Although the official title is “Treaty Investor” visa, an E-2 visa is often referred to as a “start-up visa” or “entrepreneur visa” because it allows foreign nationals to live in the United States to own or operate a business. Those who hold this type of visa can either buy an existing business or start a new one. These visas are subject to tight regulations, so it is important to follow all standards and comply with necessary requirements. A St. Louis E-2 visa lawyer could help through this application process and beyond to help ensure the best chance of success. Additionally, the attorneys at Hacking Law Practice, LLC could help you prepare any necessary documentation and handle any obstacles that may arise.
The U.S. government issues two primary types of visas – immigrant visas for those seeking to establish permanent residence and nonimmigrant visas for those seeking a stay of shorter duration. An E-2 visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa, so it is not subject to the same quotas and limitations as an immigrant visa. To be eligible for this type of visa, applicants must be legal residents of a country with a qualifying treaty. Since treaties are subject to change, the list of eligible countries may vary at any given time.
The second requirement is that the applicant must acquire or start a business with a “substantial” investment. There is no simple definition of what constitutes a substantial investment, but rather a series of evaluations is used to determine whether an investment is sufficient. One type of evaluation compares the proportion of the amount invested in the business with the cost of creating the business. Alternatively, if the business is an already existing enterprise, the proportion test compares the amount invested with the total value of the business. An attorney in St. Louis could assess an applicant’s case to determine if they qualify for an E-2 visa.
When applying for an E-2 visa, the business investment an applicant is making must meet certain qualifications. First, a visa applicant’s investment must be sufficient enough to allow a business to begin operation. In the case of an existing business, if the applicant purchases the business at fair market value, the investment should be considered substantial enough to fulfill this requirement. It is important to note that the amount of money required to get a business going depends on the type of business.
In addition to ensuring that an investment is substantial, it is also important to ensure that it is made in a “bona fide” business. This means that the business must operate to generate a profit. Moreover, the investor must actively participate in the business. Merely buying stock in a company or real estate that is undeveloped will not be enough to meet the requirements for a treaty investor application. The investor is expected to take responsibility for the development and direction of the business.
The investment also must be “at risk,” meaning that the investor may suffer a loss if the business does not succeed. The goal of these visas is to encourage investment that will grow the economy. Therefore, the investment cannot be “marginal.” A lawyer in St. Louis could help someone determine if their investment meets the requirements of the E-2 visa application.
While an E-2 visa can provide an avenue of opportunity for entrepreneurs, it is necessary to show that an applicant will meet the detailed qualifications for this visa to be issued. Guidance from an experienced St. Louis E-2 visa lawyer could make the application process go smoothly and increase the chances of a successful outcome. Contact our firm to find out how our experience could work for you.