Start a business in the United States and get an E-2 Visa

If you are a resident* of Australia, Canada, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or Switzerland you have the opportunity to obtain an E-2 visa under a simplified procedure and move to the United States (US). To do this, you will need a company in America, an approved business plan and an investment of $50,000.

The US, like any other economically developed country, is always interested in opportunities provided by business investor immigrants. This cohort helps to develop the economy, create new jobs and add to the tax base. Such investors enter the country on visas obtained on the basis of the state agreements on promotion and mutual protection of investments.

A popular option for such an investor is an E-2 visa. This type of visa allows you to enter the US and work in your own company. As an investor, your spouse and children are also issued with E-2 visas. The E-2 is issued for two years with the right of extension an unlimited number of times.

The process of preparing for E-2 visa application can be time-consuming. In addition, you should be ready for the expenses. First, these are made up of investments of $50,000 directly in the development of the project and establishing of an American company. You will also have to make a one-time visit to the US to open a bank account. However, the application and documents consideration procedure are organized simply in comparison with other business visa types. You submit your documents and application to the nearest US Embassy. After considering your application, you will be invited to an interview and then the embassy will decide whether to issue an E-2 visa.

The preparation process should begin with the development of a business plan. The business plan should be based on the previously conducted marketing research. The research does not have to be large-scale – it can be carried out independently on the basis of publicly available information – but it is better to use professionals’ assistance if possible. You should have a good understanding of whether your American company’s services or products will be in demand in the local market, and whether US law requires any special permits for your planned business. There is no sense in considering an investment project with a capital intensity of less than $50,000, as such investments provide little chances for obtaining the visa.

At the time of applying for E-2 visa, you must own an operating US company. The company must have a taxpayer identification number and a bank account. You will need to transfer the amount of money declared in your business plan to the account. Your task at this stage of the application is to prove that your US business has already been running and needs your management. To this end, you have to activate the business process and make the first business expenses. The amount of expenses made at the time of applying for a visa may be in the region of 20% of the declared amount of investments. As outlined above, some part of the business launching expenses must be made in order to be awarded the E-2 visa.

What then about costs in case of application refusal? With the right approach, the probability of refusal is small, and opening the escrow account will minimize the risks, as this will be the account which the money for the purchase of a ready-made business, real estate or other assets will be deposited into. Money is written off from the escrow account only when you receive a positive decision about issuing the E-2 visa. Such a situation is more favorable for the investor. In this situation, we will attach an agreement with the bank instead of business expenses confirmation to the application.

The agreement will prove that the money for the planned investment has already been deposited into an open escrow account on behalf of your US company and the necessary agreements have been signed. As soon as you get your visa, the bank makes a payment and you become the owner of the operating business, franchise or profitable real estate with the right to live and work in the US. * An incomplete list of countries falling within the E-2: Chili, Germany, Iran, Philippines, Spain, Turkey. Read the full list of signatory countries here

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