Can I Include the Cost of a Car as an E-2 Visa Expense?

By August 4, 2016November 12th, 2020E-2 Visa, Immigration, Investor Visas
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One of the most daunting requirements associated with the E-2 visa process is the requirement that the applicant must invest money in a business before getting the E-2 visa.  Also, although some businesses do not cost a great deal to set-up, an E-2 visa still requires that the applicant invests a substantial amount.

A full list of E-2 requirements can be found by clicking here.

To find out more about the amount that you have to spend for an E-2 visa, click here

To find out more about what types of expenses can be included in an E-2 investment, click here.

One question that often comes up when applicants are going through the E-2 visa process is; “Can I include the cost of a car as an E-2 Visa expense?” or “Is a vehicle considered a valid E-2 investment?”  Our clients have gone on to explain that they will need the car to visit clients and that the car is “integral” to the business operations.  While we can certainly see why the inclusion of a car as an E-2 visa investment would be appealing, in most cases a car is not a good E-2 visa expense as a car is viewed by the U.S. government as a personal expense not directly related to the business.

There are some exceptions though which are outlined below: (When can you include a Car or Vehicle as an E-2 Expense?)

  • The vehicle is a truck or van that is used to transport equipment or merchandise on a regular basis. Trucks or commercial vehicles have a much better chance (over a car) of being included in the E-2 investment amount given it is often easier to link the vehicle to the E-2 business.
  • A direct link exists between the vehicle and the business operations. Typically a need to visit clients or driving to and from work is not a direct enough link but if the business was for example a vacuum sales business where the E-2 investor had to go from house to house to demonstrate how the vacuum worked, that may qualify.
  • The vehicle is branded as a commercial vehicle. For example, in one E-2 visa case, the business was a maid service and the van that was used had the maid franchise logo on the side of the van.
  • The vehicle registers with the government as a business or commercial vehicle. Usually this registration allows cars to park in commercial spots and the government usually requires these cars to have company branding also.

There is no hard and fast rule but the general guidelines above are a good indication of when a car or vehicle can be included as an E-2 investment.

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