How Large Does An Investment Have To Be For an E-2 Visa

How Large Does An Investment Have To Be For an E-2 Visa

An E-2 Visa is a Visa that is available for entrepreneurs, investors and business owners who wish to live in the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of a business.  The business can be large or small and in order to qualify for the Visa, applicants must meet specific requirements.  The full set of requirements for an E-2 Visa are outlined in an article you can access by clicking here.

One of the requirements is that the Investment amount must be “substantial,” and the question often arises of “How much money has to be spent to qualify for the visa.”  The not so simple answer is that the U.S. Government does not have a predetermined amount that they consider substantial.  This means that there is no minimum and no maximum amount.

In order to assess whether the E-2 applicant has invested enough money, the government uses a proportionality test.  This test looks at the total amount that is required to start up a business and then applies the standard of “substantial” investment by looking at how much was spent in relation to the total expenditure needed to set up the business. As such, if your business is a service business (eg. a consulting business) the investment that is required will be much lower than if your business is a capital-intensive business (eg. car manufacturing plant).  Our firm has received approvals for investments as low as $50,000 where approximately $15,000 was spent  (past results do not predict future outcome) for equipment, furniture, lease and other items and cash of around $35,000 was deposited in a business bank account but this amount will not work in all cases.  In addition, an E-2 investment of $50,000 is considered low by any standard so your risk of denial is higher with this low investment amount.  Needless to say though the more money spent the better and a low investment amount may not work in some cases even for businesses that do not require a significant investment (Eg. a service oriented firm).  Each case is fact specific so you should review the specific facts of your case to assess a strategy.  Also, for businesses that have a low start-up amount, you are expected to spend 100% of the amount to set up the business.

A few things to consider regarding the investment amount:

  • Only a “small” reasonable amount of cash can be included in the investment amount and this is designated as working capital.  As such, you cannot just put hundreds of thousands of dollars in an account and expect an approval.
  • Most of the expenditures should generally be money spent in the U.S. but can also be included in the E-2 investment amount if spent outside of the U.S..
  • You can generally only apply the actual amount of money spent on rent – eg. if one month of rent/lease amounts has been spent you can only include that in the investment amount.
  • Intangible assets can be included in the investment amount as long as you can substantiate the value.
  • Investment amounts that are secured by assets from the business cannot be included in the investment amount.  The amounts must be at risk.
  • You should ensure that you keep records of all of your expenditures as the government will want to see them.
  • While investment amount is one part of the E-2 petition, other strong factors in the petition (eg. if the company already has U.S. workers) can mitigate the risk associated with filing an E-2 petition with a low dollar amount.

While a low investment amount of $50,000 can be approved, this amount does present difficulties and are risky petitions and the chance of denial is higher for low investment amount petitions. This is especially the case if you are applying at a consulate that imposes a stricter standard regarding the investment amounts.  For example, some immigration practitioners and applicants have reported denials from petitions that insist that investment amounts should be over $200,000.  Investments under $50,000 are very difficult petitions to get approved.

Like most Immigration law, the E-2 regulations are complicated and you must demonstrate to immigration officials that you have met all of the legal elements including a substantial investment amount.  In addition, the documentation requirements for an E-2 Visa are quite extensive and a legal brief must be written linking all of the elements of the Statute to your case.

 

 

If you are considering an E-2 Visa, contact Scott Legal, P.C..  For more information on this and other immigration Visas click here.  You can also call us at 212-223-2964 or email us at iscott@legalservicesincorporated.com.

Also, click here for your free White Paper that summarizes the top 10 Immigration Questions and Answers.

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

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Ian E. Scott, Esq. is the Founder of Scott Legal, P.C. He can be reached at 212-223-2964 or by email at info@legalservicesincorporated.com.


This website and blog constitutes attorney advertising.  Do not consider anything in this website or blog legal advice and nothing in this website constitutes an attorney-client relationship being formed.  Set up a one-hour consultation with us before acting on anything you read here. Past results are no guarantee of future results and prior results do not imply or predict future results.  Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

 

 

September 2nd, 2013|33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Rahat M Choudhury September 10, 2018 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Hi, Do you have any idea how much of an investment would the American Consulate in Dhaka, Bangladesh will be expecting to issue an E2 Visa? Since there is no mention of the minimum amount in the law I guess and as you have mentioned that it varies from consulate to consulate. Thanks in advance! Regards, Rahat MC

    • IanScott September 13, 2018 at 7:49 am - Reply

      It really depends on the investment. Over 100K for sure.

