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investor visa

Need an Investor Visa for USA? Here’s How to Get One ASAP!

Okay, so you have a business plan and have some money.  Now, you want to bring your business to the United States. If you meet investment visa USA requirements, this article will tell you two of the most basic and readily available options that may work for you to expand your business to the U.S. as quickly as possible.  

E-1 or E-2? How to choose the right E visa.

First off, the E-1 investor visa for USA exists for those businesses that are or will soon engage in substantial international trade between their home country and the U.S.  This will be a good option for you if you will be exchanging goods or services, such as banking, insurance, tourism, technology and technology transfer to the U.S.  Even news-gathering activities might be appropriate for the E-1 visa.  Your country must also have a treaty to trade with the U.S. and your trade must be more than 50% done with the U.S. market. You can find a list of E visa treaty countries here.

The other investor visa that often makes the most sense for start-ups or others who want to do business in the U.S. is the E-2 investor visa for USA.  This visa is available to those who will invest a substantial amount of money into the U.S. business or who have already done so.  The investor must be seeking to enter the U.S. solely to develop this business.  You must also be a member of one of the E-2 visa treaty nations for which you can check the same link included above to ensure your country is included.

How much money is “substantial” enough to invest in the business in order to be eligible for an E-2 investor visa?

The key question often determinative of whether or not you can get an E investor visa quickly is how much money you have dedicated to the business project, because, again, in order to be eligible for this investor visa, you must show the immigration service or your embassy or consulate that you have a “substantial” amount of money already at risk that is invested in the business endeavor in order for your application to be considered for approval of your investor visa.

This amount at times can be as little as $50,000 to $100,000 or as much as one million U.S. dollars.  What matters most is that your financial commitment is commensurate with the type of business that you plan to grow.

For example, $50,000 or even less may be sufficient if you already have clients lined up in the U.S. who will pay you substantial fees once your visa has been approved.  However, if you plan to open a restaurant it almost certainly won’t be enough capital to get the business off the ground, and therefore wouldn’t be enough to get your E investor visa approved and not be considered a “marginal” business.

It is critical that you have competent immigration counsel who understands both business fundamentals and immigration law in order to be able to advocate to the immigration authorities that your investment amount is properly deemed substantial for your business.

How quickly can I get an E investor visa?

If you already meet the investment visa USA requirements and have all your finances ready, you may be able to obtain an E investor visa within one-month or even less.  If however you need to work on your facts together with your business or immigration counsel this may take several months. The practices of your local embassy or consulate can also affect this time period.

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None of the advice contained in these materials serves as a substitute for individualized legal representation by a licensed attorney with experience in the practice area.

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