We Provide Freedom And Opportunity To Foreign Entrepreneurs And Families, Call to schedule an appointment with the attorney (855) 620-5511

  • By: Andrew Driggs, Esq.
  • Published: May 28, 2024
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One of the primary focuses of my immigration law practice is the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. This visa is the best visa for a foreign national from certain countries to work and live in the United States. The visa is not available from all foreign countries—only those with investment treaties with the United States. Check with our office to see if your country of citizenship qualifies.

A frequent question that many prospective clients have is, “what is the least amount of money I can invest to qualify for an E-2 visa?” The fact is that there is no minimum investment under the immigration laws and regulations. Our office has had approved petitions for an investment as little as $32,000. However, it is a fair observation that the higher the investment, the more likely the petition will be approved. The amount invested must be enough so that the enterprise can be ready to operate. In the Foreign Affairs Manual regulations for E-2 visas, only two amounts are mentioned–$100,000 and $10 million. The amounts are mentioned with regard to the percentage of initial investment that must be made. If an investor is investing $100,000, the investor needs to spend the entire $100,000. But if the business will cost $10 million to start, then the investor might only have to initially spend 10% of the total investment amount.

So instead of asking “how little,” the investor should ask, “how MUCH can I spend?” The bigger the investment, the better. But what if this particular type of business really does not require a large investment in equipment or leased space? How can an investment be augmented to show USCIS or a Consulate a bigger investment? Here are a few ideas:

For those who are looking to acquire an existing business, investors should look for sellers who are offering “Seller Financing,” where the seller will only require a partial initial payment and finance the balance over a few years with a moderate interest rate. If an investor has $100,000 to invest, and finds a business that offers to finance half of the purchase price, then the investor can acquire twice the business for the same initial investment. Since a personal loan for the balance of the business purchase price will count toward an E-2 investment, the investor’s petition will now be for a $200,000 investment. Care should be taken to analyze the ability to carry the debt load with the anticipated cash flow from the business.

Other strategies to increase the investment for E-2 businesses include the prepayment of certain fixed business expenses that will accrue anyway, and thus not be wasted expenditures. Examples of these expenses include prepaid rent, marketing contracts, and inventory. Remember that inventory or equipment that is brought from the home country can be included in the description and amount of the E-2 investment.

There is no substitute for good, professional legal advice for achieving your immigration objectives. Our office has helped dozens of foreign entrepreneurs expand their market to the United States, and live and work in the United States with their families. With an E-2 visa, an investor’s spouse can work, either inside the business or outside, and their children can attend school.

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We Provide Freedom And Opportunity To Foreign Entrepreneurs And Families, Call To Schedule Appointment With The Attorney (855) 620-5511.

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