The E-2 investor visa is the most famous investor visa to gain entry to the United States. It’s an ideal option for foreign investors planning to buy an existing business or launch a new one. The E-2 visa is only granted to investors who bring innovative ideas to the U.S economy, generate employment opportunities for Americans, and invest a large sum of money in the country. To qualify, the investor must be a country citizen with a treaty with the United States. The applicant must also be willing to own at least 50% of the investment. Countries such as India, China, and the significant portion of countries in the Middle East do not qualify for the E-2 visa; however, they can opt for Turkey Citizenship by Investment route to make their way to the U.S.
Only Genuine Investments in a Business Enterprise
The E-2 Investor Visa is valid for five years; however, it can be renewed if your business is running successfully. To apply for the visa, the investor must file a five-year business plan outlining its source of incoming and expenditures. They may also require to submit copies of financial statements of the purchased business or the appreciation value of the said business entity. The essence of the process lies in presenting a complete business plan and your intentions to set up a business in America to a U.S Consulate. The purpose is to convince the officer of your genuine investment and how efficiently you can run the business.
Sometimes the applicants under the E-2 visa category are not the actual owners but senior managers or executives needed to run the business.
The processing of E-2 visas in the Pre-Pandemic era
The E-2 visas were processed quickly before the pandemic hit the world. The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the governments to impose complete lockdowns and restrictions of movement. This also resulted in closing downs of many U.S Consulates across the world and processing only necessary visas. The shutdown of operations also created a massive backlog of E-2 visa applications, which only grew with time to the point where the U.S Consulate in Canada could not clarify how long investors would have to wait to get their E-2 visas approved.
This uncertainty has created confusion and disappointment in so many investors waiting in the pool. Most of them had excellent plans to buy a business in the U.S. or at least move to the country to sort out their investment plans.
Investor buying a business in the U.S
If an investor buys a business in the U.S., they apply for an E-2 visa to the U.S Consulate in their home country. But, since there is a pile of applications already waiting in the pool, the investor can decide to visit the United States and explore business opportunities in the country while waiting for their E-2 visa approval.
For that purpose, a B-1/B-2 visitor visa would suffice. As a non-immigrant visa, the B-1/B-2 visitor visa allows foreign nationals to temporarily travel to the United States for business (B-1) or pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). The permit is valid for six months only, during which the investor can learn about the U.S market, company formation laws, available opportunities, and workforce requirements. They can also understand the U.S culture and the needs of their target audience.
Investors may also apply to extend their B-1/B-2 visa status for another six months and live in the USA. The benefit of this move would be if the visa is granted to the investor, they will have sufficient time to attend the interview at the U.S Consulate and make his case look more substantial than others. Alternatively, if the process gets delayed for some reason, it will provide the investor more time to review their investment and eventually look after their business.
Given the current situation created by the pandemic, the uncertainty still lingers around how long the E-2 investors will have to wait to get their E-2 visa approval. All we can hope is that the U.S Consulate’s operations remain flexible and go back to normal for investors to keep going with their business aspirations in America and eventually live their American dream. For more information you can contact with our immigration experts at 8595338595 or [email protected]