Low investment E-2 Visas…are these actually a thing?
Thankfully, low investment E-2 visas are possible!
Low investment E-2 visas are possible because there is no minimum investment for the E-2 visa. As long as you make a qualifying investment and you meet all of the other requirements, then you should—at least in theory— be good.
That is the good news.
But here is the bad news…
There are some consulates that have the reputation of being unwilling to accept investments under $150,000. The consulates/embassies that are less likely to issue E-2 visa when the investments are low include Paris, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Dubai, and Seoul. For these posts, low investment cases are typically denied on the grounds that a business—that requires a low investment—is unlikely to create jobs.
E-2 Businesses Cannot be Marginal
If you are considering the E-2 visa, it is helpful to keep in mind that your business must be good for you and the United States. One person lifestyle businesses—while fun to operate—are not a great fit for E-2 visa purposes. They are not ideal because your E-2 business cannot be marginal. A marginal business is one that will only support the investor and their family.
So, if your investment is under 50k—or under 150k for some posts—the officer may come to the conclusion that you are simply trying to create an opportunity for yourself. In order words, they may feel that your business—which was launched with a modest investment—is marginal. Therefore, if you have a low investment case, you will oftentimes need to devote more energy to trying to persuade the US government that your business will benefit US workers.
So there you have it…low investment E-2 visas are possible since there is technically no minimum investment. However, they are difficult because it is challenging to convince the US government that your business, that came from humble beginnings, will blossom into a company that benefits US workers.
If you are interested in the E-2 visa, please reach out to one of the many US immigration lawyers that you can find across the globe.
Benjamin Frear, Esq.
Immigration Lawyer For Entrepreneurs and High Growth Companies