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Does the money for the E-2 investment have to be spent in the U.S.?

By December 17, 2020May 14th, 2021E-2 Visa, Immigration, Investor Visas

The E-2 Visa is a visa that is available for an entrepreneur that wants to buy or start a business in the U.S. The investment must be substantial, and the business must be able to hire U.S. workers. You can find out more about an E-2 visa by clicking here.

Please click here to learn more about the E-2 visa.

Does the money for the E-2 investment have to be invested in the U.S.? What do the regulations say?

The Code of Federal Regulations does not directly state that the money for the E-2 investment  that is has to be spent in the U.S. (8 C.F.R. 214.2).

Similarly, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), which is an authoritative source for the Consular Officers does not state anywhere that the money that is being invested in the E-2 business has to be spent in the U.S.

Is it helpful for my E-2 application if I invest the money in the U.S. or can I spend the money in my home country?

While the immigration regulations do not specifically require that the E-2 investment money is spent in the U.S., we have recently noticed that some Consular officers/Consulates don’t like if most of the investment money is spent outside the U.S. and prefer that the money is actually spent in the U.S.

As a general advice, we would recommend that you spent most of the money in the U.S. and if there is something you cannot purchase in the U.S., you can buy that in your home country/in a third country.


You are setting up a business in the U.S. and you are planning to purchase inventory from your home country (Italy) for about $200,000. This will be the biggest expenditure and you cannot buy this inventory anywhere else, as the inventory is a special Italian leather. You will also need computer equipment, printers, scanners, and you will need to pay for marketing, business plan drafting, and business entity set up.

In this scenario, if you cannot buy the inventory anywhere else but Italy, you can but the inventory in Italy and explain in your application that it cannot be purchased anywhere else, , but we would recommend that all other expenses are made in the U.S. In the example above, you should buy all the computer equipment, printers, and scanners in the U.S., and you should pay for marketing, business plan, company set up, and anything else that is needed to start the company in the U.S.

Please see our blog post on whether your investment is substantial when you click here.

Please see our blog post on how much you have to invest for an E-2 visa here.

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