Obtaining E-2 and further transition to other immigrant visas is a profitable path for small companies and private investors with limited capital. After all, with an amount of only $ 100,000, you can start your own business, develop it and stay in the United States.
Benefits of the E2 visa
E-2 allows you and your family to stay in America for an unlimited number of years by extending its validity. Prompt consideration of the petition for the opening of E-2. The expected time ranges from 15 days to several months. Requires significantly less investment than investment EB-5. No business attachment in your home country. You are on L-1. For E-2, this is not important.
Visa regime for the whole family. Together with the investor, a visa can be obtained by the closest relatives: spouses and children under 21 years of age. At the same time, the spouse has the opportunity to officially get a job, and the children – to receive education in the States as residents.
Getting E2 in the USA
As a foreign citizen, you may be issued a visa to enter America if you meet all of the following requirements for an E2 visa:
- You are a citizen of a state that has signed a special agreement with America. A complete list of countries with such an agreement can be found on the official website of the United States Department.
- You have TFN status, or at least 50% of your company is owned by persons with TFN status;
- You or your firm is about to invest or have already risked significant capital investments (at least $ 100,000) in an American company.
- An investment with risk means that if your business does not succeed, then potential financial losses are possible;
- You hold the position of a manager or manager in a company or are highly qualified, which determines the high degree of importance of your services for the company’s activities;
- These investments are not your only source of income, and their purpose is to create jobs for citizens or permanent residents of America;
- The investment venture already exists, or you are at the stage of active investment. The investor must personally manage the company. You agree to leave the United States if this status changes.
In most cases, E2 is open for 2 years from the date of entry into the United States, but this period depends on the specific state. The number of permitted entries and exits to America also varies: from one entry for 2 years to multiple entries over 5 years.
As we mentioned earlier, it can be easily renewed an unlimited number of times, making it a “lifetime”. This means that subject to the main requirement – successful business development in the United States – you can stay in America for as long as you need.
How to apply for an E2 visa?
To apply for an E-2 visa, you need to fill out an I-129 form and attach a package of documents to it, including a detailed business plan indicating the profitability of the enterprise, confirmation of investment, proof of the legality of the source of the investment funds, a large list of personal documents confirming the absence of a criminal record. applicant, nationality of the required country, etc.
As a rule, the consideration of the petition is carried out in the following terms:
- 1-3 weeks – through the consulate,
- 6-8 months – through the immigration office.
What should be the investment amount?
The specific investment amount is not clearly spelled out anywhere. Investment capital depends entirely on your business plan and area of activity. That is, it is obvious that the purchase of a steel mill and the opening of a flower shop will require completely different investments.
The main criterion is that the amount should be sufficient for your business idea. Most often, E2 investments start at $ 100,000.
Possibility of obtaining a green card from E-2
The E-2 nonimmigrant visa does not directly lead to a green card, permanent residence in America. However, it can serve as the first step to gain a foothold in this country.
Over time, you can make the transition to an immigrant visa EB-1C, EB-5 or marry a citizen/ resident of the United States.
To apply for EB-1C, you, as a manager, and the company needs to achieve certain indicators. For EB-5 – invest a certain amount in the development of the United States