Treaties are signed by the countries to promote commerce, trade and investments between countries. Similarly, the US state and various other states sign treaties in order to build good, healthy and long-term relationships. This ensures navigation, friendship, and peace between the countries. Also, the US has signed and entered a number of Bilateral Investment Treaties with several states, encouraging promotion investments and not trade-related immigration benefits.
These treaties give the opportunity to locals and companies of countries to obtain visas and work in the US state to develop and direct their investments and business enterprises. These visas are termed as E-visas: E1 and E2 visas. The authorizations for these visas come from the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 101 and other corresponding regulations. Due to this opportunity, various business people and professionals ask, how to get E2 visa? But prior to understanding how to get E2 visa, you must first understand what E1 and E2 visas are.
Overview of E1 Visa
In order to understand how to get E2 visa, you must first know what an E1 visa is. This type of E-visa permits the locals of qualifying countries (countries that have signed treaties with the US) to undertake a substantial amount of the international trade with the US. However, there are certain factors for the qualification. Also, the volume of the trade and commerce should be adequate for the US state to efficiently manage the commerce and business.
Moreover, 50% of the countries of the Trader’s imports and exports should be from the US state. In addition, there is as such no standard minimum requirement for the level of trade but if the investment is less, there are very less chances to qualify for being the treaty trader. Additionally, the countries that meet the criteria for the treaties are also judged on the basis of certain factors.
Overview of E2 Visa
Now that you know what an E1 visa is, you need to know what an E2 visa is, in order to identify how to get E2 visa. E2 visa allows an individual to enter and run their business or invest in a business being in the US state or operating it from their own country. The locals who have already made payments to the US, qualify for the E2 treaty visa. Like E1 visas, E2 visas do not have any standard level or investment or minimum requirement.
But the ones who are really interested in understanding how to get E2 visa, must keep in mind to invest more to qualify for the E2 status. Lower investment will minimize the chances of the getting an E2 status. Additionally, the processionals who qualify for the E2 visa can only invest in the business enterprises and are not permitted to buy bonds, stocks or any properties that do not qualify for the E2 status.
Are You Wondering How to Get E2 Visa? Consider the Qualifying Countries First!
If you want to identify, how to get E2 visa, then you must first see if your country really qualifies for the E2 status. The locals or companies belonging to the following countries can apply for the E2 visa.
- Bosnia Herzegovina
- China (ROC)
- Costa Rica
- The Czech Republic
- Sri Lanka
- The Slovak Republic
- Trinidad and Tobago
- The Ukraine
- United Kingdom
There are some more countries with whom the US has signed treaties, and they will be confirmed in a few months. The countries which are under the process of legal authorization are Albania, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Nicaragua, and Russia. If you want to know the core of how to get E2 visa, you should first check whether your country qualifies for it or not. You can visit and check it, at the Volume 9 of the US, Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), $41.51 Exh. 1.
Additionally, the countries that qualify can apply for the E2 visa to direct and develop their investments. The locals and companies of the countries have the right to apply for the key managerial and specialist positions. Furthermore, there is no minimum requirement for one year in the last three years like L1 visas. Also, it is not necessary for the locals and companies to run their operations outside the US state.
Requirements for E2 visa
Like all other visas in the world, E2 visas also have certain requirements. Those who are concerned about, how to get E2 visa should first understand the requirements for the E2 visa. You need to fulfill the following requirements for an E2 visa. Every requirement has certain forms of evidence which you require to submit and meet the requirement. Let’s have a look at the requirements below.
· Requirement # 1: You Should Come to the United States to Invest in the New or Existing Enterprise
According to USCIS, investment is the placing of capital such as funds and other assets with respect to generating profit from the commercial point of view. The first and foremost requirement for a treaty investor is regarding the investment. Regardless of what you are doing in the US, be it purchasing a pre-existing business or launching a new business in the US, you are required to invest by coming to the United States. Presence of the investor is a must in this regard. Also, the investment must be subsequent according to your business.
· Requirement # 2: Your Investment Must be in a Genuine Business Enterprise and Not in a Marginal Enterprise
The investors who want to learn how to get E2 visa to operate an enterprise in the United States, they should keep in mind that they have to invest in a genuine business and not in any marginal enterprise. The USCIS defines genuine enterprise as a bona fide business. Such businesses are real and active commercial or entrepreneurial businesses, producing services and goods for the profit.
