We write business plans for US and Canadian immigration, and help entrepreneurs grow and raise capital.

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Which Comes First: the E-2 Visa or the Business?

Clients often ask us what they should focus on first: obtaining the E-2 investor visa or securing a business to sustain themselves in the U.S.

This question is often a point of contention among our clients and acquaintances, and typically the argument plays out like this: one group says there can’t be a business without the E-2 investor being legally established in the U.S., and the other points out that a visa has little importance if the investor doesn’t have a sustainable and profitable company to live off. What makes this difficult is that both sides are right.

We have seen examples of successful businesses run by E-2 investors with no legal status in the U.S. that focus on making money and ignore their visa situation. Sadly, they are frequently forced to abandon their immigration dreams, unable to find a path to remain in the United States legally. We have also seen cases where the E-2 visa investor focuses entirely on obtaining a visa and ends up purchasing a business that is not sustainable, profitable, or compatible with their skills. Sometimes, that means having their spouse find a job to make ends meet, and they may struggle to have their visa renewed. In our opinion, none of these scenarios are optimal.

So, what should go first? Is there an answer to this conundrum?

At Visa Business Plans, our years of experience and expertise have led us to a different conclusion. This is a trick question, and the trick likes in the false dichotomy. This isn’t an issue of either/or, but an opportunity to think outside the box, and that’s exactly what we do. Our Investor Assessment service dares to ask, what if the investor works on getting the visa and purchasing the RIGHT business at the same time?

Visa Business Plans uses a proprietary methodology developed by our CEO, Marco Scanu, based on his lengthy and successful experience in the business sector. Our methods have helped thousands of investors and entrepreneurs that didn’t know where to start in pursuit of an E-2 visa or other investment categories, including the EB-5 program.

How do we do it? We begin our process by encouraging our client to contact an immigration attorney and learn what is required to file an investor visa. This step is critical because each client has a unique background that provides advantages and limitations. An immigration attorney will be able to suggest different investor visa options, including the E-2. Once the client decides what route they will pursue, we suggest they retain the immigration attorney and begin preparing the paperwork needed to file their visa petition.

Meanwhile, Visa Business Plans reaches out to the legal counsel, asking questions and gathering information. Is there any preference as to what business has the most potential for the client to achieve his or her E-2 visa? Is there any business model the attorney wants the client to stay away from? These and other very specific questions will allow us to develop a detailed profile of both the attorney and the client. It’s this attention to detail that enables us to customize our services to suit the exact needs of the client.

Once we’ve established a profile for the attorney and client, it’s time for the Investor Assessment process to truly begin! Using decades of experience as a certified business coach, Mr. Scanu uses our proprietary methodology to identify, measure, and analyze the client’s goals, needs, and lifestyle choices. With the analysis results, Visa Business Plans constructs the framework that will serve as the starting point for identifying the ideal business for the client.

Then, Visa Business Plans does the hard work for you, analyzing dozens of businesses for sale to find the perfect match. Our team thoroughly researches these businesses, analyzing their operations, sustainability, profitability, and compatibility with E-2 visa requirements. It’s important to note that not all businesses will work to secure an E-2 visa. Many franchises and independent operations won’t pass muster with immigration authorities even if they are profitable models. That’s why it’s fundamental that this process is done by professionals that understand the law and have verified first-hand business expertise.

Visa Business Plans will narrow down the list to what we’ve determined are the three best options for the client. Having a useful shortlist of optimal businesses to choose from takes some of the guesswork, making it easier for clients to streamline their selection. The process concludes with the client purchasing a business as part of their E-2 investment. It is then where the immigration attorney can finalize the visa petition and at the same time, Visa Business Plans proceeds to create the immigration business plan needed for the E-2 submission.

The Visa Business Plans Investor Assessment service has helped countless clients to obtain their E-2 visa and establish themselves in the U.S. with a business that is profitable and sustainable. Moreover, this process helps to ensure the investor’s business is aligned with their unique goals, skills, and lifestyle. Our CEO often says, ‘you don’t want a business for your visa, you want a business for a lifetime.’

This is the guiding principle behind our Investor Assessment process. You don’t have to settle for an operation you don’t like just to get a visa, and you don’t have to give up your dreams of obtaining a visa to stick with a business you love. Visa Business Plans is here to tell you, you can have both!


If you are looking for any of the following, we can help you!


Visa Business Plans

Investor Visas Business Plans

Immigration Business Plans

E2 Business Plans

E2 Visa Business Plans

Business Plan for Investor

Business Plans for Immigration

Business Plan for Visa Application


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 four 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.