Separating E2 Visa Facts From Fiction
Hey there, let’s talk about the E2 visa and separate fact from fiction.
You see, sometimes potential clients come to me with information they got from their friends or family members. And while most of these folks mean well, their advice can be way off. And that’s not good because relying on misinformation could lead investors to waste time and money pursuing an E2 visa application that never had a chance of success.
So, here’s the deal. I’m going to share some real-life conversations I’ve had with clients to help you navigate the E2 visa process better.
Statement #1: A successful E2 change of status application will guarantee a successful visa application
Now, you would think that’s a no-brainer, right?
Unfortunately, even if you’ve successfully obtained E2 status by changing your status within the US, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll automatically be granted an E2 visa. You still need to go through the visa application process, which requires proving your eligibility again, and this process is not automatic.
Therefore, the idea that obtaining E2 status within the US guarantees that you’ll be granted an E2 visa is a total myth. That’s why I typically advise against changing status unless your home consular post is particularly hostile or there’s no interview availability.
Statement #2: “You must invest $100,000 to get an E2 visa.”
Now, this statement is mostly false, and I’m going to tell you why.
First of all, there is no minimum investment requirement for an E2 visa. You won’t find it in any regulations, and you won’t find it in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). However, there is an example in the FAM that mentions a $100,000 investment.
The FAM states that investments constituting 100 percent of the total cost would normally qualify for a business requiring a startup cost of $100,000. So, while $100,000 is mentioned in the FAM, it doesn’t mean it’s a hard and fast rule. You can still argue that a smaller investment, say $50,000, is enough to start a business that can create jobs and qualify for an E2 visa.
But, here’s the catch.
Some consulates may be less likely to approve an E2 application if the investment is less than $100,000 or $150,000. They may reason that businesses with modest startup costs are unlikely to create jobs that the E2 visa requires. So, it’s essential to understand the reputation of the consulate where you’re applying and make sure you present a strong case for your business.
In summary, there is no fixed minimum investment requirement for an E2 visa. You can make a case for a lower investment if you can demonstrate that your business will create jobs. However, you need to be aware of the consulate’s requirements and make sure you present a strong case.
Statement #3: “If I invest $150,000, I will automatically get the E2 Visa”
This is false because of the word automatically.
Now, don’t get me wrong…$150,000 is a nice number. With this amount you will avoid getting immediately shut down by the consulates that want to see higher investment figures. However, you could still get denied if you don’t meet the other requirements.
For example, if your business requires a $1,500,000 investment and you have put in $150,000 your application will probably not be approved because you haven’t yet invested enough to make the business work.
Conclusion: E2 Visa Facts and Fiction
In conclusion, separating fact from fiction when it comes to the E2 visa can be tricky, but it’s essential if you want to navigate the process successfully.
Remember that successfully changing your status from within the US doesn’t guarantee an E2 visa, there is no fixed minimum investment requirement, and investing a certain amount of money doesn’t automatically guarantee approval. By understanding these facts, you can make informed decisions and avoid wasting time and money pursuing an E2 visa that may not be feasible.
Ben Frear, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer For Entrepreneurs