Moreover, the enterprises considered ineligible for the investment are the ones which appreciate in the value such as undeveloped lands, stocks, and bonds. These have no intent to direct in the enterprise. On the contrary, a marginal business enterprise is the one which does not generate significant amount of income and does not provide enough living for the family along with economic contribution. The firms with the two elements, ‘direct and develop’ are considered genuine business enterprises for the USCIS.
If you want to learn the depth of how to get E2 visa, then you need to demonstrate if your potential business is genuine based on the following factors.
- If the business provides tax returns.
- If the business deals generate financial statements.
- If the business maintains quarterly wage reports or payroll summaries such as W-3 and W-2.
- If the business has an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- If the business has a business organizational chart.
- If the business has a license.
- If the enterprise deals in escrow documents and lease agreements.
- If the enterprise has utility bills, bank statements, and advertisements.
· Requirement # 3: You Must Have the Ownership of the Funds You Will Invest and Those Funds Must be Committed to Your Business
The capital that an investor invests must be irrevocably committed to the business enterprise and it should be subjected to partial or the total loss for the business entity. Also, the funds invested by them must also be their own and in their possession. In addition, the invested funds must be subsequent enough in order to purchase an established business enterprise or create a new business entity.
But if you are questioning how to get E2 visa, then you must know the level of substantial amount of investment and irrevocable commitment to your business enterprise. Let’s have a look at the evidence that you have to submit to demonstrate if your investment is subsequent for the business enterprise.
- Bill of sale
- Cancelled money orders or/checks
- Corresponding personal or business bank statements
- Itemized list of goods and materials purchase for the start ups
- Escrow documentations
- Lease agreement
- Letter of Intent, Term Sheet, Memorandum of Understanding
- Mortgage agreements or/and loan
- Valuation analysis of stocks
- Valuation analysis of business assets
- Stock purchase agreement along with stock ledger, meeting minutes, corresponding forms of payment for stock and stock certificate
· Requirement # 4: You Must be Able to Show the Source of Funding
The individuals who want to identify how to get E2 visa, should keep in mind that they must be able to show a legitimate and clear path with respect to the source of capital they will be investing in the potential business entity. Showing the source of capital funding to the USCIS is very essential. The US authority demonstrates the legality on the basis of the documents that you provide.
Also, the funds should be obtained by all legal means and not by any criminal means. Furthermore, as mentioned previously you will be required to submit a few documents to the USCIS in order to demonstrate the source of your capital. The documents which you must submit are given below.
- Foreign and domestic bank statements
- Pay records
- Property records
- Foreign tax returns
- Wire transfers, cancelled checks, and money orders
- Loan or/and mortgage agreements
· Requirement # 5: You Must be Responsible to Direct and Develop the Business Enterprise
If you are wondering how to get E2 visa, keep in mind that the USCIS requires you to at least have a 50% ownership of the business enterprise. But, if you are unable to have an ownership, you should at least possess superior and operational control through a managerial position or some other corporate devices. All of this should not be explained verbally to the business enterprise, the US authorities require you to demonstrate it using the following documents.
- The USCIS wants to see the detailed list of all owners and their percentage. For instance, if you are two partners and you are the one who owns 50% of the enterprise or less than 50%, you will be required to sign the documents to proof that you possess a controlling interest.
- You will be required to show the capitalization table.
- You will be required to submit letter of intent, term sheet, stock purchase agreement, and memorandum of understanding.
- You will be required to show meeting minutes.
- The investors must show the partnership agreement showing details of the contributions of partners.
- You will have to submit the franchise agreement.
- You have to show the stock certificates or stock ledger.
- Investors should submit the articles of incorporation or articles of organization.
- Most importantly, they should show the annual report or the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 10 – K.
Now that you know the requirements for the E2 visa, you are now ready to know about the full application process and legal requirements that determine the answer to your query, how to get E2 visa. If you want to identify, how to get E2 visa, read on.
Here is How to Get E2 Visa
If you want to learn the core of the query, how to get E2 visa, you must read on to this section carefully. There is a detailed application process which all potential investors need to fulfill in order to qualify for the E2 visa. The details for the application process are explained below.