  2. Ousama Yasseen December 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Hi
    I am a physician practicing out side the us but have a valid license to practice in the us
    Can i buy or establish a medical practice in the us and cosider this as a substantial investment

    • IanScott December 6, 2017 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      Yes you can. I sent you a separate email.

  3. RCP May 1, 2017 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Good morning,

    I am a national and resident of France, current holder of a B1/B2 visa and have lived, worked and studied in the US in the past. I travel 3-5 times a year to the US and also hold a US SS# and excellent US credit history. I have graduated with an MBA in Finance from Georgetown University in 1999 and have worked as a financial controller for 17 years and continue to work as such for the time being.

    I am seeking to apply for an E-2 Treaty investor visa to further develop our existing real estate business in the US and facilitate the process and improve the conditions for obtaining a mortgage with US lending institutions. The purpose is NOT to bring my family nor immigrate to the US but simply to obtaining better financing than I am currently being offered by US lending institutions.

    My wife and I currently own 5 investment properties in Stafford, VA and 2 investment properties in Ft. Lauderdale, FL where our family has been established since 1977, but I seek to grow our business further. All properties are free and clear in the US and are held through our Wyoming-based LLC which files partnership income tax returns with the IRS. We also file individual 1040-NR returns. All of our properties are operated through our (second) LLC which is based in Florida. In addition to their home states of Wyoming and Florida, both LLCs are also registered in Virginia in order to transact business in all states where the LLCs are either incorporated or own/operate properties. Both LLCs bear certificates of good standing and were incorporated in May 2014.

    Our primary business consists of the acquisition of investment properties in serious need of rehabilitation, then fixing them up by hiring local contractors, renting them for several years and selling for profit. The Wyoming-based asset-holding LLC has engaged into a master-lease agreement with the Florida based property management company which allows us to potentially mitigate liability issues with tenants by secluding our assets from our operations.

    Total contributions we have made from our personal savings are currently about $1.2M and total real estate holdings in the US are approximately $900K. Total equity in US and abroad is in excess of $3M and all US properties are free and clear. We intend to invest an additional $600K before the end of this year to acquire more properties. Current rental income is $8,450 / month which excludes all non-US income. We anticipate that the additional $600K we intend to invest this year should generate an additional $4,000 – $6,000 month in rental income.

    All contributions, expenses and investments are very well documented. We operated two real businesses with meeting resolutions and minutes for both capital contributions and distributions. And our CPA in Pompano Beach, FL prepares our annual tax returns, both for our business and for ourselves.

    It is our view that this is an ACTIVE investment as we are not just receiving passive rental income, but substantially improving the condition of each property we acquire and which we then actively manage and rent, as evidenced by all the local contractors we hire and the agents we generously compensate and whom have written Letters of reference for us.

    US Banks have made it difficult for us to obtain acceptable financing terms because of the fact we do not have a “qualifying” visa; hence our primary motivation to seek an E-2 visa.

    We could apply online via the US Consulate in Paris, but I would like to know what services you could offer us to improve our chances of success in obtaining an E-2 visa, under what reasonable financial conditions this could be done and how our case stands based on what I describe above. We DO NOT need nor have a US office as we outsource everything and therefore have nor intend to have any direct employees. Thank you and I look forward to your response.

    • IanScott May 2, 2017 at 1:08 am - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. A real estate investment business can be a viable E-2 business if you have enough properties so that the business is active. For example, one E-2 visa we did for this type of entity was where the company owned 50 properties. E-2 visas require that you ultimately hire U.S. workers. That is the whole point of the visa so if you do not intend to hire U.S. workers, you would not be eligible for an E-2 visa. If you have any further questions, we would be happy to set up a one hour consultation. Kind regards,

  4. Muzzamil January 7, 2017 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’m gonna file e2 visa in US as I am in US right now so I had a question before filing e2 visa that where should I spend the money in US because I am gonna import my goods from china..
    Thankyou

    • IanScott January 11, 2017 at 3:34 am - Reply

      Hello and thank you very much for contacting us. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S.. I have attached a link to our E-2 visa brochure below that describes our services and fees and you can see from the brochure that we can also help you with your business plan and your business entity set-up.

