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How Much Money is Required for a Substantial Investment for E-2 Visas?

The E-2 visa program was created by the U.S.Congress with the goal of attracting foreign investment that translates into an economic benefit for the U.S. economy. E-2 investors can meet this requirement by creating direct jobs, or through other types of economic contribution

These visas, which are also available to the treaty investor’s spouse and minor unmarried children, range from three months to five years, and there is no limit to how many times they can be renewed.

Suppose you are looking to start a business in the U.S. In that case, it is essential to understand the E-2 visa requirements and meet with an experienced professional to determine the appropriate next steps to achieve your goals.

E-2 Visa Requirements

There are several essential requirements that foreign investors must meet to qualify for the E-2 program, including coming from a country with a treaty with the U.S. and coming to the U.S. to direct and control the E-2 enterprise.

Additionally, foreign investors must meet the “marginal enterprise” standard. This standard requires investors to demonstrate that the project will generate more than enough money to support the visa recipient and family. In short, investors must show that they will be supported by their business and not become dependent on U.S. taxpayers. Alternatively, an enterprise that does not have the capacity to generate such income but does have a present or future capacity to make a significant economic contribution is not considered a marginal enterprise.

The last, last, and most talked-about requirement for an E-2 visa is the outlay of a “substantial investment.” This stipulation requires investors to put forth enough capital toward their business to ensure it will be successful.

So what is the Minimum Amount Required for a “Substantial Investment?”

The idea of a substantial investment can be confusing without a clear-cut understanding of what constitutes “substantial.”

In the case of the E-2 visa, substantial means providing enough capital investment to establish a viable business from the start.

The minimum amount of money required to fulfill the substantial investment requirement is a concept, not a number.

Let’s look at a couple of examples, and as we do, think about how much money you would need to invest to open that business tomorrow:

Writing Service

If you were to open a business coaching service business, what would you need to get started? It’s reasonable to think you could run that business from your house, with little more than a computer and internet connection.

Perhaps you’d also invest in proofreading software and some marketing, but you don’t need much else to launch your business.

Would $5,000 be a sustainable investment to start your writing investment? You bet! But, however, it may be considered too low by immigration or consular officers. This is why we urge you to consult with a qualified immigration attorney.

Rental Car Agency

Now, let’s say you like cars and recognize the need for a rental car agency in a particular location.

What do you need to get started? Well, some cars to rent, most obviously. But, you’ll also need a physical location where renters can pick up and drop off the vehicles, insurance, and maintenance plans, at the very least.

Now, is that same $5,000 a substantial investment to have your rental car agency ready to open? Not a chance!

How Visa Business Plans Helps Clients Navigate E-2 Visa Requirements

Here at Visa Business Plans, we have helped thousands of clients secure their E-2 visas. Our experienced team understands the details and nuances governing the visa application process. In addition, we know how to craft business plans for immigration that show how your operation will meet all requirements.

In particular, we can help you demonstrate how your investment represents a substantial investment. In fact, we successfully assisted a client in getting their E-2 visa approved with an investment of just $12,338!

So, if you are thinking about starting a business in the U.S., give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you reach your goals.

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 U.S. and Canadian immigration, SBA loans, and others.