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I Own a Company Abroad, Is It Helpful for an E-2 Petition?

By May 6, 2021May 14th, 2021E-2 Visa, Immigration, Investor Visas
Business owner standing in front of his deli shop

If you own a company abroad and you now want to start a company in the U.S., you may wonder if it’s helpful for your E-2 petition if you submit some evidence about the foreign company. In this blog post, we will go over some considerations you should keep in mind in this scenario.

An E-2 visa is a Visa Classification that is available for foreign nationals 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 an E-2 Visa is a great Visa option for those who want to start a business.

For an E-2 visa, you will have to set up an entity in the U.S. and the E-2 company cannot be a foreign company (unlike the E-1 visa where there is no requirement for a U.S. entity).

I already have a successful business in my home country. Should this be mentioned in my E-2 petition?

Please see some considerations below:

  • If the business in your home country & the new E-2 business will be operating in the same industry, then you could briefly mention in the E-2 Cover letter that you already have a successful business in your home country. You could mention information such as how many employees the foreign business has & how much revenue it earned last couple years. This may be extremely helpful for the E-2 petition as the officer will see that the foreign business is successful & hired employees, and so the E-2 business will likely do the same.
  • On the other hand, if the foreign business has been operating for several years but has 0-1 employees, the Consular officer could ask you why that’s the case and you should be ready to explain why the U.S. business will hire employees if the foreign business has not.
  • You should mention any other achievements of the foreign business (e.g. famous clients) on your Resume and in the E-2 Cover letter and also describe your role for the foreign company.

Should I submit any supporting evidence about the foreign business with the E-2 petition?

No, when preparing the E-2 petition, we will focus on the activities of the E-2 company and we usually don’t submit any supporting documentation about the foreign company and just mention information such as revenue or amount of employees in the Cover letter. If the foreign and the U.S. business are operating in the same industry and the U.S. company is new, then it may be useful to bring 2-3 most recent tax returns & W-2s of the foreign company with you to the E-2 interview.

Please note that it is not required that there is a foreign business operating in your home country (this is a requirement for an L-1 visa).

Please see our blog post that compares the E-2 and L-1 visa here.

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