Finding the Best Businesses for the E2 Visa

Navigating the landscape of U.S. immigration can be challenging, especially for entrepreneurs looking to establish their business foothold in the country. The E2 visa offers a unique pathway for foreign nationals to operate a business in the U.S., but selecting the right business is crucial for approval. This blog post explores the optimal businesses for the E2 visa, focusing on how to align your business choice with both the visa requirements and your personal aspirations.

Understanding the E2 Visa Requirements

The E2 visa is designed for investors and entrepreneurs from treaty countries who are willing to make a substantial investment in a U.S. business and play an active role in its operation. One of the key considerations for an E2 visa is the nature of the business—it should not only be viable and legitimate but also fulfill specific economic criteria. Generally, businesses that require larger investments and create more jobs may have a higher chance of meeting the visa’s requirements.

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Choosing the Right Business

While it might be tempting to pursue a business that promises the highest returns on investment, it’s crucial to consider what aligns best with your skills and interests. For example, if you have a background in healthcare, setting up a medical practice could be a more fitting choice than managing a retail store. The U.S. Consulate in Toronto provides a helpful resource—a flyer listing actual approved businesses for the E2 visa. Examples include:

  • A Florida-based company specializing in custom-built motorcycles
  • A chiropractic medical office with several employees in the U.S.
  • A small, family-operated gas station and convenience store with a few U.S. employees

These examples illustrate the diversity of businesses that can qualify for an E2 visa, reinforcing that the choice heavily depends on personal preference and professional expertise.

Factors to Consider

When selecting among potential businesses for the E2 visa, consider the following factors:

  • Investment Size: Larger investments can sometimes facilitate the visa approval process, demonstrating significant commitment to the U.S. economy.
  • Job Creation: Businesses that will create jobs for U.S. workers are viewed favorably in the visa application process.
  • Business Viability: The business must not only be profitable but also sustainable in the long term.
  • Personal Fit: Ultimately, the business you choose should reflect your skills and interests, ensuring you are engaged and committed to its success.
  • Real-World Success Record: Drawing inspiration from real-world examples can help crystallize what might work for your situation. For instance, the chiropractor who successfully set up a practice shows that professional services with a healthcare focus are viable. Similarly, the custom motorcycle builder highlights how niche manufacturing with a unique product offering can also lead to successful E2 visa applications.


Choosing the right business for the E2 visa involves a balanced consideration of legal requirements, economic factors, and personal preferences. By focusing on businesses that not only meet investment and employment criteria but also align with your background and interests, you can increase your chances of securing an E2 visa for a business that you actually want to run in the United States. Whether you are drawn to healthcare, retail, or any other sector, the key is to present a strong case for how your business will contribute positively to the U.S. economy while fulfilling your entrepreneurial goals. 

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Ben Frear, Esq.

Immigration Lawyer for Entrepreneurs

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