Are you looking to become an E-2 Treaty Investor? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you. Read on to learn what you need to know about the E-2 visa application process so you can determine whether this visa is the best option for you.
What You Need to Do to Become an E-2 Treaty Investor
First, let us define what a treaty investor is. In essence, a treaty investor is an individual that is a national or citizen of a nation that has a qualifying commerce or navigation treaty with the U.S. who has invested a substantial amount of capital into a U.S. business. In other words, not everybody can become an E-2 treaty investor. The E visa category is available only to nationals and citizens of certain nations, known as “treaty countries.”
Depending on where you were born, you either already took the first step to becoming an E-2 treaty investor or will have to take it before you apply for the E-2 visa. If you were born in a qualifying country, then you already took that step, and you did it before you even took your first breath. Unfortunately, if your home country does not qualify, the first step you need to take to become an E-2 treaty investor is to become a citizen of a qualifying country. If that sounds like a big step is because it is. However, it might be a lot easier than most people would think. There are treaty countries where it is relatively easy to become a citizen, the law does not even require you to be physically present, and dual citizenship is allowed.
However, if you are considering becoming a citizen of a treaty country, you should first make sure the E-2 visa is indeed the best option for you with the help, of course, of an experienced Immigration Lawyer. The E-2 visa has amazing benefits; however, it is not for everyone. If you want to become an E-2 treaty investor, you must first make sure becoming an E-2 treaty investor is the right move for you. The process of applying for an E-2 visa can be complex, expensive, and lengthy, so you need to go into it knowing you are headed in the right direction. Remember, your time is your most valuable resource, so make sure you invest it wisely.
Once there is no doubt in your mind that the E-2 visa is the right visa for you and you have made sure you qualify, the next step is to start putting together your application. There are two types of E-2 visa applications, depending on where you apply. If you are already in the United States under a different visa, then you can apply for a change of status. On the other hand, if you are outside of the United States, you need to apply for an E-2 visa through the U.S. Consulate in your home country. No matter the case, working with an experienced Immigration Lawyer is always advisable, as making mistakes in both E-2 visa and E-2 status applications can be incredibly easy, and even the tiniest one can result in a delay, or worse, a denial.
While you put together your application and make sure it is in its best possible shape, however, there is another critical step you must either be taking or have already taken. By the time you submit your application, you must have made a substantial investment into a U.S. business or be in the process of doing so, and you need to be able to provide evidence of this.
The E-2 visa is an investment visa, so it is no surprise that the requirements related to this “substantial investment” are the hardest to meet. Unlike the EB-5 visa program – where you know exactly how much you need to invest to qualify – there is no “price tag” on the E-2 visa. The amount you will need to invest will depend on the business. If you intend to invest in an existing commercial enterprise, your investment must be sufficient to acquire at least 50% of the business.
If you intend to start a new business from scratch, then determining how much capital is “substantial” is a bit trickier. You will need to determine how much is usually required to successfully start and operate a business that is similar in type and size to the one you are considering starting. This, of course, is astronomically easier when you work with a knowledgeable Immigration Attorney with hundreds of successful E-2 visa applications under her belt, like Attorney Romy B. Jurado.