The E2 Visa has six basic requirements, which are outlined below.
1. You must have a passport from a treaty country. Neither where you were born nor where you currently live affect this requirement. You simply need a valid passport from a treaty country.
2. You must invest a "substantial amount" into a business in the United States. Although there is no minimum amount, the trend is at least $100,000. There are two considerations when talking about the minimum investment amount:
3. The business should be majority owned by you or by someone with the same country passport as you. As an investor, it's wise to always own at least 50% of the company. You also need to show that you will "direct and develop" this business.
4. The business must not be "marginal." This means that you need to plan on making enough money from this business to support yourself and your family. In addition, the business should have enough revenues to pay employees. There is no minimum number of employees; and in fact, businesses with no employees at the time of application can be approved. The marginality requirement will be judged, in the case of brand new businesses, based on the business plan with five-year projections.
5. The business must be "real and active" also known as "real and operating." Essentially, this means that the business must either 1) be currently operating and generating revenues OR 2) must start operations the moment you get the E2 visa and get to the US. The key here is that they want the business to be as close to operational as possible -- the only thing missing is you. To this end, it's important to have a valid office lease and at least one purchase order or agreement to do work at the time of the interview.
6. You must intend to leave the US when your legal authorization has ended. In other words, you must convince the consular officer that if the E2 visa is no longer valid you will not stay in the US. This is typically done with a declaration stating your intention to leave.
Want even more info? Check out this incredibly thorough explanation of all E2 Visa requirements.
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