An E-2 visa is a visa available for foreign nationals who want to purchase or start a business in the U.S.. An E-2 investor must invest a certain amount of money in the U.S. and must ultimately hire U.S. workers.
A full set of E-2 visa requirements can be accessed by clicking here.
When the company is a start-up, the requirement to hire U.S. workers can be shown though a comprehensive business plan. To see the E-2 visa business plan requirements click here. Another form of evidence that can support the viability of the business and support the assertion that the company will ultimately hire U.S. workers is a Letter of Intent or a contract from a prospective client. A contract is a stronger form of evidence than a letter of intent as it would set forth a firm commitment and details that must be honored, but a letter of intent is typically satisfactory for this purpose.
The purpose of the letter of intent is to show the U.S. government that the E-2 company has some viable prospects and prospective clients that want to use their services or buy their products. Given this purpose, the more details that the letter of intent can provide, the better in order to show the Government that the business already has a few interested clients that plan to hire the E-2 entity or buy products from the E-2 entity. There is no specific format that is required for these types of letters and they are usually just a few paragraphs.
The letter of intent should have the following features:
- A description of the company that wants to hire the E-2 Company
- A description of how the company became acquainted with the E-2 Company
- A description of the products or services that the company wants to buy from the E-2 company
- If possible, details related to rates that will be paid for services, quantification of the amount of services required (e.g. 100 hours, 10 hours per week, etc.)
- If possible, details regarding the quantity of products to be purchased
- Any other relevant information that shows that the company has a product or service that fulfills the prospective client’s need
- The letter of intent should be on company letter head if issued by a company and dated and signed by a company representative. If the letter is from an individual, then it can be a word document that has been signed
- The letter of intent does not have to be notarized
- While emails can also work, they are not as strong evidence as signed letters. Whenever possible, letters of intent should be produced on company letterhead and include the name and title of the prospective client, if applicable.
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