If you are dreaming of owning a business in the United States of America, then the E-2 visa is not just a great option for you – it’s your ticket to turning your great dream into a thriving reality.
Unlike other visas, the E-2 doesn’t require a massive investment or a multinational corporation. It’s designed for entrepreneurs, investors, and skilled professionals who want to establish, develop, or manage a business in the U.S. which you are. If your home country has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States, you are eligible for this visa, and here is how you can apply for it.
The E-2 Visa – What Is It?
The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that enables citizens of treaty countries to invest in or start a business in the United States. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an investor, or a skilled employee of a treaty country, the E-2 visa allows you to live and work in the U.S.
Benefits of the E-2 visa
- Entrepreneurial opportunities: E-2 visa allows you to own and operate a business in the U.S., granting you an opportunity to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams.
- Flexibility: With the E-2 visa, you have the freedom to invest in various types of businesses, including startups, existing companies, or franchises.
- Investment control: As the investor, you maintain control over the business operations, allowing you to implement your vision and strategies.
- Dependents’ benefits: Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 can accompany you to the U.S. under E-2 dependent visas.
- Visa renewal: The E-2 visa is renewable as long as your business continues to meet the visa requirements.
- Easy entry and exit: You can enter and leave the U.S. freely as long as your visa is valid.
- Education opportunities: Your children can attend U.S. schools, colleges, and universities.
- Path to permanent residency: While the E-2 visa itself is a non-immigrant visa, it can potentially serve as a stepping stone toward obtaining a green card through other avenues.
To qualify for this visa, your home country must have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. If you are not from a country with this treaty, you can’t apply for this visa. If you are willing to start your application, below are the steps.
Choose the right business
Before you start applying for the E-2 visa, you need to establish a solid business plan. The U.S. government expects your business to be a bona fide enterprise. This means it must be a real, operating commercial enterprise producing services or goods for profit.
Make a substantial investment
To obtain an E-2 visa, you must make a substantial investment in your U.S. business. Although there’s no specific dollar amount set by the U.S. government, the investment must be substantial enough to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. Here is a tip; a higher investment will increase your chances of getting the visa approved.
Gather necessary documents
Like any visa application, the E-2 visa process involves paperwork. You need to provide documents about yourself and of course, your business during the application process.
- Business plan: Your business should detail your business structure, financial projections, and market analysis, simply, everything about your business.
- Investment evidence: You need to show proof of your investment in the business.
- Ownership evidence: You also need to show documents proving your ownership in the U.S. business.
- Treaty country citizenship: You will provide a valid passport and other nationality-related documents for identification.
- Employee documents (if applicable): If you’re an employee, you should provide proof of your qualifications and position in the company.
Submit your Application
Once you have all your documents in order, it’s time to submit your application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Make sure that your application is complete and accurate to avoid unnecessary delays.
Attend the interview
If your application is approved, you’ll be required to attend an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. As an investor and a business person, you should be ready to answer questions about your business and intentions in the United States of America.
Visa approval and business launch
If your visa is approved, you will be allowed to move to the United States – you can enter the U.S. with your E-2 visa to live and work. You are now ready to set up and run your business.
Do not forget that the E-2 visa is usually granted for two to five years, and you can renew it as long as your business continues to meet the visa requirements.
The E-2 visa is great if you are willing to invest in the US. By investing in a viable U.S. business, you not only gain the opportunity to live and work in the United States but also contribute to the thriving entrepreneurial landscape in the country.