Why the E-2 Investor Visa is Popular and How to Qualify

Why the E-2 Investor Visa is Popular and How to Qualify


On E-2 Investor Visa: Why It’s Popular and How to Qualify
 
The E-2 Investor Visa, a little-known visa program that allows foreign citizens to start up a business or invest in an existing industry, has been increasing in popularity over the past few years. According to data from the US government, it has brought more immigrants than the EB-5 visas by over 400 percent since 1994 to 2013 and grown by 61 percent over the 5-year-period from 2010 to 2015.
 
Unlike the EB-5, the E-2 investor visa is a nonimmigrant visa. This means that it is intended only for a limited, temporary stay — with a maximum stay of 2 years, (though can be extended multiple times) —and is available to individuals from countries that are treaty partners with the United States.
 
The great thing about this visa is that the current administration has not issued any crackdown on it yet. Even immigration experts are divided whether it would experience a major revamp in the near future or not. Since it’s a “treaty visa,” making it inaccessible would directly affect economic alliances with other countries. Add to this that fact that weakening its convenience could mean a significant decrease in the number of investors coming into the country. Economically speaking, this is not good for the US, whose global polarity is continuously waning, and especially in this moment of political uncertainty.  
 
How to qualify for this visa:
 
  1. The applicant must prove that he/she is a national of a treaty country. Dual citizens are also eligible to apply for this visa. (View the complete list of US-treaty countries here.)
  2. The applicant’s sole purpose in the country must be to invest in a new or an existing enterprise.
  3. The applicant must prove that the money used to fund his/her business is not only substantial but also in the possession or control of individual/s who is/are (a) citizen/s one of these treaty countries.
  4. The applicant must demonstrate that the business he/she is bringing into the country is bona fide and not marginal, which means all the capital he/she has at hand is irrevocably committed to the investment and subject to partial or total loss in the event that the entity fails.
  5. The applicants must prove that he/she owns at least 50 percent of the enterprise or at least possesses operational control through a managerial or other corporate means. There is no minimum investment amount for this visa, but the US government itself suggests that the applicant must invest 100 percent for an enterprise whose startup cost is less than $100,000. However, investments under this amount typically face higher chances of rejection, but it still depends on the circumstances and other factors decided on a case by case basis.
 
The full application process for the E-2 visa, including the online application form, is available here
 
Perhaps the reason behind the increasing popularity of the E-2 visa is its purpose of creating more jobs for the country. In the latest data from the government, approval rates have been substantially higher since 2013. It was 93 percent in 2013 and 92 percent in 2014, whereas it bounced back to 93 percent in 2015. Complete data for the previous year is yet to be released by the US government. For the complete figures for 2015, visit this link.
 
These are the top treaty countries that had the most number of E2 Visa approvals from the US government in 2015:
 
  1. Japan- 12,172
  2. Germany- 4,321
  3. France- 3,248
  4. UK- 2,935
  5. Canada- 2,615
  6. Mexico- 2,580
  7. South Korea- 2,137
  8. Spain-1,946
  9. Italy- 1,926
  10. Argentina - 595
 
 
Road to Permanent Residency
 
The E-2 visa is clearly not a route for Green Card or permanent residency. This being said, E-2 visa holders are advised to apply for other visa programs that they may qualify for such as the EB-5 investor visa, family-sponsored immigration visa, marriage visa, or even an employment-based visa. 
 
Of course, this could be a tricky thing for a lot of people, even to those who have a basic understanding of how US immigration policies work. We recommend contacting an immigration lawyer who can help you address these issues. Our seasoned immigration lawyers can assist you with all your E-2 visa-related questions, or any questions regarding US immigration.
 
Are you an entrepreneur? An employee?  Take our free assessment and check your eligibility for the E-2 Investor visa.
 
 
 
 


References 
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-trumps-immigration-moves-could-mean-for-immigrant-entrepreneurs-2017-01-25
http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/561402/work+visas/Why+The+E2+Visa+Will+Become+Critical+In+The+Trump+Years
http://legalservicesincorporated.com/how-will-a-trump-win-impact-my-e-2-visa-will-the-e-2-visa-program-be-eliminated-under-trump-can-i-still-get-an-e-2-visa-with-trump-as-president/
https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and-policy/statistics/non-immigrant-visas.html
http://discuss.ilw.com/content.php?7814-Article-The-Fastest-Growing-Entrepreneur-Visa-is-the-E-2-Investor-Visa-By-Patrick-Findaro
 

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