· Tab A: Introduction Letter
If you want to know the steps to how to get E2 visa, you must keep in mind that the first step is to fill the introduction letter. The cover letter must first describe the enterprise and the beneficiary. Also, this letter should address all the requirements for the E2 visa qualification. If you want to know how to get E2 visa, you need to read about the requirements in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual (9 FAM 41.51). Also, the USCIS wants you to show the following details.
- Individual or the company possesses the nationality of the treaty country.
- The applicant is in the process of investing or has already invested.
- This business entity is a real or an operating commercial enterprise.
- The investment of the applicant is subsequent.
- The investor can develop and direct the business enterprise.
- If the applicant is an employee, then they are required to hold an executive or a supervisory position or they must at least possess skills that are essential to run an organization in the US.
· Tab B: Forms
The ones who want to identify, how to get E2 visa, they must remember to represent their matter with the help of an attorney. Make sure you submit form G-28 i.e. ‘Notice of Entry of Appearance of Attorney as Representative’. Also, they must include the e-mail address along with the phone number of their local attorney. In case your representative is not an attorney, you are required to submit the letter of agreement between the investor and the representative and that should include the signs of both the parties. In case the representative is an employee, make sure you attach the job letter from the company describing the following features.
- The business
- The job of the applicant
- Their qualification for the job
· Tab C: The Information of the Application
In order to understand how to get E2 visa, you must attach the colored photocopy of the bio data page of the principal applicant’s passport. In addition, do not forget to attach the similar copies of the US visas and US exit or entry stamps along with form I – 94. You are required to submit the following documents.
- A curriculum vitae or resume of the potential investor.
- In case of amendments, ensure to attach a copy of changes or extensions of the status provided by the USCIS i.e. form I – 797.
· Tab D: Ownership
In case you are wondering how to get E2 visa, you need to learn and know about the ownership of the E2 visa. All investors are required to submit the following documents to apply for the E2 visa.
- Do not forget to attach Articles of incorporation in case of corporations and limited liability corporations for the US businesses.
- Ensure to share certificates or operating agreements in order to verify your ownership.
- If applicants are willing to operate in a large company who has several owners or subsidiaries, or if the chain of the ownership has intermediary entitles, then you must submit the following documents too.
- Organogram (structure highlighting all the levels of ownership)
- Colored copies of the bio-data pages and the passports of the parents
- Ethical and legal proof of ownership within the chain
- If the applicant is willing to share a public company with many shareholders and none of them owns more than 50%, ensure to include the following.
- The Company’s House Report
- Copy of the recent annual report
- Official declaration signed by the supervisory authority determining that the company is traded wholly on the qualified country’s stock exchange.
- Copy of the recent trading information on the stock.
· Tab E: Investment
In order to learn more about how to get E2 visa, you need to attach the following documents for the investments.
- Documentation of the original source of the funds
- Use of the funds in order to qualify for the business expenses
- Movement of the funds to the US account
- Binding escrow agreement
- Evidence of some other funds
- Dated and signed lease of the business organization
- Proof of equipment and inventory purchases
- In case of franchise, provide a franchise agreement
- Evidence of its franchise fee
- Copies of debits, bank accounts, checks and invoices
· Tab F: Real and Operating
The ones who want to learn, how to get E2 visa should keep in mind that they are required to submit the following documents for the genuine and operating business enterprise, and seamless application for the E2 visa.
- Monthly bank statements for the current calendar year.
- Federal licenses for local state
· Tab G: Marginality
Those who want to determine how to get E2 visa, they must remember that they must ensure to run their business in a genuine business enterprise and not entail in a marginal business entity. So, in order to furnish proof of the bona fide business organization, you need to submit the following documents for the smooth application of the E2 status.
- All tax returns documentations (schedules, statements, signed copies of forms) for the past three years
- All W – 2 or Form 1099 for the past two years.
- Attach profit and loss statements for the previous as well as current calendar year.
- If you are establishing a business in the United States, you are required to provide the following to the USCIS.
- Breakdown of start up costs required to start a business for its operation.
- Business plan for 5 years analyzing the local market and competition. Also, they must be backed up by the external sources.
In order to qualify for the E2 status, you must always ensure to fulfill the specified conditions. We hope that now you must have identified, how to get E2 visa. We highly recommend you to consult your local immigration lawyer to obtain an E2 visa seamlessly.