Do you want to invest in the U.S.?

Does your company want you to travel to the U.S. to make (or supervise making) an investment?

If you answered “Yes” to either question above, there is a visa just for you! Foreign investors looking to make a substantial investment in the U.S. look no further. If you’re from a Treaty country, you may be able to apply for an E-2 visa to enter the U.S. It would be a good idea for the reader to ensure that you are a national of a country that qualifies for an E-2 visa.

For those seeking an E-2 visa, the “good news” is that recent foreign investment in the U.S. has generally been strong. In 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data, foreigners invested over $144 billion. Foreign direct investments are highly sought after by many state and local governments struggling to create additional jobs in their localities.

WHAT DOES A TREATY INVESTOR VISA APPLICANT NEED TO SHOW?

  • Most importantly, that he or she does not intend to live in the United States permanently. In other words, he or she has to demonstrate a non-immigrant intent (for example, offer proof of a foreign residence that the applicant has no interest in abandoning).
  • Proof that the investor, whether an individual or a corporation, is a national or a company in a Treaty country. For example:
    ○ Lists of investors with current status and nationality;
    ○ Company stock certificates;
    ○ Certificate of ownership issued by the commercial section of a foreign embassy;
    ○ Reports from a certified public accountant (CPA).
  • Proof that the investor invested in or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in the enterprise. For example, you intend to purchase a gas station in the U.S. You have entered into a contract with the purchaser and have made a deposit, which is being held in escrow until you get the visa approved. This proves that you are in the process of purchasing the business, and you may qualify for the E-2 visa because you are investing in the U.S.
  • Since it is required that the applicant’s investment (or the applicant’s company’s investment) be “substantial,” the question arises as to what constitutes a “significant investment.” Based on the author’s analysis, most applicants (i.e., individuals or companies) considering this visa should be prepared to invest at least $150,000.00 to $200,000.00 (USD) to qualify for the E-2 visa.
  • Some of the current documents reviewed by the U.S. Immigration are:
    ○ Copies of partnership agreements;
    ○ Articles of incorporation;
    ○ Payments for the rental of business premises or office equipment;
    ○ Business licenses;
    ○ Company stock certificates;
    ○ Office inventories (goods and equipment purchased for the firm);
    ○ Insurance appraisals;
    ○ Annual reports;
    ○ Net worth statements from a certified public accountant (CPA);
    ○ Advertising invoices;
    ○ Business bank account statements containing funds for routine operations;
    ○ Funds held in escrow.
  • If the applicant is not the investor but a supervisor or executive of the firm, he/she must have highly specialized skills, which are vital to running the business. Proof must be provided, such as:
    ○ Certificates, diplomas, or transcripts;
    ○ Letter from employers describing job titles, duties, operators’ manuals, and the required level of education and knowledge

If your goal is to make a direct investment in the United States (either for you or your company), and if you belong to an E visa Treaty country, then applying for this visa is strongly recommended. You do not need a sponsor, and you can invest money and settle in the United States until the E-2 visa expires.

The E-2 visa treaty countries are as follows:

AlbaniaFinlandNetherlands
ArgentinaFranceNorway
ArmeniaGeorgiaOman
AustraliaGermanyPakistan
AustriaGrenadaPanama
AzerbaijanHondurasParaguay
BahrainIranPhilippines
BangladeshIrelandPoland
BelgiumItalyRomania
BoliviaJamaicaSerbia
Bosnia and HerzegovinaJapanSenegal
BulgariaJordanSingapore Slovak Republic
CameroonKazakhstanSlovenia
CanadaSouth KoreaSpain
ChileKosovoSri Lanka
China (Taiwan)KyrgyzstanSuriname
ColombiaLatviaSweden
CongoLiberiaSwitzerland
Costa RicaLithuaniaThailand
CroatiaLuxembourgTogo
Czech RepublicMacedoniaTrinidad & Tobago
Denmark (excluding Greenland)MexicoTunisia
EcuadorMoldovaTurkey
EgyptMongoliaUkraine
EstoniaMontenegroUnited Kingdom
EthiopiaMoroccoYugoslavia