A Better Understanding of E-2 Visas
The E-2 Visa is a nonimmigrant classification that allows somebody coming from a treaty country to arrive within the United States when they plan to invest a substantial amount of money in a United States business. So, you may ask, what is a treaty country? This is a country in which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. Along with the treaty investor having to be from one of these specific countries, they must also have an investment or plan to have an investment in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. Lastly, you must be seeking to enter the United States to develop and direct an investment enterprise. Are you able to show that you have at least 50% ownership of the enterprise? Then you just may qualify for an E-2!
So, next you may wonder how you can prove that the business is bona fide and serves a legitimate purpose permitting issuance of an E-2 Visa? Here are some pieces of evidence that may help you demonstrate eligibility for an E-2:
- Assignment of an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Evidence of Tax Returns
- Financial statements
- Business plan
- Necessary business licenses
- Bank statements or utility bills
- Contract agreements
- Escrow documents
- Lease agreement
Along with this, you will need to prove that your business is not ‘marginal,’ which would refer to a business that is only capable of producing money to support the investor and his or her family. This would include showing a detailed business plan or executive summary to show that your business will produce more than a minimal living for you and your family. It must also show a significant economic contribution. You may have to show financial statements and payroll summaries for this as well.
More About Investments
Of course, investments must be made into your business. You must be in possession of these funds and they must be fully committed to the business. The investment would be subject to partial or total loss in the event that the entity fails. The invested funds must also have the ability to fully purchase an established enterprise or creating the type of enterprise you are considering. Here are some ways to show that your investment is worthwhile:
- Personal or business bank statements
- Lists of goods and materials purchased for start-up
- Financial accounting documentation
- Lease agreement
- Bill of sale
- Loan or mortgage agreements
- Purchase agreement for business assets
However, there is one more step in the investment process. You must also be able to provide the source of your funding for the investment purposes. You must be able to show, above all, that the funds you are investing were not obtained criminally. Here are some pieces of evidence you can submit for just that purpose:
- Wire transfers and money orders
- Foreign tax returns and bank statements
- Pay records
- Property records
- Loan or mortgage agreements
Development and Direction
Another requirement is that you must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. You need to be able to show at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possess operational control through a managerial position. There are some pieces of evidence that you can show to demonstrate that you have the capacity to develop and direct your own business. Here are some ways:
- Detailed list of all owners and percentage of ownership to show that you possess a controlling interest
- Stock purchase agreement
- Stock certificates
- Partnership or Franchise agreement
What Happens If I Have a Family?
Are you hoping to obtain an E-2 Visa but have dependents and aren’t sure what will happen to them? Both treaty investors and employees alike may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Family members are permitted to seek E-2 nonimmigrant classification as a dependent and will usually be granted the same period of stay as the actual treaty trader. If a spouse applies to be able to work, there will be no specific restriction on where the E-2 spouse chooses to work.
Permitted Allowance of Stay
If you qualify as a treaty investor, you will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for an extension of stay will be granted in small increments of two years each; again, if you qualify. There are no limits to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted; however, they must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status has expired.
How an Attorney Will Help
Business Plans: Having a firm and easy-to-follow business plan will be your best bet in obtaining the E-2 Visa. You should have an attorney on your side to help you through the process. Business plans become the most important when there are smaller businesses involved as well as ones with lower revenues and numbers of employees. Both the USCIS and Consular Offices will expect detailed business plans laying out expected growth and the strategy of the firm to be successful in the United States.
An attorney will also be able to show that the applicant of the E-2 visa is a leader as well as somebody who can work in a supervisory-style job as an employee if they are granted permission. They will provide the investor employee ultimate control and responsibility for a major component or all of the operation at the workplace.
So, what will The Valdez Immigration Law Firm offer to you if you are applying for E-2 status? For one, we have the experience needed when it comes to E-2 specialization and being able to aid you with filing your applications and documents in a timely manner. Guiding you every step of the way? We have you in mind. We handle many E-2 matters and have had the utmost of success in doing so. So, if you still believe that an E-2 Visa is right for you, your business or potential business, and your family, then Valdez Immigration Law Firm is where you want to turn for guidance! Call today to find out more information.
USCIS. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2016. Web. Accessed Jan 31, 2016. https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/e-2-treaty-investors http://www.uscis.gov/eir/visa-guide/e-2-treaty-investor/understanding-e-2-requirements