We are experienced business immigration lawyers in Miami, Florida USA. Contact us, your business immigration lawyer in Miami, Florida USA to schedule an appointment and find out more about the E-2 Investor Visa USA and other business immigration options for you.
E2 Investor Visa is a temporary visa that allows a foreign-born business owner, investor or entrepreneur to come to the United States together with their spouse and children to live and work for a certain period while doing business in USA. Below we explain the objectives of the E2 Investor Visa process, how the E2 Investor Visa works and how you can obtain an E2 Visa.
First, the E2 Investor Visa is a nonimmigrant visa meaning that it does not allow you to permanently immigrate to the USA and does not automatically qualify you to apply for permanent residence (green card).
In fact, the E2 Investor Visa is granted for the purpose of a temporary visit to the US and you must intent to leave the country at the termination of your E2 status. Proof of your intent to leave the United States and return to your country is documented as part of the E2 Visa Application.
For the E2 visa the purpose of temporary visiting the United States is to conduct business while working and managing a business in the US. However, other nonimmigrant visas allow foreign nationals to enter the US on a temporary basis for tourism, leisure, medical treatment, cultural exchanges, school and university, education and others.
On the other hand, US immigrant visas are granted to foreign individuals who intend to permanently live and work in the United States. For the most part, immigrant visas to the United States are not granted easily and can only be obtained through sponsorship by a relative or an employer, or through investment or extraordinary abilities. A relative or an employer in the US can sponsor a foreign individual by filing an application with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
However, certain applicants such as workers with extraordinary ability, investors, and certain special immigrants can petition for an immigrant visa on their own behalf. To find out more about different US immigrant visas please visit our website.
To understand the importance of “intent” between E2 Investor Visa and other immigrant visas we further discuss an example. For instance, let us say you are a Turkey national and you want to invest in a business in the United States, but you qualify for both an E2 Visa and an EB5 Investor Visa. You make your investment in a US business and then you apply for an EB5 Investor Visa. After applying for the EB5, you go ahead and apply for an E2 Visa at the US Embassy in Ankara or the US Consulate in Istanbul. At the time of your interview your E2 visa can get rejected because your initial EB5 application assumes a permanent intent to immigrate to the US while one of the E2 requirements is that you do not have an intent to permanently immigrate to the US. A similar situation can result in a denial of your E2 Investor Visa. Generally, the terms of an E2 nonimmigrant visa require that the visa holder depart the US within a certain time frame and any departure from this requirement can result in undesirable consequences.
Second, in order to be able to apply for an E2 Investor Visa you must be a citizen of a country with which the United States has a treaty of commerce and navigation.
Most Western countries maintain a treaty with the United States and the period of time for which an E2 Investor Visa is granted depends on the specific treaty with each country.
For example, starting September 26, 2019, the validity period of E2 Investor visas for French nationals was reduced from 60 months (5 years) to 25 months (2 years and 1 month). This means that any French citizen applying for an E2 Visa after September 26, 2019, can be granted an E2 visa for a maximum of 25 months instead of 60 months as before.
At the same time, citizens of other countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Canada or Turkey can get an E2 Investor Visa that is valid for 5 years. Because of the difference in E2 validity period based on citizenship, foreign individuals with more than one citizenship can have certain advantages.
Moreover, becoming a citizen of an E2 treaty country or dependent territories can help a foreign-born individual qualify for an E2 Investor Visa. Contact us below to discuss your E2 Investor Visa case and assist you with your E2 Visa needs.
Currently, the E2 Treaty countries are Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom.
Lastly, you must invest or be in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a US business prior to applying for the E2 Visa.
One option is to invest in a start-up business in the United States and start building your business from ground up.
A second option is to purchase a business that has been in existence for a period of time or a franchise business suitable for an E2 Investor Visa.
A third option is to partner up with a franchisor or enter into a joint venture with a franchisor in order to run a franchise business while maintaining an executive position.
In summary, the E2 Investor Visa has some major benefits including:
- fast processing time and a validity period of up to 5 years for certain countries
- the ability for the foreign individual and the family members to work and reside in the US
- the foreign individual can work for the E2 business
- the spouse of an E2 Visa holder can work anywhere without restriction
- the child can go to public or private school in the US
- the ability to get indefinite extension after each validity period
Malescu Law can assist
From E2 business selection to the E2 Investor Visa application, E2 visa interview and E2 business plan, our experienced Miami, Florida USA business immigration lawyers assist and advise investors throughout the E2 Visa process.