Can I Use Crypto For My E2 visa?

If you are holding any crypto assets, such as bitcoin, Ethereum, or any other blockchain cryptocurrency, can you use those assets to move to the United States?

In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the use of crypto assets as the source of funds for E-2 visa investment purposes and everything you need to know about this topic.


Is there a way to move to the United States using crypto assets?

Yes. The visa type that can be used for this purpose is the E-2 Treaty Investor nonimmigrant visa, which allows qualifying applicants to start and manage their businesses in the United States, by making an irrevocable investment in their business and hiring U.S. workers.

The E-2 visa allows foreign nationals to live and work for their U.S. business for an initial duration of two years. Thereafter, investors may apply for E-2 extensions in increments of up to two years each. One of the great advantages of the E-2 visa is that there is no limit to the number of extensions you can apply for, so long as you maintain a sincere intention to depart the United States when your visa status expires.

Additionally, this visa allows your spouse and unmarried children under age 21 to accompany you to the United States by seeking the E-2 classification as your dependents.

EB-5 Investment Alternative to the E-2 Visa

There is also an alternative visa type that crypto investors may wish to consider, known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which requires a minimum investment amount of $800,000 USD in a targeted employment area to become a conditional permanent resident (green card holder) in the United States.

Gaining permanent residency may be advantageous to those who wish to remain in the United States indefinitely, considering that the E-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa and NOT a green card.

The E-2 visa only allows temporary stays of up to two years, and additional extensions. For the purposes of this video, we will not be covering the specifics of this visa type, however you can find more information about EB-5 on our website here.

What are the E-2 visa requirements?

To qualify for the E-2 visa, the treaty investor must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
  • Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
  • Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.

Foreign nationals holding crypto assets may use the E-2 visa either to start a new business operation in a field other than crypto or choose to use their unique skills to begin a cryptocurrency consulting company in the United States.

E-2 Visa Minimum Investment Amounts

Determining the amount of investment that is required for the E-2 visa business will depend on the type of business the applicant is interesting in starting, and the area the business will be located. A substantial investment is not defined be law, but an investment is considered substantial by employing the proportionality test.

The proportionality test determines whether an investment is substantial by weighing the amount of qualifying funds invested against the cost of the business. The lower the cost of the business, the higher the percentage of investment that will be required. The higher the cost of the business, the lower the percentage of investment.

The investment must also be:

  • Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise; and
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.

The E-2 Visa: Proving Source of Funds

One of the major components of the E-2 visa application process is tracing the applicant’s source of funds. The investor must be prepared to demonstrate the origin of the funds that he or she will be using to invest in the E-2 business, providing a complete paper trail of its origin held in the foreign country, such as income tax returns, personal or business bank statements, paystubs, loan documents, etc. to account for the legitimacy of the funds, and their eventual transfer to the U.S. business.

E-2 Country of Nationality

To qualify for the E-2 visa, you must be a national of a country that maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States.

To review whether your country of nationality maintains a U.S. treaty and is eligible for the program, please click here.

Controlling Business Ownership

E-2 investors must demonstrate that they possess at least a 50 percent ownership interest in the U.S. business enterprise via the incorporation documents and membership interest certificates. This is necessary to prove that the investor maintains operational control of the entity and has the capacity to develop and direct the company. If the U.S. company has multiple business partners, the foreign national must maintain at least the 50 percent ownership interest.

Investment Completed or Active Investing

You must demonstrate that you have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in your U.S. business. This means that the funding for your company cannot be passively sitting in your bank accounts. After documenting your source of funds, you must transfer the funds from overseas to your U.S. business. Thereafter you must spend a percentage of the capital to enable your business to become operational. These funds are typically twenty to thirty percent spent on assets and operating expenses of the business.


Q1: Can I use bitcoin or any other crypto currency as investment funds for my E2 visa business?

Yes. Investment funds whose origin is from crypto currency are valid for E-2 visa purposes and are considered a legitimate source of funds.

In the last few weeks, the value of cryptocurrency including bitcoin went up significantly. If you recently made gains in the value of your cryptocurrency, you could potentially use those gains as your source of funds for your E-2 business.

Crypto investors may sell some of their gains and convert their crypto assets to U.S. dollars to invest in their businesses. As with any currency conversion, these transactions are subject to taxation. Crypto investors who wish to use their crypto funds for E-2 investment purposes should speak with a qualified tax professional such as a Certified Public Accountant, or tax lawyer specializing in cryptocurrency taxation to fully understand their tax obligations. This will also ensure that you can properly document your source of funds including the conversion of your assets to U.S. dollars, and subsequent investment in your U.S. business.

Q2: How can I use my bitcoin or any other crypto currency to apply for the E2 visa without having to sell my crypto assets?

Many cryptocurrency holders are able to do this by obtaining loans using their crypto assets as collateral. This is commonly known as crypto lending. Platforms like Coinbase and other cryptocurrency exchange companies offer such loans under their own terms and conditions.

Such loans from crypto lending are a valid source of funds for E-2 visa purposes, so long as there is a complete paper trail documenting the crypto assets, loan documentation, and eventual funds issuance.

Many of our clients have had success through this process and invest such funds into their U.S. businesses for the E-2 visa.

Contact Us Today. If you are interested in discussing your eligibility for the E-2 visa, please contact us for a consultation by texting 619-483-4549 or calling 619-819-9204

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