The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities, for a specified period of two years subject to renewal. Investment activities include the creation of a new business. Foreign nationals must invest a substantial amount of capital in a new or existing business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.
Who can get it?
Only foreign nationals from treaty nations may apply for the E-2 visa. To find out if your country qualifies, click here.
Level of Investment
Therefore, the level of investment must be such that it is sufficient to justify presence of the treaty national in the United States. The investment must be in an operating business e.g. a speculative investment in undeveloped land would not qualify, whereas an investment in a real estate development project probably would. Also, a substantial part of the investment must have been made prior to applying for E-2 status.
By now you know that the H-1B cap has been reached for Fiscal Year 2019. But what happens if you were not selected in the H-1B visa lottery?
In this post, we will discuss some alternatives to the H-1B visa that will allow you to stay and work in the United States.
The O-1 “Extraordinary Ability” Visa:
This visa type is for aliens of extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, motion picture, television, or arts industries who have received national and/or international acclaim in their field. An alien on an O-1 visa may live and work in the United States for a period of up to three years.
An O-1 visa is a great visa for people in the start-up world and technology sector. This visa is for people holding an advanced degree (at least a master’s degree) who have either started their own business, have patented inventions, are leading experts in their fields, and/or have gained notoriety in their fields as evidenced by awards and other national recognitions.
TN Visa for Mexican and Canadian Nationals
The TN visa allows nationals of Mexico and Canada to work in the United States, provided their profession is on the NAFTA list. The maximum period of initial admission to the US is three years, but visa holders may apply for extensions in amounts of one year.
E-3 Visa for Australian Nationals
Similar to the H-1B visa, the E-3 classification allows Australian nationals to travel to the United States to work in a specialty occupation. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent to qualify and must work in a specialty occupation often associated with the STEM occupational fields. The E-3 visa is issued for an initial period of no more than 2 years, with extensions granted in 2-year increments.
In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick sits down with international business students studying at INSEAD, a graduate business school in France. Jacob asks them a burning question: Despite all of the obstacles foreign workers face in immigrating to the United States, and the President’s hard-line stance on immigration, are foreign workers still interested in living and working in the United States? Click here to join the conversation.
Why do you want to live and work in the US?From INSEAD 🇫🇷 France
In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick discusses the most popular visa options for hospitality workers. For more information just keep on watching.
The top visas used by Hotels and Restaurants to bring foreign workers to the United States are the J-1, H-3, H-2B, L-1, E-2, TN, and H-1B visas. Whether transferring employees between international properties or employing management trainees, immigration is an integral part of the hospitality industry. The appropriate visa type will largely depend upon the foreign worker’s qualifications and the type of position the worker will be occupying.
The J-1 visa
The J-1 visa is a cultural exchange program between the United States and foreign countries bringing foreign workers to the United States. There are 2 types of J-1 visas. The first category is a trainee J-1 visa. To qualify the trainee must have at least 5 years of experience working in the position or a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, with at least 1 year of experience. Workers who come to the United States on a J-1 trainee visa, may work in the United States for a hotel or restaurant for a period of 18 months. The J-1 trainee visa allows the foreign worker to develop their skills, gain experience, and return to their home countries taking those skills with them. The second category is for interns, who are in school in their home country or have recently graduated, and have less than 1 year of experience. Interns may come to the United States for a 1 year period to train in a hotel or restaurant. The work and travel category of the J-1 allows foreign workers to come to the United States for up to 4 months during the summer time. The J-1 visa is generally an easy visa to obtain. It takes approximately 6 weeks for this visa to get approved by the Department of State.
The Treaty Investor Visa (nonimmigrant E-2 classification) is intended for nationals of a foreign country with which a qualifying Treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or a similar agreement exists with the United States.
Nationals (individuals or companies) of countries with such Treaties with the United States can obtain visas to work in the USA in order to develop and direct their investment with the USA. E-2 visa is for individuals coming to the U.S. to invest a substantial amount of capital or to direct and develop the business operations of an entity in which the individual has already invested funds.
Do Franchises qualify for E2 Investor Visa?
Yes, most franchises will be a good fit for this type of visa, however not all franchises will qualify. For example, in order for the application to be successful, the investor must assume an active role in the management of the franchise business. If your franchise meets this requirement, then it is possible for your franchise to qualify for the E-2 visa.
