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

Understanding Substantial Investment: The Key to Success in E-2 Visa Applications

Understanding Substantial Investment: The Key to Success in E-2 Visa Applications

The E-2 visa, often referred to as the Investor Visa, is a popular choice for individuals seeking to invest in and manage a business in the United States. To qualify for this visa, one of the fundamental requirements is making a "substantial investment" in a U.S. enterprise. But what does substantial investment mean in the context of an E-2 visa and why is it crucial to understand this concept when applying for this type of visa?

What is a Substantial Investment?

A substantial investment, in the context of an E-2 visa, refers to the capital that an investor puts at risk in a U.S. business. While there is no fixed dollar amount that qualifies as substantial, the investment must be significant enough to ensure the success and viability of the business. It's important to note that the investment must be in a real, active, and operating commercial enterprise, not a passive investment like stocks.

Why Understanding This Concept Matters

  • Eligibility for E-2 Visa: The most obvious reason to understand the concept of substantial investment is that it's a core requirement for E-2 visa eligibility. If you fail to make a substantial investment, your visa application may be denied.
  • Demonstrating Commitment: U.S. authorities want to see that you are committed to the success of the business and that your investment is significant enough to support its growth. This demonstrates your genuine intent to develop and oversee the enterprise.
  • Creating Jobs: One of the primary goals of the E-2 visa program is to stimulate the U.S. economy by creating jobs for U.S. workers. A substantial investment is more likely to result in job creation, which can strengthen your case.
  • Business Viability: A substantial investment is not only a visa requirement but also a practical consideration. It takes a significant amount of capital to establish and operate a successful business. Understanding this concept ensures that you have the resources needed for your venture to thrive.

How to Determine if Your Investment is Substantial

As mentioned earlier, there is no fixed dollar amount that qualifies as substantial, as it varies depending on the nature and scale of the business. However, there are several factors to consider:

  • The total cost of purchasing or establishing the business.
  • The percentage of investment relative to the total cost.
  • The amount of investment compared to the industry standard for similar businesses.
  • The potential to generate revenue, create jobs, and contribute to the U.S. economy.
  • The capacity to provide the E-2 investor with a minimal income, enough for them and their family to live in the United States

In our experience, depending on the business model and even consular post where the E-2 petition will be filed, most immigration attorneys will require a minimum investment of US$100,000. However, we’ve handled successful E-2 business plans with investments below US$20,000.

Seek Professional Guidance

Navigating the E-2 visa application process and determining the appropriate level of investment can be complex. Therefore, it's highly advisable to seek professional guidance from immigration attorneys who specialize in E-2 visas. They can help you assess your investment's sufficiency and ensure your application meets all the requirements.

In conclusion, understanding the concept of substantial investment is pivotal when applying for an E-2 visa. It not only fulfills a visa requirement but also plays a crucial role in demonstrating your commitment to the success of the business and its potential to contribute to the U.S. economy. Therefore, understanding the concept of substantial investment is pivotal when applying for an E-2 visa.

And when the time comes to craft a solid immigration business plan, make sure to reach out to Visa Business Plans. At Visa Business Plans, we specialize in crafting immigration business plans tailored specifically for E-2 visa applications. Our projects delve into the complexities of substantial investment, assisting immigration attorneys in tracing the path of funds, and addressing the myriad intricacies associated with the technical aspects of the E-2 visa. With our assistance, you can be confident in presenting a meticulously prepared and compelling immigration business plan, increasing your chances of a successful E-2 visa outcome.


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.

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


Visa Business Plans

NIW Business Plans

NIW Personal Endeavor Plan

NIW Personal Statement

Investor Visas Business Plans

Immigration Business Plans

E2 Business Plans

E2 Visa Business Plans

Business Plan for Investor Visa

Business Plans for Immigration

Business Plan for Visa Application

Market Analysis

Feasibility Studies