Copy of blog graphic_ e2 visa investment what counts

Ben Frear, Esq.

Immigration Lawyer for Entrepreneurs

The requirements of the E2 Visa investment can be confusing. One question that often comes up is — “what expenditures can I count as an investment?” 

In this post, I am going to list the most common types of expenditures that count towards your investment total for the E2 Visa.

First…A Few Words About Commitment & The E2 Visa Investment

Before I dive into what counts, you should understand that your E2 Visa Investment funds must be committed to the business before you apply. This is scary because you could spend a lot of money only to have your E2 Visa Application denied. In order to avoid that scenario, a lot of E2 Visa Investors want to hedge. They hold back. They are reluctant to spend their money on the business. 

While this is a natural inclination, the E2 Visa Investor should know that the more that you commit to the business, the more likely an approval becomes. Money that is spent or fully committed counts as an investment. Money that is sitting idly in your US bank account does not.

List of Common Expenditures

Once you have money to invest, you will want to know how to spend it. You can decide how to spend your money by thinking about everything that you need for the business. What will you need to have in place on day one? Once you have that answer, you can start to spend on all of the things that you will need to run your business.

While all business are different, her are some common expenditures…


This group could include a business lawyer to negotiate on your behalf and create your business entity. Accountants can help you to understand the tax implications of opening a US business. You will also work with an E2 visa lawyer and a business plan writer who can help make the process go smoothly. 


You probably already know that you can count these items as part of your investment. However, you may not know that…

  1. Previously purchased equipment can be counted towards the investment tally and
  2. Advanced lease payments can be made to boost your investment


The purchase price of an existing business and/or the franchise fee make up the bulk of the E2 Visa investment for many applicants.  In order to minimize your financial risk, the money that will be used for these expenditures can be held in escrow. Their release will be contingent upon the issuance of the E2 visa.

Conclusion: Expenditures for the E2 Visa Investment

To summarize, money that is spent to start or run the US business can be counted as an E2 visa investment. Additionally, previous purchases and money held in escrow can count in some circumstances. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the process, it is important to discuss your plans with a knowledgeable business immigration lawyer. Working with an immigration lawyer will give you confidence, help you avoid problems and free you up to focus on your new business.

Good luck on your E2 journey!

P.S. If you want to learn more about the E2 visa investment requirements, be sure to check out my guide to the E2 visa investment.

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