Secondly, the franchise must create jobs for U.S. workers. The investor must hire U.S. staff and employees to fill various roles within the franchise. The investor must also hire management staff with the appropriate experience to fill certain key positions in the business.The investor must also ensure that he is involved in some sort of decision making role within the franchise business’s organizational structure.
Third, the amount of money that is required to secure the franchise must be reasonable in order to obtain the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $50,000 or less will likely not satisfy the investment requirements of the E-2 visa. Franchises that require $100,000 or more are more likely to be successful in satisfying such requirements.
Does the investor Need to Buy the Business Before applying for an E-2 Investor Visa?
Establishing a business in the United States is regarded as a key requirement for buyers that are applying for an E-2 visa.
The best course of action is to place the monies that will be used to purchase the business in an escrow account in the United States. In the visa application it is possible to state that the purchase of the business is contingent on the approval of the E-2 Visa and will be finalized once the approval is obtained. It is also important to get all the documents from the Franchise processed, so that a full package can be presented to the US Immigration when filing for the visa application.
In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick, explains the process of applying for an E-2 visa and the steps involved in that process. The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa type (temporary) that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities.
The E-2 ‘investor visa’ is available to an applicant who invests a substantial amount of his own money into a U.S. business, which he can control and direct. This visa type is a great option for individuals who wish to invest their money to purchase an existing business or to start up a new one.
In order to qualify for the E-2 visa, you must be a foreign national of a country that has a treaty-trader agreement with the United States.
The following countries have treaties with the United States that allow qualifying nationals to apply for Treaty Trader status:
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the status of the E-2 visa program for the country of Israel, as well as different E visa options for Israeli entrepreneurs. For a free first time consultation please contact our office.
Our staff members are fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, Russian, Mandarin, and French.
In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the E-2 visa option for franchisees with Sheila Purim the co-founder of Franchise Wizard, a consulting service that helps entrepreneurs connect with franchisors.
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter the United States and carry out investment and trade activities. Investment activities include the creation of a new business or investment to purchase a business. The E-2 visa is only available to foreign nationals from a country that has a qualifying treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or a similar agreement exists with the United States. One way to qualify for the E-2 visa is to invest in an existing franchise in the United States. The franchisee is given authorization by a company or business owner to carry out commercial activities and operate a business based on the company’s business model.
It is our pleasure to introduce you to our in-house attorney Marie Puertollano. From preparing clients for their citizenship and marriage interviews to successfully filing I-601A waivers and I-360 applications, Marie Puertollano Esq. is an attorney that wears many hats.
Marie Puertollano specializes in processing various types of applications with USCIS including the successful processing of H1-B’s, I-751 waivers, religious worker visas, asylum, I-601A waivers, F-1 reinstatement, B-2 tourist visitors, B-1 business visitors, H-3 trainees, I-360 abused spouses, etc.
Bio: Marie Puertollano was born and raised in France. She earned two Master Degrees in Law at California Western School of Law; one in France in Public Law and one in the United States in Comparative Law (LL.M). Marie Puertollano is fluent in French, English and Spanish. Marie has been with the law offices of Jacob Sapochnick since March 2012.
Marie developed a passion for the protection of immigrants’ rights, while being a social worker in Gainesville, GA. Marie worked with an organization helping battered women to obtain their visa and for an organization helping detained and non-detained people seeking cancellation of removal proceedings.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, biking, and dancing. She regularly serves food to the homeless and is a motivational speaker.
It is our pleasure to introduce our readers to our senior case manager, Inese Grate, one of the original members of the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Ms. Grate joined our firm when there were merely 2 employees working at the office. In addition to studying law in Latvia, Ms. Grate received her Master’s in Law in International Business Transactions from Temple University Beasley School of Law and attended the International Law Institute at Georgetown University School of Law.
Ms. Grate specializes in business and family immigration, corporate, international trade, and international transactions. Ms. Grate provides consultation on strategic investment in the United States for international clients and corporations to identify potential opportunities, create jobs, and develop successful businesses. Throughout her professional career, she has taken several international and U.S. startup companies from an ideation phase through to establishment and registration.
Ms. Grate is unique in that she thinks outside of the box. She utilizes her professional network of financial advisors, real estate brokers, investors and industry experts to assist our clients according to their individual needs. Throughout her career, Ms. Grate has helped numerous corporations and individuals in the United States as well as several European countries in various immigration/business related issues. Ms. Grate evaluates business plans and works on all related immigration issues including visas, licenses, and permits.