As provided by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the E-2 visa allows an eligible foreign investor to enter the United States legally upon investing a substantial amount of capital in a US enterprise.
However, is it possible to use a loan to fund an E-2 business enterprise? Keep reading to find out whether a loan is permitted for E-2 visa investment.
Explaining the E-2 Visa – The Essentials
The E-2 nonimmigrant visa category applies exclusively to nationals of treaty countries. USCIS defines a treaty country as a country:
- With which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, or
- With which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or
- Which has been deemed a qualifying country by legislation
Therefore, entrepreneurs willing to put a substantial amount of money at risk in a US business enterprise may qualify for E-2 status. Also, certain employees of a person under E-2 status or a qualifying company may be eligible for an E-2 visa as well.
USCIS provides that E-2 applicants must:
- “Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
- Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device”
Accordingly, an E-2 applicant must have the amount of capital to be invested under control when applying for the visa. The funds must have been acquired lawfully from legitimate sources, including personal savings, investment yields, gifts, inherited money, etc.
Inheriting a business in the United States will not necessarily qualify an individual to apply for an E-2 visa. Ultimately, the primary purpose of an E-2 visa is to demonstrate the funds were obtained legitimately and the amount invested is sufficient to meet the USCIS requirements.
Can You Use a Loan for E-2 Visa? – The Verdict
Generally, both loans secured by personal assets or unsecured loans may qualify as part of an investment to obtain an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.
Nonetheless, if the investor is using a loan obtained by using the business in which he/she is investing as collateral, the funds obtained through that loan or mortgage may not qualify as part of an E-2 investment.
Whether the funds used as an investment were obtained using a loan or a gift, the applicants must provide specific documents to demonstrate the source of the money is legit. Overall, loans secured by the investor’s personal assets are the most recommended option.
Many applicants also use capital obtained using loans from close relatives or friends. As long as the source of the funds is legitimate, these funds can be used as an investment for an E-2 visa application.
Still, the applicant must have a written agreement signed by the parties involved outlining the details of the arrangement, such as the repayment time frame, the interest rate applied (if any), the consequences of a default, etc.
Regardless of the type of loan, E-2 applicants must focus on providing detailed documentation to prove the legitimacy of the funds and all the details involved in the loan arrangement.
Do You Want to Enter the United States as an E-2 Visa Holder? – Immediately Contact an Expert Business Immigration Attorney
Using funds obtained through a loan as an E-2 investment is a complex task. Therefore, waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com for expert legal guidance.