One of the most daunting aspects of an E-2 visa is the fact that the investment must be made before the applicant gets the visa. This means that the applicant must spend the money before they know whether the visa will be approved. There are limited instances (business purchases mainly) where funds can be placed in escrow pending the approval of an E-2 visa, but this situation does not apply to start-ups.
You can find out more about the E-2 visa requirements here.
You can find out more about escrow arrangements by clicking here.
In some situations, a person may not yet have the Treaty country passport but may be eligible for it soon. For example, a permanent resident of Canada without a passport may know that he/she can apply for citizenship at some point. To apply for an E-2 visa, you must have a passport from the Treaty country. One question that comes up in this case is: Can I make the E-2 visa investment before I get the Treaty country passport. The answer is No. The E-2 visa investment should be made after you get the passport from the Treaty Country.
For example, if a national with a passport from India lived in Canada for the last 5 years and obtained his permanent resident card in Canada, he would not be eligible to apply for an E-2 visa until he received his Canadian passport. If he opened a U.S. entity while living in Canada and investment in that entity, the investment made before he obtained the Canadian passport would not count towards the E-2 investment.
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