Visa Business Plans has prepared thousands of E-2 business plans. A common question our customers ask is – why do E-2s get denied?
There are several reasons for E-2 denials. This blog will address one of the most common causes of visa denial: when the investment is low, or it doesn’t meet the requirements and visa adjudication standards.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, the investor must make a substantial investment in the United States. Even though the actual amount depends on the nature of the business and other factors, any investment amount under $100,000 may be subject to greater scrutiny from a consular or adjudication officer.
We have prepared successful E-2 business plans with low investments of $50,000 or even $15,000, but we are fully aware that these are very low investment amounts and will not work for all E-2 visa cases.
To determine whether an investment is substantial, an adjudication officer will apply the “proportionality test,” which is an inverted sliding scale. The less the business costs to start up or purchase, the more that has to be spent before filing the application. Although there is no magic number for determining whether a business is substantial, investments constituting 100 percent of the total cost would typically qualify for a business requiring a startup cost of $100,000. On the other hand, an investment of $2 million in a $5 million business will most likely be considered substantial.
A common misconception among some foreign investors is that an E-2 can be obtained by just putting money in a business bank account. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Putting the investment funds in a bank account, without an actual commitment, is not enough to qualify for an E2 visa.
As the investment section of the business plan will break or make the E-2 visa petition, we at Visa Business Plans take it very seriously. Clients and attorneys appreciate that we work tenaciously to identify low investments or pinpoint potential issues that may result in denials. Our team tracks and categorizes every cent put at risk by the E2 investor. We then create error-free tables that allow consular and adjudication officers to get a clear picture of the investment.
In our next blog post, we will discuss more reasons why E-2s are denied and why a solid business plan can be your best alley against denials.