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  • What is the minimum investment for an E-2 Visa?
    The answer is that the law does not actually have a minimum investment amount for the E-2 Visa. Basically, the law says that you need to have committed as much Capital as necessary to get the business operational. That can be in the form of cash, equipment, or something else.
  • Am I required to create jobs with the E-2 Visa?
    Like with the minimum investment, the law does not have a minimum job requirement amount. However, immigration authorities will often look at the ability of the E2 Enterprise to create jobs or have the capacity to create jobs in the future. This can address whether the company is marginal or not.
  • What does marginal mean in the E2 context?
    Under E2 regulations, a company will only qualify if it is not marginal. If the business is found to be marginal by the government, this means the business is likely to only produce enough income for the investor to barely survive and meet their basic needs.
  • Do I need a business degree to invest in an E2 business?
    Absolutely not. But you must show that you have committed yourself to the business through funds, and control, and that you are able to direct and develop the E2 business.
  • Do I need to Own 100% of the E2 business?
    No. However, E2 regulations require that the investor be in a position to direct and develop the enterprise, and this is usually shown through control of at least 50% of the business.
  • Do I need to set up an LLC, or Corporation for the E2 business?
    Not necessarily. U.S. immigration law requires that the E-2 investor be operating legally, wherever that may be. Since immigration law applies the same in all 50 states, the business structure that ultimately ends up being the E2 enterprise will vary state-by-state depending on the law. For example, a sole proprietorship does not require any filing of paperwork, but can be a legitimate E2 business if operating correctly.
  • Am I limited to the number of times I can renew my E-2 Visa?
    No. Unlike other temporary work visas, like the H-1B, or the L-1, the E-2 Visa does not have a limit on the number of times you can renew the visa. However, each time you renew, you must show that you still meet all the necessary to requirements just like he did the last time. This includes, legal business licenses, permits, etc.
  • Can the spouse of an E-2 investor work?
    Yes. In fact, immigration policy was recently updated in light of backlogs due to covid that E2 spouses can work "incident to status" meaning they do not need to apply for a separate work permit after receiving E2 status. For example, if an E2 spouses is admitted to the United States with an E-2 Visa, and receives a stamp in their passport and online I-94, that spouse can automatically apply for a social security number and work legally in the US.
  • Are there limits to the type of business I can operate on an E-2 Visa?
    Yes, but not very many. Aside from requiring that your business have all necessary licenses to operate legally, the business cannot be illegal under any other law. For example, although marijuana is legal in many states, it is still illegal under federal law, which controls immigration. Therefore, an E2 business that deals with marijuana, or prostitution, or illegal gambling, or variety of other illegal business practices will not be given an E2 visa.
  • Is it better to apply for the E2 from inside the United States, or outside at a US Consulate?
    That totally depends on your unique situation. Every case is different, and no two cases are the same when it comes to this question. Both processes require the same documentation to meet the same immigration regulations, but they have different pros and cons. For example, when applying from within the United States with the USCIS, an applicant can have a response within 15 days. However, the filing fees to get that response in 15 days add $2,500 to the original costs. The government filing fees are much more affordable when applying at the US Embassy abroad. However, with backlogs still at record highs after COVID, there is no control over when an applicant can get an interview. This results in many applicants being stranded outside of the United States for several months being unable to run their business.

If you have questions about applying for an E2 visa and want to speak to an immigration attorney, please feel free to contact us directly. We can be available by phone, in person, or online through videoconference at your convenience.

Disclaimer: Attorney Advertising. General information only. This does not, nor is intended to constitute legal advice. Contact an attorney to discuss your individual case as results are not typical

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