An Interview with Visa Business Plans’ CEO, Marco Scanu
It was business as usual at the office–the phone ringing, clients in and out starting and finalizing meetings—the expected fast-paced urgency of immigration services. But, in the interest of us getting this blog live, we had to ask our CEO to dedicate a few minutes of his time to share tips and tricks to improve the chances of getting their E-2 visas approved for our readers.
VBP Blogger: So Marco, what is the top question you get from clients?
Marco Scanu: That would definitely be “What are the top reasons E-2 visas are challenged or denied”.
VBP Blogger: Can you tell us one of those reasons?
Marco Scanu: In my experience, there’s an overlooked (and easy-to-avoid) reason why E-2s are denied. I’m talking about inconsistencies.
Immigration and consular officers have very limited time to review visa applications. Consular officers don’t have time to do lengthy visa interviews either. In fact, most visa interviews last five minutes, maybe ten. When officers find discrepancies, they may call into question the whole visa petition package.
VBP Blogger: Wow. Who would have thought that what could be a small, honest mistake can decide the outcome of a visa petition? Can you provide some examples?
Marco Scanu: Sure! We train our financial analysts and writers to spot inconsistencies. Some great examples of discrepancies include:
Example 1: The business plan references a lease agreement for a monthly rent of $3,500, but the signed lease agreement shows a monthly rent of $2,000.
Example 2: The officer asks how much has been invested in the business. The E-2 investor answers $100,000, but the bank statements show $80,000.
Example 3: The business plan says that the E-2 company will sell cars, but the officer finds that the E-2 company’s social media accounts describe it as an exporter of auto parts and food products.
Example 4: The E-2 company’s website says that the company has been operating since 2010, but the business plan says that the E-2 company is a start-up.
VBP Blogger: I see how all of the above may seem obvious now that you point them out, but these are small details. It’s easy to understand how issues like these may be frequently overlooked.
Marco Scanu: More than you can imagine! Naturally, these are only a few examples. Discrepancies can be found in the most unexpected places! However, with careful preparation and attention to detail, the above scenarios can be identified and addressed.
I have countless examples of the discrepancies we at Visa Business Plans have identified over the years. Since 2009, we have been keeping track of why E-2s are challenged or denied. As a result, we summarized our findings into a proprietary 77-point quality assurance process that identifies discrepancies and other issues.
VBP Blogger: Interesting! And how does the 77-point quality assurance process benefit Visa Business Plans’ clients?
Marco Scanu: As I always say, we are not in the business of simply writing business plans. We are in the business of helping attorneys win cases. Everything that we do is in the service of helping clients get their visas approved.
How? We go beyond writing business plans, with over a decade of immigration experience that informs each step of our process and reduces the chance of a case-breaking issue. Because, at the end of the day, the only thing that counts is getting our client’s visa approved.
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.