      E-2 Visa Brochure

      https://legalservicesincorporated.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/E-2BrochureScottLegal2015.pdf

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and I have attached the link to set up a consultation below.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

  5. Moussab Saqer December 25, 2016 at 6:42 am - Reply

    Hello!

    Me and another 2 friends are here now in the US with B1/B2 visa. We all have the passion to start-up a new IT company specialized in IT consultation and services. After i read most of the content founded in both your website and forum, what is need from our side to start the business and how you can help to do all filing and drafting thing? and the most important, how much capital we have to share? is it possible to share a 75K $ as a capital so everyone’s share would be 25K $.

    • IanScott December 30, 2016 at 4:17 am - Reply

      Hello and thank you very much for contacting us. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S.. I have attached a link to our E-2 visa brochure below that describes our services and fees and you can see from the brochure that we can also help you with your business plan and your business entity set-up.

      E-2 Visa Brochure

      https://legalservicesincorporated.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/E-2BrochureScottLegalServices20151.pdf

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and I have attached the link to set up a consultation below.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

  6. Moussab Saqer December 25, 2016 at 6:41 am - Reply

    Hello!

    Me and another 2 friends are here now in the US with B1/B2 visa. We all have the passion to start-up a new IT company specialized in IT consultation and services. After i read most of the content founded in both your website and forum, what is need from our side to start the business and how you can help to do all filing and drafting thing? and the most important, how much capital we have to share? is it possible to share a 75,000 USD as a capital so everyones share would be 25K?

    • IanScott December 30, 2016 at 4:17 am - Reply

      Hello and thank you very much for contacting us. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S.. I have attached a link to our E-2 visa brochure below that describes our services and fees and you can see from the brochure that we can also help you with your business plan and your business entity set-up.

      E-2 Visa Brochure

      https://legalservicesincorporated.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/E-2BrochureScottLegalServices20151.pdf

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and I have attached the link to set up a consultation below.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

  7. imran othi November 6, 2016 at 7:37 pm - Reply

    Hey,
    I am in USA now i have B1 B2 visa , i want make turcking company and want buy about 3 big turcks, please you tell me can i change the visa stauts in E2.
    Now i am NEW JERSY .Please tell to me how need time for this complete proccces ,
    Thank,s
    With Reagrds,
    Imran Othi

  8. Jefferson Janzen September 27, 2016 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Hello I am planning to apply an E-2 visa, opening a company with 50% mine capital and 50% my partners both German nationally. must we apply separate petitions? Thanks

    • IanScott September 28, 2016 at 1:24 pm - Reply

      Hello and thank you very much for contacting us. For two investors who each own 50% you would apply at the same time and we would pull together one binder of supporting documentation but there would be two separate petitions (DS-160 forms) filed. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S.. I have attached our E-2 visa brochure here that describes our services and fees. We can help you with the E-2 visa, your business plan and your business entity set-up.

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and I have attached the link to set up a consultation below.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

  9. Marilia May 31, 2016 at 2:56 am - Reply

    Hello, I am Brazilian and also have Italian citizenship. I would like to know if I am eligible to E2 visa. I Yes, would a persoal stylist / shopper business be an option? I should be able to invest around USD 75k. I wish to live in Orlando, and since you até based in NY I would like to know if that is a problem to work with you.
    Thank you for your reply.

  10. Beatrice Bianchi Fasani May 27, 2016 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    hello, I am planning on applying for an E2 visa through opening my own law firm (this is actually how i found your website..i was google researching and your story on how you opened your own firm came up!). my h1b application was not selected so the E2 looks to me as the only option i have. However, i am wondering if the fact that i don’t have a degree in Italy (my home country) and that I attended college + law school here in the US, would make it hard for me to prove that i will be coming back to Italy after the investment. Is proving your intent to come back to your home country a requirement for the visa? how long does the E2 visa process take?

    thank you!!

    • IanScott May 27, 2016 at 9:05 pm - Reply

      Hello and thank you for setting up a consultation. I look forward to speaking.

      Kind regards,

  11. Mohammad Mizanur Rahman April 30, 2016 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Hi, I am now in USA with B1B2 vissa. I have permission to stay at USA for 6 months. Now I am willing to start a business in Saipan ( Northern Marianne Island) with my friends who has a corporation business license and he is USA citizen. He wants me to add as a partner. So.. how can I be a partner with him and invest money in saipan. how much money do I need to add with him and change e2 vissa status.

