As an immigration lawyer in the San Francisco Bay area, I often work with people seeking their E-2 visas. The E-2 visa is designed to allow entrepreneurs and business people into the country who have the means and ability to create a company or business and, thus, employ people in the U.S. There’s been an emphasis on this particular visa since many believe that encouraging such investment will help the country’s struggling economy.
Those who want to come to the country under an E-2 must apply through the American Embassy. Alternatively, if you are in the United States you may be able to change status to an E-2 status. Recently, documentation standards have become more stringent, making the process more difficult. The San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, California, like so many other parts of the state, is certainly a place that can benefit from startup companies; as an immigration lawyer, I am constantly monitoring the requirements for the E-2 visa. Here’s the latest regarding the key requirements for the E-2.
E-2 Visa Requirements
There are four main areas regarding your investment that will determine if you are allowed into the U.S. on an E-2 visa.
- Substantial Investment
- Substantial funds are required to either start or purchase a business.
- Although not defined by strict dollar amounts the low end is around $50,000.
- Funds may be in an escrow account.
- Funding Source
- The primary funding source must be the investor.
- Gifts from relatives or friends are permitted.
- Active Engagement
- The person starting the company, the investor, must be involved in the operation of the company.
- They cannot be a passive participant.
- Income Generation
- You must be able to show that your company will generate income.
- That income needs to be enough to employ U.S. workers.
- It must also be enough to support you and your family.
To summarize, this is what I tell my clients as an immigration lawyer, if you want to obtain an E-2 visa then you must have the funding necessary to create a thriving business that will benefit the economy, employ people in addition to supporting you and your family. A solid business plan is also important in determining if you’ll be awarded an E-2 visa.
For more information on L1 Visas, please visit the E2 Visa section of our website.
Please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices in San Francisco, San Jose, and Sacramento California, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 415-986-6186 if you have any questions regarding immigration.
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