Those looking to invest in the U.S. or those who work for a business that is at lease 50% owned by citizens of the same treaty company may be eligible for an E Visa. Our office regularly helps owners and employees navigate their E visa options and have collected these important facts that are often overlooked:
No Minimum Investment: Rather, the government is looking for the invested funds to be proportional to the type of business. The expectation is that the owner has invested substantial funds to be invested in the success of the enterprise.
Money Trail Is Important: The government cares about the origin of invested funds and how they made it into the business in the U.S. The records must show that the owner is financially at risk and liable if the business goes poorly. This is one of the areas where it is especially important to seek professional help to ensure your investment is properly structured for visa eligibility.
Business Must Be Operational: Not only do applicants have to have money set aside for the business in the U.S., the business must be operational or ready to go at the time the first applicant attends the interview. Some of the items the government wants to see are leases, equipment purchases, business plans, and licenses.
Employees Are Eligible: Owners are not the only ones who can apply through the E Visa program. Essential employees also have the opportunity, although they must be of the same treaty country as the primary investor.
Spouses and Children Have Options: Applicants’ spouses and children under 21 can also apply for visas as E-2 dependents. While spouses are not immediately allowed to work in the U.S., they may apply for employment authorization (EAD card). Children may not apply for an EAD card, unless they qualify independently, but they may attend school in the U.S.