Qualifying for E1 and E2 Visas

The US government has a visa program created specifically for international investors who are starting an enterprise in the United States. The E1 and E2 visas will allow you to reside in the US for one to two years while you manage and oversee your investment. You will then be able to extend or renew your visa if necessary. In order to obtain an E1 or E2 visa, there are a number of criteria you must meet to qualify.

Treaty Country

These visas are only available to foreign nationals from countries that have signed commerce and navigation treaties with the United States. The US government has signed these visas with over 70 different countries. Some of these countries include:

  • China
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Finland
  • Japan

If you are unsure if these visas are available to citizens of your country, you should contact your US Embassy or US Consulate. They can help you determine if you qualify.

Substantial Investment

When presenting your visa application to the US Consulate, the strength of your application will depend on how substantial your investment is. The US government has not set a minimum cash amount for these investments, but in general $50,000 is the bare minimum, and most investments should reach at least $100,000 to have a strong visa application.

The US government has three other criteria to determine if the investment is substantial.

  1. The size of the investment must be substantial relative to the total cost of creating and operating the enterprise.
  2. The size of the investment must be large enough that the investor will be personally committed to the success of the enterprise.
  3. The size of the investment must be large enough that the enterprise is likely to succeed.

Finding the Right Investment

The US government does not favor any type of investment over another, but it must go towards the operations of an enterprise that sells goods or services in the United States. If this is your first US business, James Timothy White and his team can help you find the right opportunity. James Timothy White has a number of franchises and other businesses for sale and can provide up to 90% financing, so that you can quickly get your enterprise set up.

We have experience working with foreign investors, and we can help you structure and set up your business to increase your chances of getting a US visa. Contact us today for more information.