Recently, I was contacted by an impressive entrepreneur who was in a jam.
He was recently denied an E2 visa because he did not prove that his investment was irrevocably committed to the business.
Sadly, this is an extremely common reason for an E2 visa denial.
Oftentimes, applicants mistakenly believe that by placing the investment funds in a US bank account, they will satisfy the requirement that the funds be irrevocably committed to the business. Unfortunately, this is a classic example of funds that are NOT placed at risk.
The consular officer wants to see that you are committed to your US business. They do not want to give you a ticket to the US if you can simply change your mind, shutter the business and transfer the money back to your personal account.
So, what can you do?
You can start spending the investment funds on things that your business needs. Equipment, software, computers, rent, franchise fees, employee wages and fees related to professional services are common expenses that can be used to demonstrate that you have irrevocably committed your funds to the E2 business.
But What if my Startup Costs are Low?
Here is the wonderful reality of our modern business world…
Startups can be launched inexpensively.
Sure, you can go all out and rent class A office space in a major city. Then, you can fill it with expensive furniture and top of the line equipment. All of that excessive spending shows commitment right?
Yes…but if that is not a good move for your business, don’t do it!
Instead, look for other more reasonable ways to show that you are committed to making your business a success.
For example, you can look for ways to pay for things that you will in fact need. Most businesses could benefit immensely from legal, accounting, business consulting and marketing services.
Use these services and pay for them before you apply.
Likewise, many businesses still want some form of physical space. If you are going to need space, sign a lease and prepay for 6-12 months.
You can also pay in advance for software, computers, etc.
What Should I Do with the Rest of my E2 Visa Investment Funds?
A lot of E2 Visa investors get to the point where they have spent all of the money that they reasonably need to spend. Then, they panic because the irrevocably committed investment is still relatively modest.
If you have spend all of your necessary funds, then the best move is to show that you have additional reserves that is intended for operations.
A solid E2 visa business plan will clearly demonstrate how that money will be spent during the course of your business.
If you can show that you have spent all of the money that you need launch and point to additional cash that will be used for operations, then you will be well on your way to meeting the requirements for the E2 Visa investment.
Good luck with the E2 Visa process and please feel free to reach out if you have any investor visa questions!