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Applying for an E-2 Visa By Buying Shares in an Existing Business

Applying for an E-2 Visa By Buying Shares in an Existing Business

The pursuit of an E-2 visa can be a transformative endeavor for individuals seeking to invest and work in the United States. Traditionally, applicants might associate this visa with starting a business from scratch. However, a lesser-known but equally viable option exists for those who prefer a different path: acquiring a significant stake in an existing enterprise through a share purchase.

Can You Apply for an E-2 Visa Through Share Purchase?

The answer is a resounding yes. Treaty country applicants, who may not wish to establish a business from the ground up or who do not currently own a business, can seize the opportunity to invest in an established operation. By purchasing 50% or more of an existing business, they can meet the E-2 visa requirements and embark on their American entrepreneurial path.

Advantages of E-2 Visa Through Share Purchase:

1. Investing in an Established Business:

• By opting for a share purchase, applicants can inject their capital into a business that is already up and running. This mitigates the challenges associated with starting a new venture and allows investors to tap into the existing infrastructure and operational framework.

2. Existing Employees, Clients, Revenues, and Profits:

• One of the significant advantages of share purchase is the immediate access to an established customer base, skilled workforce, and revenue streams. Unlike a startup, the acquired business already has a track record of success, which can provide a solid foundation for future growth.

3. Reduced Risk and Faster Returns:

• Investing in an established business minimizes the inherent risks associated with startups. The business has already weathered the initial challenges and uncertainties, offering a more stable environment for the investor. Additionally, the potential for quicker returns on investment is higher.

4. Easier Integration into the U.S. Market:

• Acquiring an existing business facilitates a smoother transition into the U.S. market. The investor can leverage the existing market presence, relationships, and networks of the acquired business, accelerating their integration and market penetration.

5. Demonstrating a Genuine and Substantial Investment:

• E-2 visa requirements mandate a "substantial" and "at-risk" investment. A share purchase, representing a significant ownership stake, may fulfill these criteria as it showcases the investor's commitment and aligns with the core principles of the E-2 visa program.

Applying for an E-2 visa through share purchase opens a door to a world of opportunities for treaty country applicants. This alternative path allows investors to bypass the challenges of starting a business from scratch and immediately immerse themselves in the dynamic U.S. business landscape. The advantages are clear: a stable foundation, existing clientele, experienced employees, and a faster route to returns on investment. Aspiring entrepreneurs should carefully consider this option and explore the myriad possibilities it presents for a successful and rewarding venture in the United States.


The information provided in this blog is intended solely for informational purposes. While we strive to offer accurate and up-to-date content, it should not be considered legal advice. Immigration laws and regulations are subject to change, and individual circumstances can vary widely. For personalized guidance and legal advice regarding your specific immigration situation, we strongly recommend consulting with a qualified immigration attorney who can provide you with tailored assistance and ensure compliance with current laws and regulations.


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.


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