The U.S. business immigration world...one sector where business realities almost always clash with government expectations, to the surprise of many E-2 investors!
Over our 12+ years providing business consulting services and assisting E-2 applicants with their business plans, we have identified several habits that investors swear by that can actually hurt their case in the immigration arena.
Below, we’ve listed the top three scenarios that investors don’t realize hurt their chances of getting their visas approved:
Scenario #1: Glittery Financial Projections
When presenting their business plans to immigration authorities, many investors think that presenting optimistic and glittery financial projections is the way to go. While in theory they may be right, it is very important that the projections presented in the business plan are both consistent and realistic. This means considering many variables.
For example, if the business venture is a start-up, it is wise that projections are in-line with other similar operations rather than showing figures hand-picked by the investor. Many times, the figures presented by the investor turn out to be unrealistic and difficult to attain in the long run. At Visa Business Plans, we make sure the financial projections in our clients’ projects are credible and realistic (because we are already laying the ground for a visa renovation, but that discussion will be left for another blog post!).
Most importantly, our experience has shown us that it is always better to under promise and over deliver, and not the other way around.
Scenario #2: Competition? Not here!
Many investors, proud of their past business accomplishments and even more of their future projects, love to note that their E-2 companies do not have any competition. While the concept of being alone in the marketplace is certainly attractive to investors, the U.S. government may not believe it.
After 12+ years of experience, we have learned that immigration adjudication officers cringe at the idea of a company not having competitors. To them, the lack of competition means that the industry is not big or lucrative enough to attract other investors. And in the end, their conclusion is that if this is the case, the new E-2 company will have little to no chance of survival.
Scenario #3: Cash Galore
The majority of our clients are proud to announce that their companies’ bank accounts have plenty of cash. Therefore, they say, their E-2 visas will be approved in a cinch. Unfortunately, there is nothing further from the truth.
While a bank account with cash certainly sounds great for anyone, E-2 guidelines want investors to actually be in the process of investing or spending money. Cash sitting in a bank account can speak volumes about the investor’s lack of commitment with the E-2 venture, raising the chances of a visa denial.
Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.
Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and high-growth enterprises.
At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of immigration and SBA loans.