Although the manner in which consulates conduct the E-2 interview may differ somewhat depending on the region, the volume of E-2 applications, and internal operating protocols unique to each, there is still a seam of common questions that runs through the processing of an E-2 visa application, regardless of where it is filed.  The questions all get at whether the applicant has met all of the E-2 visa requirements and a full set of the requirements can be obtained by clicking here.  The various lines of questioning can be distilled to getting at the heart of four key points:

  1. Has a sufficient amount of money been spent-up front to satisfy the consulate’s definition of “substantial”? This question quickly opens up into other connected areas of inquiry: How has the money been spent?  Has it been used to acquire items essential for operations?  Have all necessary expenditures been made?  Is there more money that remains to be spent before the business is truly ready to launch?  You can find out more about how much to spend for an E-2 visa by clicking here.
  2. What is the source of the money used to make the key purchases, secure the business premises, and fund the U.S. bank account with working capital? Questions typically include: Where did the E-2 investment come from? Did the E-2 investment come from a legitimate source? Has the E-2 investment been traced from origination to the U.S. bank account? This area of inquiry is probably subject to the greatest degree of variance from consulate to consulate.  Regions that have more informal banking and property transfer systems in place will have increased scrutiny, whereas consulates located in areas with highly regulated, transparent banking practices will be less concerned with the legality of the funds.  You can find out more about the E-2 visa source of funds by clicking here.
  3. What is the investor’s role in the U.S. entity? Can they truly be said to be in a position to develop and direct the operations?  The investor must be shown to be focusing on the business and making strategic decisions.  As such, if the applicant is only performing the day-to-day tasks essential for  operations they may come under scrutiny.  If the E-2 investor is opening a nail salon, he or she should be involved with the internal business operations (managing payroll, dealing with vendors and billing, developing marketing initiatives, promoting the brand and business concept) in in addition to other day to day tasks.  The investor should also be able to demonstrate that he/she has the sufficient skills and experience needed to develop and direct the E-2 Enterprise.  Click here to find out more about directing and developing an E-2 business.
  4. What are the chances of this business being successful? Is the E-2 business viable? Will the E-2 business be able to hire U.S. workers? How many employees exist? Obviously the business plan presents the enterprise as succeeding in its chosen pursuit.  The kernel that lies at the center of this question is really: Why it is the E=2 business will be successful?  The applicant should have a clearly-articulated notion as to what it is that sets his or her enterprise apart from other similar businesses, and what it is in their background that instills confidence in their ability to do well in the chosen field of endeavor. The key element here is the company has to have the ability to hire U.S. workers.  Letter of intent or contracts also help to persuade and examiner that the E-2 business will be viable.   You can find out more about the E-2 visa business plan by clicking here.  You can find out more about letters of intent and contracts by clicking here.

These are just a sampling of the key areas of inquiry for any E-2 examiner.  Scott Legal P.C. processes E-2 applications throughout the world, and prepares each client individually to address the questions they are most likely to face at the particular consulate adjudicating the E-2 application.

 

To find out more about the new rules or other investor visas, contact Scott Legal, P.C.

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