The most challenging requirements for obtaining an E2 investor visa can be overcome with a little creativity and by working closely with your immigration counsel, who can usually help guide you over the humps if you can present constructive facts to work with. Below I list for you not only the challenging E2 visa requirements but also some tips regarding how to overcome them.
3 Challenging E2 Visa Application Requirements
#1 Not Enough Capital
If you don’t meet the $100,000 unwritten rule for the E2 visa application requirements threshold amount to satisfy the “substantial” amount of capital invested in the U.S. business condition, there may be other options that will permit you to still have a chance at approval. If you are in a service business and can line up a certain amount of work in the U.S. that will be secured and paid once you arrive in the country, you can obtain letters of intent from your future clients and capitalize the business further once you are in the U.S.
Another way to show that you are not a “marginal” business and that you will produce more income in the upcoming years is to provide a sophisticated business plan that charts the likely progressively increased income the business will receive in the coming years. When I attended the Booth M.B.A. program I was extremely impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit that shined through in classes and extracurricular activities at that institution; this positivity and confidence in creative business purpose inspired a great number of new businesses in recent years, many of which started with very little capital and later became multi-million dollar enterprises.
If you can show this sort of spirit in your business plan, then you have a solid chance of approval despite a lower capital amount.
#2 Money is Not Committed
One of the hard and fast requirements of the E2 visa is that your money be invested in a for-profit enterprise and be wholly committed to the business. Also, your money must be at risk of loss if the business fails. In other words, you are not permitted to invest money that is guaranteed by an insurance policy or otherwise is refunded if the business does not succeed. You must invest your money in a manner that will harm you financially if the business fails. If you are receiving a loan from family and only their money is at risk, this can be a problem. Your business attorney can work with you to ensure that any financial instrument used to fund your project meets this requirement of the E2 investor visa to ensure you have the best chance of success.
#3 Compliant with Local Business Laws
This is an area where your immigration counsel needs to work with your business start-up lawyer to ensure that your new business is up to code. Let’s take, for example, a dry cleaners opening in Chicago. This business must ensure that it is compliant with Chicago Municipal Code, which requires the obtaining of a city regulated business license before opening. The dry cleaners also must make sure that it is in conformity with Illinois environmental regulations as well as the federal tax code. Thus, a showing that your E2 business that forms the basis for your visa application in fact meets all requirements of the municipal, state and federal law that pertains to its business type, is necessary for obtaining approval of your E2 visa application.
For more information about business licenses, you can visit the Small Business Association here. To learn more about how E2 visa requirements impact your own business, request a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.