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Do I Need to Hire Employees Before I Apply for an E-2 Visa?

By May 26, 2022E-2 Visa
An approval stamped on a visa

One of the E-2 visa requirements is that the E-2 business cannot be marginal – this means that the business must have either present or future capacity to generate enough income to provide more than a minimal living for the E2 investor and his/her family.  This means that the business must have either present or future capacity to hire employees.

But does the E-2 company have to have employees before the E-2 visa is granted?

New Companies

If you are applying for an E-2 visa for a start-up, then you will need to submit a Business Plan as part of the E-2 visa application. The Business Plan should contain a Detailed Personnel Section that goes over the company’s hiring projects over the next 5 years. You do not have to hire employees before you apply for the E-2 visa, but it’s always very helpful for the application if the business already has employees at the time the E-2 application is submitted or at the time of the E2 visa interview. Having employees helps to prove that the business is not marginal and that the company is already real and operating. You should bring the employees’ paystubs and payroll and their employment contracts as evidence of their employment.

Existing Companies

If you are buying an already existing company, then the requirement of having employees becomes more important. The company you are buying should have employees at the time you are applying for the E2 visa and you should also be able to show that the company had employees in the past. You should speak with an experienced immigration attorney before you purchase a company for the E2 visa as the attorney should go over the company’s financials and present/past hiring to assess whether the company is good purchase for the E2 purposes.

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