Obtaining legal assistance and insights from an experienced U.S. immigration lawyer is your wisest move if you’re an international investor and you are interested in investing – and living with your family – in the United States. If you are an international investor, keep reading to learn more from our Columbus investor immigration lawyers.
To obtain an international investor visa – an E-2 treaty-partner investment visa – you will need to file a variety of documents and forms with the immigration authorities.
IF YOU SEEK AN E-2 VISA, WHAT WILL YOU NEED FROM THE START?
You’ll have to exercise plenty of patience, because the process takes some time. To make sure that there are no misunderstandings, mistakes, or unnecessary delays, you must also have – from the beginning – the advice and services of a qualified Ohio immigration attorney.
Congress decides how many and specifically which immigrants are permitted entry into the U.S. every year. What follows is a brief discussion of E-2 treaty-partner investor visas and the resources that E-2 investors may use in the United States.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE E-2 VISA?
If you’re a savvy investor, you know that good investment opportunities can be found in every part of the United States. The E-2 visa is for investors from treaty-partner nations who are willing to make a significant investment in a new or ongoing U.S. business enterprise.
If you have considered investing and living in the United States, an E-2 treaty-partner investor visa makes it possible. An investor’s spouse and children in most cases can also acquire E-2 status.
To acquire the E-2 visa, an investor must prove that his or her investment will create jobs for U.S. workers.
If you are already in the U.S., and if you want to obtain an E-2 visa, you’ll begin by applying for a change of status by completing and submitting a Form I-129 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO QUALIFY FOR THE E-2 VISA?
The investment requirements for the E-2 visa are quite complex. You will require an immigration attorney’s help. Any mistake or misunderstanding could cause a significant delay – or even a denial – of your visa request.
Of course, the funds used by an E-2 investor to invest in a U.S. business must be obtained legally and legitimately.
For E-2 visas, immigration law specifies no exact minimum investment amount, but the investment has to be “substantial” and must be sufficient for the investment project to succeed.
Additionally, E-2 visa applicants must provide evidence that the investment will provide at least enough revenue within five years to support the applicant and his or her family.
ARE GIFTS AND LOANS A VALID SOURCE OF E-2 VISA INVESTMENT FUNDS?
Gifts are a legitimate source for E-2 visa investment funds provided that the investor is in possession of the funds and the funds are irreversibly dedicated to the investor by the gift’s giver. The giver must provide proof that the funds are derived from a legitimate source.
Foreign loans are also legitimate for E-2 visa applicants. When a foreign loan is secured by personal assets, this indicates that the investor is serious; such an indication can bolster an investor’s E-2 application.
WHAT DO INVESTORS HAVE TO PROVE ABOUT THEIR INVESTMENT FUNDS?
To establish eligibility for the E-2 visa, the investor must prove that he or she owns and controls the resources being invested. The investor must explain and prove that the money is from a legitimate source.
This requirement helps the U.S. ensure that money invested into legitimate U.S. enterprises is not derived from criminal activity. The requirement seems straightforward at first, but as you work through the process, it can become both baffling and burdensome.
For example, investment funds may come from a property sale, personal savings, a gift or loan, an inheritance, an insurance settlement, or any legal means. All of these sources will need to be documented to demonstrate that your investment money is legal and legitimate.
WHAT TYPE OF EVIDENCE WILL INVESTORS NEED TO PROVIDE?
Some of the evidence you may need to submit to demonstrate the source of the investment funds include: tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, bank transfer documents, loan agreements, and probate documents.
If the investment capital was a gift, the investor may have to produce a gift letter from the giver which describes the gift and the relationship of the giver to the investor. The giver must provide the same information regarding the source of the money that an investor would have to provide.
The key to satisfying the source-of-funds requirement is to produce sufficient documents to prove how the money was earned and who earned it. The investor must show a comprehensive paper trail from the origin of the funds to the present moment.
WHAT ELSE WILL AN INVESTOR NEED FOR AN E-2 VISA?
You may spend considerable time and effort on the source-of-funds requirement. You must pay attention to every detail. You may be asked to produce a number of financial documents that are over five years old. Your immigration lawyer will help you and guide you through the process.
Insufficient documentation regarding the source of your investment funds is a leading reason for the denial of E-2 visa applications.
Additionally, if you are filing directly with USCIS or at particular U.S. Consulates, all documents must be translated into English. It isn’t rare to have the source-of-funds section of an E-2 application exceed one hundred pages.
HOW CAN A GOOD IMMIGRATION LAWYER HELP YOU?
An experienced Ohio immigration attorney can help you compile and prepare the documents to prove that:
- You are a qualified investor and the citizen of a U.S. treaty-partner nation.
- The sum of the capital you are investing is substantial.
- Your investment is legitimate and will become profitable within five years.
Provided that the terms and conditions of an E-2 visa continue to be satisfied, the visa can be indefinitely renewed.
WHICH NATIONS ARE “TREATY-PARTNER” NATIONS?
One important point: only investors from “treaty-partner” nations (nations that the United States maintains a commercial treaty with) are eligible for the E-2 visa.
As of this year (2018), 78 nations are treaty partners with the U.S. Commerce treaties are frequently signed and frequently rescinded, so check with USCIS or with your immigration lawyer to ensure that your nation of origin is on the list. Most nations are.
This cannot be emphasized strongly enough: Before taking any other step, international investors should consult with a skilled U.S. immigration lawyer regarding their alternatives, options, and choices.
If you’re considering an investment in a business in the United States, avail yourself of the resources and insights that a good immigration attorney can offer. Your future may depend on it.