E-2 Visas for Small Investors and Small Business
Our Los Angeles and Orange County California Visa Attorneys
can guide you through a plan to purchase an existing business or create a new business that meets the E-2 investor visa criteria.
Key Features For E-2 Small Business Investment
No minimum investment needed
You will need enough to purchase or start up your business, whatever that amount is. You will also need enough to support yourself and your family for the next two years, if the business is not generating a profit immediately.
Valid for at least two years, plus unlimited renewals
As long as your business continues to grow and make a profit
Key employees can be included
Either at a managerial level, or with special knowledge of your business
Spouses can get a work permit
Work permits allow your spouse to work at any job
Children can attend U.S. schools
Unmarried children under the age of 21 can accompany you and get a visa. They may attend school up through high school grades.
What Type of Business?
There are no limits on the type of business. It can sell products or services in any field. It can have a physical or virtual location. The structure can be anything that works for your purposes: an LLC, a partnership, a subsidiary of another business, etc.
How Much Money for a Small Business?
- There is no mandatory minimum amount, but there is a "proportionality test," meaning that if your business has low purchase or starting costs, you need most of that money ready to spend. If it is very expensive to purchase or get started, then you can get away with less money.
- The investment must be "substantial," meaning enough to ensure success. A good rule of thumb is enough money to get your business started or purchased, and enough to support you in a reasonable manner in your area, for the next two years until it starts making a profit.
- You need a paper trail for the source of your money, to make sure it didn't come from illegal or terrorist means.
- The money can be your savings, family gifts, sale of property, or loans. But it must be 100% yours to spend with no strings attached.
Requirements to Qualify
- Be a national of a country that has a trade treaty with the U.S. This includes most countries, although China, Russia and India lack such a treaty. You can find the list of treaty countries on the State Department website.
- The business must be owned at least 50% by nationals of your treaty country.
- You must have experience, education and/or skill to develop and direct the business.
- You must have 50% ownership over the business, or be an employee of the business with the power to make controlling decisions.
- You must be actively spending the money, it cannot just sit in a bank account.
- The business must be real and operating, taking on clients, performing services, taking in money.
- Demonstrate your business is more than marginal, more than barely enough to support you and your family over the next five years
How to Get Started with Hill & Piibe
Schedule a paid consultation to assess your options, answer basic questions and strategize. You need only have some ideas about the business you want to purchase or create, and we'll review and help you fill in the details.
Start the planning and set-up phase where we guide you on business formation or purchase and how to meet the criteria. During this phase we answer all of your "What if I did this...." questions and make sure your financial details are secure.
We work with your chosen qualified professionals on areas such as business law, tax and accounting. We also advise you on developing a business plan with market research to demonstrate how your business will grow and be more than marginal.
You can travel to the U.S. on a B-1 visa or ESTA to get your business purchased or started, and we can assist you with these applications.
Once your business is up and running, then we file your paperwork for the E-2 visa. This can be done while you are inside the U.S. on a B-1 visa (but not ESTA), or while you are in your home country.
Schedule a paid consultation with a Visa Attorney
We will answer all your questions to help you get started. Click here to schedule your initial consultation.
We can assist you no matter where you are located in the world.