The “E” visa allows foreign citizens of designated countries to be eligible for the status of the “E” visa, come to the United States, make an investment, develop a business, and eventually offer jobs to the American market (not a requirement).
The main requirement for this type of visa is the availability of “substantial” capita (approximately recommended no less than $100,000.00 USD) to invest into a real, commercial, enterprise in the United States. Even though the law does not specify a minimum amount, this amount is recommended to meet the requirement that the investment be “substantial”, depending on the enterprise. You should consider this visa if the funds are immediately available to invest into an American company, either newly created or existing.
You will need the formation and registration of the new company, business plan expense, and consular fees. Unfortunately, no guarantee can be gives as to the result. The length of this visa is usually five (5) years; variables include where the application has been filed, the structure and presentation of the file and the beneficiary’s country of nationality. The processing time varies but you can estimate approximately 4 months from start to finish. We recommend a business plan which we can provide you with professional business plan writers for drafting.
The application includes spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. Upon approval of the “E” visa, spouse (but not the children) may also apply for and receive an unrestricted employment authorization document while your “E” visa is in status.
First, our firm will prepare the articles of incorporation for an American company which will be majority owned by investor or joint venture. We will need a preferred name for the US entity which we will form. We recommend that you give us three names to ensure that at least one of them is available. Once the articles are filed and returned from the Secretary of State, we will also secure a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) which will be the company’s identification for Internal Revenue Service purposes. If our firm is not to secure the FEIN number, then please request your accountant to do so as soon as possible.
Second, once the FEIN is secured, a U.S. bank account should be opened. Only one officer is needed to open the account with any bank in the U.S. It should be opened at the location from which you expect to develop your enterprise. You will need to bring your minute book with you, passport as well as your seal and the FEIN. Please have additional copies for the bank of all relevant U.S. corporate documents and a corporate account will be opened. Whereas a personal account is optional, a corporate account is mandatory. Your investment funds will be deposited into the corporate bank account prior to the filing of the E visa application. A physical appearance at the bank of your choice is now required.
Third, you will be required to establish a commercial presence in the U.S. This means that an office, industrial space, commercial space or any NON-residential location will be necessary to demonstrate the corporate intent to establish an office. The rent amount is not as important as the commercial nature of the location; however, rents should exceed $400.00 per month to be valid. The E visa application package is submitted normally electronically to the US Embassy or Consulate in your country of residency or nationality.
The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country;
The investor must have, or be actively in the process of, investing capital (at risk) in a bona fide enterprise
◦ Purchase an Established Enterprise, or Establish a new one ◦ Legitimate and verifiable business activities
◦ Establish a commercial presence (e.g. office) in the U.S.
The Investor must be able to demonstrate control of the funds, and that there origin, source and path are all lawful;
The Enterprise may not be Marginal;
◦ Has the capacity to provide a minimal living for the Investor and his/her family within five (5) years from the beginning date of the Investor’s E-2 classification; or
◦ Have a significant economic impact in the U.S.;
The Investment must be Substantial;
◦ Sufficient to ensure the Investor’s financial commitment for the enterprise to be successful
◦ Proportional to the nature of the business and size of the enterprise
Be Seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the Investment Enterprise
◦ If the Investor is not the Principal Investor, then he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive or highly specialized (essential to the enterprise’s operation) character
◦ No Quotas
◦ Relatively streamlined processing at U.S. Consulates abroad (4 weeks); total process is ~1-3 months long.
Less Stringent Investment Requirements than EB-5
◦ Can purchase an existing company ◦ Possibility of Investment Diversification
◦ Investment Requirement is determined on a case-by-case basis, and is substantially less than EB-5 ($100,000 v. $500,000/$1 million)
◦ No Job Creation
◦ No Business Plan
◦ Five (5) years, with authorized, flexible stays of two (2) years at a time (varies by nationality);
◦ Unlimited Renewals.
◦ All members can attend school without restrictions
◦ Employment Authorization
– Immediate for Investor, and upon acceptance of paperwork for Spouse
– EB-5 process is 5-9 months
◦ Potential pathway to Permanent Residency (with affiliate companies);
◦ Flexibility on U.S. tax exposure;