An E-2 visa allow a foreign national to purchase or invest in a company in the U.S. and obtain a visa for an indefinite period. The E-2 visa requires that the applicant invest in the U.S. and also ultimately create U.S. jobs. Both the investment amount and the number of jobs are not defined but the number is clearly under the 10 jobs or $1,000,000 investment that is required for an EB-5 visa.
One of the most common questions a potential E-2 investor has is how much money needs to be invested in the E-2 enterprise. There are various factors to take into consideration when determining how much to invest, one of which is that your investment is substantial in relation to the start-up costs.
For example, imagine that you have purchased a franchise for $120,000 and entered into a lease that required an initial payment of $5,000. If you could begin operating your business with just these expenses, which potentially you could, your investment of $125,000 would likely suffice to show that your investment is substantial because you would have spent everything needed to start the business.
Take this same example, but imagine now that the franchise you entered into requires that you purchase equipment that costs $20,000 and you also need to do renovations to the commercial space which are estimated to cost $50,000; therefore, your start-up costs are now $195,000. If you try to apply for an E-2 visa now with the same investment amount of $125,000, which is only about 65% of the start-up costs, it will likely be denied because the investment is not substantial in relation to the costs necessary to begin your business.
As illustrated, the investment amount required to apply for an E-2 visa greatly depends on your business needs. Therefore, in order to determine what your E-2 investment should be, the first step is to realistically determine what the Company’s start-up costs are. Which expenses are absolutely essential? Which expenses are not necessary to begin operations? There are of course other considerations when determining the E-2 investment amount, but the starting point should always be your Company’s own needs and individual start-up costs.
Scott Legal, P.C. has processed hundreds of E-2 visas with investment amounts ranging from $45,000 to over $1,000,000.
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