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.
In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses the 5 main ways to obtain permanent residence in the United States. Permanent residency allows a foreign national to live and work in the United States.
The first and most common way to obtain a green card is through family based sponsorship where an immediate US Citizen relative files a petition for you the foreign national. There are generally 2 ways for a US Citizen to petition for an intending immigrant (1) file a petition with USCIS if the intending immigrant is residing inside of the United States, and entered the United States by lawful means through a U.S. port of entry and was properly inspected upon their entry or (2) if the intending immigrant resides outside of the United States, the beneficiary will need to go through consular processing to obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consular post abroad.
Certain extended family members (brothers and sisters) may also petition for a foreign national, however these visas are limited and subject to a waiting period according to the Visa Bulletin.
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Breaking news, a federal judge for the District of Columbia, issued a ruling in the lawsuit, National Venture Capital Association, et.al. v. Duke, et. al, overturning the government’s delay of the International Entrepreneur Rule. This means that international entrepreneurs may now apply for parole under the rule as of Friday, December 1, 2017. The caveat, however, is that since the ruling was just handed down on Friday, no application has yet been released to apply under the rule, and the current parole application is not suited for the rule. It is expected that the government will soon issue a statement regarding the court’s decision and provide further guidance on what form to use.
In its decision, the judge ruled that the Department of Homeland Security unlawfully delayed enforcement of the rule, when it postponed the rule from going into effect just days before the rule was set to go into effect on July 17, 2017, without following the appropriate notice-and-comment procedure required by the Administrative Procedure Act.
Entrepreneurs must keep in mind that the the Trump administration may appeal the federal judge’s decision, or continue with their plans to rescind the rule, but as it now stands the government must accept applications for the international entrepreneur rule, even if the administration continues with their plans to rescind the rule.
What is the IER?
The rule makes it easier for eligible start-up entrepreneurs to obtain temporary permission to enter the United States for a period of 30 months, or 2.5 years, through a process known as “parole,” for the purpose of starting or scaling their start-up business enterprise in the United States. The decision about whether to “parole” a foreign entrepreneur under this rule will be a discretionary determination made by the Secretary of Homeland Security on a case-by-case basis (INA Section 212(d)(5), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)).
“Parole” will be granted to eligible entrepreneurs who can demonstrate that their company’s business operations are of significant public benefit to the United States by providing evidence of substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation. Such demonstrated potential for rapid growth and job creation may be evidenced by: (1) significant capital investment from U.S. investors with established records of successful investments or (2) attainment of significant awards or grants from certain Federal, State, or local government entities.
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
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, our clients speak about their unique experience with the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick. Our law office specializes exclusively in immigration and nationality law. We work with a broad range of clientele including entrepreneurs, investors, business visitors, foreign workers, U.S. employers, asylees, students, athletes, performers, families seeking to immigrate their family members and much more. Throughout the years, we have established a proven track record of success and a high level of customer service that is unparalleled in the legal industry. Contact our office today to schedule your free first time consultation.
In this video Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick takes you on a tour of our law office located at 1502 Sixth Avenue in sunny San Diego, California on the corner of Beech Street and Sixth Avenue. Come and visit us today. We offer free first time consultations to meet your immigration needs.
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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.