can be helpful in obtaining updates or clarifications during the expedited processing period.
Impact on Application Decision: It is important to note that premium processing does not guarantee approval of the E2 Visa application. The expedited processing only applies to the processing time and not the outcome of the application. The decision will still be based on the applicant’s eligibility and the supporting documentation provided.
Applicants should carefully consider their specific circumstances, urgency of travel plans, and the additional cost when deciding whether to opt for premium processing. It can be beneficial for those who require a faster processing time or have time-sensitive business commitments in the United States.
The length of your visa will depend on your nationality. In general, you will get 5 years; in some countries, you will get 3 years. You can check your country’s visa length here.
No, there is none. This is one of the best perks of an E2 Visa holder. You can travel anywhere inside the United States and outside the United States without needing to re-apply for a visa.
You can not live anywhere; you have to live in the area where your business is located. Before choosing the business area, we will provide market research to help you choose the right location for business and living. Especially if you bring your family together, choosing the right area for school and living is important.
Yes, you can. Many E-2 Visa holders bring their spouses and children under 21 to live in the United States. The duration of your visa will be the same as yours unless your spouse has a different nationality from you. In that case, your spouse’s visa duration will depend on the agreement between the country’s origin and the United States.
Your children can enjoy the benefit of free public school tuition, and they are also eligible for in-state tuition rates. You can get your children the best education in the United States.
Yes, once your E2 Visa has been approved, your spouse is eligible to work in the United States by applying Form I-765 or known as Application for Employment Authorization. We can also help you file the form.
Yes, you are allowed to invest in stocks and other securities such as bonds and mutual funds, except in real estate.
In the event that your visa application is rejected, immigration officials will provide a specific reason for the rejection. The success of your visa application depends on various factors, including your conduct during the interview, the quality of your business plan, and the completeness of your supporting documents. As an investment visa, there are inherent risks involved, and having a competent lawyer can assist in mitigating those risks. Lawyers can assist in incorporating clauses into your agreements to provide protection in case unforeseen events occur.
One of the perks of an E2 Visa is that you can renew your visa without any limit. What’s important is that your business must benefit the United States economy. This benefit can be seen from the size of the company, profit, the number of employees you hire, and their salary. Immigration will also check whether you hire a full-time employee, part-time employee, or contractor.
The renewal is valid for a two-year extension, and the process is the same as applying for an E2 Visa. Here are the documents needed:
Make sure that you file the extension before the I-94 expires. Doing this will give you 240 more days of pending decisions for your extension. If you file after your I-94 expires, you are only given 40 days to stay under pending decision. It is best to have a consultant to help you meet all the requirements and create a successful strategy for renewal. You can consult with us free of charge here.
No, it is not required but highly recommended. Since you are buying a new business, it is important to see the business yourself and the area of the business.
Based on our experience a $100,000 is the best investment to get your E2 Visa. However, we also have other clients who get their E2 with below $100,000 investment. Contact us to get your business assessed.
Your children need to apply for other visa in order to stay in the US. One of the most common cases is to get student visa.
The E2 visa itself does not provide a direct path to a green card (permanent residency) in the United States. It is a nonimmigrant visa, and its primary purpose is to allow individuals to enter and work in the US temporarily based on their investment in a US business. However, E2 visa holders can explore other immigration options, such as employment-based visas or family-based sponsorship, to pursue a green card.
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