    • IanScott May 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much for contacting us and we welcome the opportunity to help you with your legal needs.

      At your earliest convenience, we would be happy to offer you a consultation with one of our lawyers. If after the consultation you decide to hire us to work on your matter and your billing is greater than $2,500, our $250 one hour consultation fee will be waived and the amount will be applied towards your future bill. (As such, the consultation would be free).

      While some legal questions appear straight forward, most do not have a yes or no answer and a proper answer requires a review of the facts and circumstances as well as an application of legal knowledge. Moreover, almost all questions require follow up and additional analysis that is best done during a consultation.

      We look forward to working with you and please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation. For your ease of reference, I have included information below to set up a consultation.

      Please find attached our credit card link to make your $250 consultation payment for a one hour consultation. If you end up hiring the firm and your bill is greater than $2,500, we will apply this consultation fee to your final bill. Once we receive the payment, we can schedule and confirm your appointment. Please reach out if you have any questions.

      https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/scottlegalservices/operating

  12. sheryar khan April 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    I’m from pakistan. And i got b1/b2 visa and i m in usa now i want to settle here by setting up my bussiness. I got 60000$ to 90000$. I just want a small business. So plz contact me i’m waiting for your reply.

    • IanScott April 15, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

      Thank you very much for contacting us. We know that the decision to start a business in the U.S. is one that brings many questions to the forefront and we are here to help. This firm was founded on an E-2 visa so we understand much of what you are concerned with. Our goal is to assist you so that you can realize the dream of growing a business in the U.S..

      We would like the opportunity to help you and welcome the chance to set up a one hour consultation with one of our lawyers who regularly processes E-2 visas. This lawyer will be able to answer all of your questions and can give you valuable information so that you can make informed decisions. Our consultations can be arranged based on your convenience and can be done over the telephone, via Skype, or in person.

      Our consultation fee of $250 will be refunded to you if you end up hiring us and we would be happy to send you a link so that we can set up an appointment.

      We hope you decide to give us the opportunity to assist you and please let us know if you would like to set up a consultation.

      Kind regards,

  13. Nik April 13, 2016 at 7:28 am - Reply

    Swedish citizen with the intention to set up an internet startup (IT industry business) in US with a funding of approximately $100.000~150.000 available.

    Would there be any other options available which could possible lead to a US citizenship, regardless of the venture outcome?

    Thank you

    • IanScott April 13, 2016 at 1:09 pm - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. You may be eligible for an E-2 visa. Please contact us to set up a consultation and we can assess your case. We look froward to hearing from you.

      Kind regards,

  14. Ahmed January 22, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

    Good Morning,
    I am looking to establish a trucking business in the US. I will hire and operate the trucks to major shippers on long term contracts. My question is, can I lease the trucks, for example, an operating lease contract? Would that be considered an investment?

    Kind Regards,

  15. Migena Ergun October 16, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Good morning,

    I live in Turkey but my parents live in USA and they are US citizens. Now I’m under F3 process but it will take min 6 years more to be approved. I want to come next year in USA with E2 visa. I think to invest smth like 75.000$ in a Turkish style restaurant. Do you think I have a chance to take the E2 visa? Can I apply for E2 visa beeing under F3 process?

    thank you

  16. David Vela August 16, 2015 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Good morning
    I am looking into apply for e2 visa by from Australia, investing $200k in real estate, buying properties in bad condition, renovate them and sell them
    Would this be considered a suitable investment to obtain an e2 visa?
    I look forward to hearing from you David

    • IanScott August 17, 2015 at 1:48 am - Reply

      Thank you for contacting us. Real estate is always difficult as the government often thinks it is passive. Whether it is a “business” or not depends on the facts and circumstances. We worked on a real estate E-2 visa where the applicant owned 40 properties and that was a good number to prove that it was a business rather than a passive investment. Please contact us if you would like to set up a consultation to further explore this.

      Kind regards,

  17. Khalid Mehmood October 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Please tell me about e2 visa .

    • IanScott October 9, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      Happy to go over the requirements during a consultation. For the general requirements, you can click on the link in the first part of this post. Please email us if you would like to set up a consult. Regards,

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