The E-2 investor visa was created to allow entrepreneurs from countries which maintain a trade and commerce treaty with the United States to establish new businesses in the U.S. through investment. Though E-2 visas are less often granted for investments in real property, there is a possibility that this type of investment may qualify for an E-2 visa if certain conditions are met. Here, we elaborate on these conditions. Before qualifying for an E-2 visa using a real property investment, a real property investor must first qualify for the E-2 visa through three requirements. Firstly, the entrepreneur must have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. The investment cannot be a relatively small amount of capital in a marginal enterprise initiated solely for the purpose of earning a living. The business must also be active, meaning that an investment that is earned through minimal activity and with little daily effort or upkeep, such as investments in stocks, would not qualify. Secondly, the investor must be seeking entry into the United States solely to develop and direct the enterprise. And thirdly, the investor must intend […]
The E-2 visa category offers foreign entrepreneurs who wish to invest in an American business the opportunity to come to the United States. The E-2 visa carries with it many distinct advantages. Unlike other visa categories, the E-2 visa allows the applicant to be self-employed, which makes it a better option for entrepreneurs than other employment-based visas, such as the H-1B or O-1 visa. Additionally, the E-2 visa is good for up to five years, a longer term than some of the other available categories. E-2 investors may also be able to obtain E-2 status for certain employees that are needed to help establish and run a business in the U.S. Of course, there are restrictions for those interested in applying for an E-2 visa. First, at the most basic level, there are two qualifications for an E-2 visa that must be met: (1) an investment of a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. enterprise and (2) development and direction of the enterprise as the sole purpose of arrival in the United States. Second, only investors from countries with which the United States has a treaty investor agreement are eligible. Very recently, the United States has signed a long-awaited […]
Berardi Immigration Law is proud to have helped our client, Monica Chang, obtain a five-year E-2 Investor Visa! Monica is the owner of San Korean Kitchen, a manufacturer and distributor of authentic and traditional Korean delicacies and beverages located in Mill Valley, California. (You can learn more about Monica’s business here.) Monica had a vision to share her favorite Korean foods with the world. After establishing her business here in the United States, Monica began the search for a U.S. immigration attorney. After speaking with several different firms, Monica decided to retain Berardi Immigration Law. Monica says, “I was immediately impressed by how attentive they were to my situation. They gave me a sense that my case was important, and I was in good hands. They were professional and diligent but still able to give a human context when dealing with me and my case.” Monica worked closely with our Senior Associate Attorney Gabriella Agostinelli to fully prepare the many documents and forms that need to be submitted for the E-2 visa process. Here at Berardi Immigration Law, we take pride in offering our clients “white-glove” service. We don’t leave our clients with unanswered phone calls or emails for weeks […]
Berardi Immigration Law is proud to have helped our featured client of the month, Vicky Ghotra, obtain an E-2 visa. Vicky is originally from Canada and he and his family have been involved in real estate from the time he was a child. This was a major factor that prompted Vicky to create his own company, 416HOMEZ Inc., which renovates and sells properties. Based in Canada, Vicky was looking to expand and grow his business into the U.S. market. To do so, he knew he needed to find the right attorneys to assist with his case and determine what steps he needed to take. Vicky did significant research shopping around for an attorney. Ultimately, he decided on Berardi Immigration Law after hearing many positive reviews. The same sentiments were echoed even by officers at the U.S. border when Vicky entered the United States. One of Vicky’s favorite parts of working with the team at Berardi Immigration Law was the prompt and consistent communication by email and by phone. Whenever Vicky had a question or wanted an update, the team was glad to speak with him. Having the support of Berardi Immigration Law took a weight off Vicky’s shoulders and allowed […]
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to end the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). IER is a USCIS regulation that aims to encourage foreign entrepreneurship in the U.S. This proposal follows DHS’s review of parole programs, as mandated by the Executive Order titled Border Security and Enforcement Improvements, issued on January 25, 2017. Under IER, foreign entrepreneurs can be granted parole to temporarily work for and develop their start-up business while living in the U.S., based on evaluation of certain criteria. A major consideration is whether there are urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefits to be gained. DHS published a rule in July 2017 to delay implementation of IER to March 14, 2018. However, in December of 2017, a federal court vacated this July rule and required implementation of IER immediately. IER has technically been in effect since the December 2017 ruling, and DHS is now proposing to remove it. DHS presents three reasons why it wishes to remove this rule. First, it believes that IER represents an overly broad interpretation of parole authority. Second, DHS states that IER lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors. Third, DHS proposes that IER is not the appropriate vehicle […]
E-2 Visa Background The E-2 visa category is reserved for foreign investors. It enables a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the U.S. when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. To qualify, the treaty investor must meet a few basic requirements: The investor must be a national of a treaty country (i.e., NAFTA); The investment must be substantial, which means it must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise; The investment must be in a real operating commercial enterprise; The investment may not be marginal, which means it must have the capacity to generate significantly more income than necessary to provide a living to the investor and family; The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk; and The investor must be coming to the U.S. solely to develop and direct the enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50 percent ownership or possession of operational control through an executive, supervisory or highly specialized position. 5 Ways to Convert an E-2 into a Green Card Individuals who have been admitted to the U.S. in E-2 status are required to maintain an intent to […]
As of March 1, 2016, Canadian companies seeking to move employees to the U.S. on E-1 and E-2 (Treaty Trade and Investor) visas will benefit from streamlined registration at the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto and additional processing locations across Canada. The improved process will benefit employees of companies with valid registrations and their dependents, as well as companies already registered and applying for renewals. The U.S. Embassy in Ottawa and the U.S. Consulates General in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, and Montreal now offer E-1 and E-2 visa appointments for employees of companies with valid registrations and their dependents. Employees of enterprises not previously registered at the Consulate General in Toronto, however, or companies with expired registrations, must still schedule their E-visa interviews in Toronto. If you are interested in applying for an E-1 or E-2 visa, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!