For this series, we bring you our top tips for filing a successful E-2 visa petition. The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities. Investment activities may include either the creation of a new business venture or purchase of a pre-existing business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business. The E-2 ‘investor visa’ is available to an applicant who invests a substantial amount of his own money into a U.S. business, which he can control and direct. Foreign nationals from treaty countries who have made a substantial investment in the United States may qualify for E-2 Treaty Investor status. There is no set minimum level of investment, which may qualify for E-2 status, however the lower the investment the less likely one is to qualify. Therefore, the level of investment must be such that it is sufficient to justify presence of the treaty national in the United States. For the E-2 visa petition, the United States business entity serves as the petitioner of the visa petition, while the Beneficiary serves as the investor.
Tip #1 Ensure that your business entity has been properly set-up
If you do not know how to properly set-up your business entity, you should consult with and retain a licensed attorney to properly set-up the business entity for you. Proper set-up of a business entity, entails much more than filing the company’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and applying for a Federal Employment Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS. It is for this reason that many applicants are more comfortable retaining a licensed attorney for the E visa process. Our office handles this aspect of the application as part of the E visa preparation package.
Why is this important?
Proper set-up of the business entity ensures that the entity is a bona fide business enterprise that is real, active, and producing goods or services for profit. Improper set up may cause the denial of a petition and increases the company’s liability.