San Diego E-2 Temporary Visa Lawyer
The E-2 investor visa classification is authorized for a national of a country with which the United States has a commercial treaty, who is coming to the United States solely to direct and develop the operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested, or is actively involved in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital. The U.S. has entered into reciprocal treaties with 78 countries, permitting foreign national business people to obtain E-1 and/or E-2 visas to develop and direct businesses. The foreign national must be coming to the U.S. to work as an executive, manager, or “essential” worker.
USCIS’ Premium Processing Procedure.
E-2 visas do not require a petition for employment if the investor is outside of the U.S. In this instance, the investor applies for this category on his or her own behalf directly to a U.S. consular office abroad. If an investor is inside the U.S., they may petition for a change of status, extension of stay, or change of employment. To speed up this petition process, it is advantageous to use USCIS’ premium processing procedure.
Foreign National Visa Applicant
The foreign national visa applicant must have the same nationality as that of the majority owners of the enterprise or firm. The majority ownership of the business must be held by nationals of the treaty country. Joint ventures (50/50 percent ownership) may qualify foreign nationals having citizenship of the countries of which the venture’s owners have citizenship, even if they are separate treaty countries.
Substantial investment or trade is required. This is defined as the amount necessary to run the business or investing a high percentage of cash. Borrowed funds are permissible in certain circumstances. The investment involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk with a profit objective, and be subject to loss if the investment fails.
Foreign nationals setting up new enterprises may be issued E visas valid for up to five years, but it is common for the consul to issue a one- to two-year visa for a new business. Additionally, spouses of E-2 visa holders may obtain authorization to work in the U.S.
An E-2 investor visa can only be used by a foreign national of a country that the United States has a commercial treaty with, who is coming to the U.S. for the sole purpose of directing and developing the operations of a business in which she or he has invested in, or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.
Eligibility for E-2 Status
A person employed in an executive position by a treaty investor or firm, or if the person employed has a special qualification that makes them essential to the operation of the business, then that person is also eligible for E-2 status.
In order to prove the investor or employer is of a county that has a commercial treaty with the United States, they must present a passport granted by that country.
The enterprise involved must place lawfully acquired, owned, and controlled capital at commercial risk and have the objective to be profitable. It must also be subject to loss should the investment fail.
Real Estate Purchases
The purchase of a home or real estate does not qualify as an E-2 treaty investment as it requires no direction and control, and merely appreciates in value. The investor must additionally prove that he or she have other sources of incoming revenue that will sustain him or her while the investment is consolidated.
This type of visa can essentially last indefinitely as long as the investment is properly maintained, and the business is not “marginal.”
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