The E-2 visa is generally the most appropriate visa for peoplebuying their own business. This type of visa is called the E-2 InvestorVisa, and it is available to citizens of more than 50 ( see list below )different countries with which the U.S. has signed a bilateral treatyregarding investment. The E-2 visa regulations currently allow for two co-investors to invest in and obtain visas to work in the business. This can be, for example, husband and wife. Dependent children under 21 will normally receive E-2 dependent visas up till their 21st birthday.
E-2 visas can be issued for up to five years. On renewal the visas are normally granted for five years as long as the Embassy is satisfied that the business continues to meet the E-2 requirements. If you have a criminal conviction this has to be stated in the visa application and a Memorandum of Conviction obtained from the Court in question. Visa eligibility will depend on the nature of the
To qualify for this visa the most important factors are:
1. SUBSTANTIAL INVESTMENT: Your investment must be substantial. This is not defined in dollar terms, but is related to the amount necessary to purchase an existing business or establish a new business. Investments are usually in excess of $100,000, but can be lower, although smaller investments may be difficult to get approved for E-2 visas. The E-2 visa regulations limit the amount of financing (borrowing) permitted. While the adjudicating officer has considerable discretion, there are very broad guidelines. If the purchase price is between $100,000 and $500,000, not more than 25-30% financing is recommended with the business assets as collateral.
2. NON-MARGINAL INVESTMENT: You will need to demonstrate that the business in which you are investing will generate more than enough income to support you and your family, and will contribute to the economy, usually by employing U.S. workers.
The following is the list of countries for which the E-2 is available:
Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brunei, Canada, Republic of China
(Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France,
Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liberia,
Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines,
Slovenia, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, or the United Kingdom.