The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has different visa categories based on specific eligibility requirements. Foreign nationals from treaty countries willing to invest a “substantial amount of capital” in a US enterprise can apply for an E-2 visa.
In this article, you will discover the best business options for E-2 visa applicants in the United States.
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa – Basic Eligibility Requirements
The E-2 nonimmigrant classification is not available for foreign nationals of all countries. This visa category is restricted to nationals of treaty countries, which are countries:
- With which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- With which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or
- Which have been deemed qualifying countries by legislation
After meeting this primary requirement, the applicant must invest a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide US enterprise. Additionally, the applicant must be seeking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the proposed enterprise.
USCIS requires E-2 applicants to show at least 50% ownership of the proposed business enterprise or to demonstrate possession of operational control through a managerial position or qualifying leadership role in the company.
Which Business is Best for E2 Visa in USA? – In Detail
USCIS defines the term “bona fide enterprise” as “a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.”
An active enterprise is a business that conducts some form of active commercial activity. For example, running a restaurant in Florida is an active commercial activity.
The E-2 classification does not accept any form of passive investment, as this type of activity does not qualify as an active enterprise. Also, USCIS expressly requires the investment enterprise to be a “for-profit” business.
Investments in non-profit endeavors like charity entities do not meet the E-2 eligibility requirements. One of the advantages of the E-2 classification is that foreign entrepreneurs have a variety of investment options, such as:
- Purchasing an existing and rebranding/expanding its operations
- Investing in a franchise
- Forming a brand-new start-up business from scratch
- Forming a business to provide services in a specific segment (e.g., house cleaning, pool maintenance, etc.)
- Forming a retail store to sell goods of a specific niche (e.g., fine wine shop)
It is crucial to identify the ideal business enterprise for your case before applying with USCIS for E-2 classification. There are several factors to consider in the process, such as your skills, experience, and business preferences.
Finding the ideal business segment, handling the required paperwork, and starting the operations once the visa is approved also requires a solid plan. Choosing the right business type requires a careful approach, as it will affect your long-term ability to extend and renew the visa.
Which Business is Best for E2 Visa in USA? – Immediately Seek Expert Legal Guidance to Find the Best Strategy
A well-versed legal advisor in US immigration and business law, Attorney Romy B. Jurado is willing to help you. Contact us by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to find the best strategy for your case.