In this post, I discuss three recents E-2 visa business examples that I saw in my practice during 2022.
When people reach out to my office, they frequently want to know what type of business is suitable for the E-2 visa. I respond by telling them that fortunately many different types of businesses can qualify for the E-2 visa. As long as the investment is large enough to convince the US government that the business is likely to succeed and create jobs, then your chances of success will be good regardless of what type of business you choose.
In order to highlight the variety of businesses that can qualify for the E-2 visa, I will periodically share examples that are based on my experiences as an E-2 visa lawyer. Some details are changed due to confidentiality, but enough of the details are included so that you can understand the vast business opportunities that exist for prospective E-2 investors.
E-2 Visa Business Example #1:
The first example involves a freight trucking business. My client set up a small trucking business with an overall investment of $46,000. The majority of that investment($33,000) was spent on a truck that would be used for the initial operations.
Additionally, this client spent money on professional fees.
He did not invest in office space since that wasn’t needed for the business.
The business plan projected 2 jobs by the end of the first year and 6 jobs by the end of five years.
This case was approved by the embassy.
E-2 Visa Business Example #2:
The second example involves a franchise business in the fundraising space.
The total startup investment was $140,000. $130,000 of the $140,000 investment went towards the franchise fees for multiple territories. This amount was placed in escrow. Under the escrow agreement, the funds would only be released in the event of an E-2 visa approval.
My client did not invest in a full time office since it wasn’t needed for operations. But they did put some money towards a co-working membership.
The business plan projected six(6) jobs by the end of the first year and six(6) jobs by the end of five years.
This case was approved by the consulate.
E-2 Visa Business Example #3:
My client has a software business abroad. He established a similar business in the US that would sell the foreign company’s existing software and offer software development services.
The initial investment was approximately $100,000. The spending breakdown was as follows…
- $25,000(Professional Fees)
- $28,000(Rent for the first year)
The client had already spent everything that was needed to launch and as a bonus, the company already had one employee. This is a huge advantage for E-2 applicants since this clearly shows that the business is creating jobs and operating.
Due to the fact that the business was already operating, employing a US worker and generating revenue, I was not surprised when this visa application was approved.
My key takeaway from these cases is that they were relatively low stress.
Now don’t get me wrong, I get slightly nervous before every interview since my clients’ have taken the bold step of creating a US business without knowing if they can actively manage that business from within the US. And you simply never know for sure how the officer(who has a ton of discretion) will feel about the case.
But for these cases, I was less nervous that usual. Here is why…
In each of these cases, a visa denial would not have resulted in major financial loss. The investment in example #1(the transportation business) wasn’t super risky since the majority of the investment consisted of a truck, which could have been sold in a worst case scenario. The investment in example #2(the fundraising franchise) wasn’t that risky since we mitigated the risk to my client by using an escrow agreement. In that case, if the visa was denied, the large amount of money that was plunked down to pay for the franchise fees would have been returned to my client. Finally, the investment in example #3(the software company) wasn’t overly risky since the business would have continued to operate even in the event of a denial. In the worst case scenario, my client who is an accomplished entrepreneur could have simply continued to run the business and direct the existing employee remotely.
So there you have it…those are three E-2 visa business examples pulled directly from my cases.
It is important to note that these are intended to just serve as examples. There is a lot more that you need to know before you decide if the E-2 visa would be a good fit for you. This is best accomplished by reaching out to one of the many amazing immigration lawyers that you can find across the globe.
Ben Frear, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer for Entrepreneurs