How much Investment required to qualify for E2 Investor Visa in the USA?
There is no minimum threshold of how much money has to be invested in the business in order to be qualified for an E2 visa. The official statement from USCIS states that the investment amount has to be “Substantial”. That being said, the substantiality of the investment merely depends on the nature of the business and its business plan.
For example, an IT services or web designing company needs less amount of capital as compared to a retail fashion store. Similarly, the investment amount considered as substantial for opening a casual dining restaurant in a rural area can’t be equal to a fine dining restaurant in an urban area.
The investment must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business. Most of the time it is commonly misunderstood that the investment amount should be more than $100K to $150K for E2 to be approved while this is not always the case.
Depending on your business model and supported by the detailed and very carefully crafted business plan, a services business investment of $50,000 or even less in some particular scenarios is sufficient to succeed while in some retail business options visa may get refused even by investing $250,000 or even more. In order to justify the substantiality of your investment, you really need to work deep on your business plan and careful preparation can win the case.
What kind of business it should be to qualify for E2?
One of the most asked questions is what kind of business I should start to qualify for E2. My answer to this is straightforward; if you start a business just to get an E2 visa approved, then you are not qualified for this visa program. One must do a business that he has a passion for and really motivated enough to establish and manage well. E2 will follow your passion. Some best choices for the businesses (not particularly for E2 only but rather a good market potential industries) are;
- Kids Entertainment and Day Care
- Senior Care
- Pet Care
- Catering Company
- Computer/Technology Advisory Services
- Consulting Company
- Convenience Store & Retail outlets
- Wedding Photographer / Events Management Company
There are 3 different ways where you can own a business in the USA and qualify for an E2 visa.
- Buying an Existing Business
You can buy an existing and established independent business or a franchise business and inherit a customer base and the current financial situation of the business. In this case, you need to do appropriate due diligence to make sure that the business information provided by the seller is actual and the business size satisfies the requirements of E2 Visa.
- Open a New Standalone Business
If you have a business idea and carry the skills and expertise to execute the idea, then you may establish your own business in the USA. establishing your own business is more entrepreneurial and has the potential for higher returns in the future. For the entrepreneurs who have a limited small budget to establish a business in the USA then in my opinion starting your own new business is the best idea. All the initial investment of the business can be controlled and regulated as per the business plan and hence can be justified as substantial to run the business.
- Open A New Franchise Business
If you are afraid of the uncertainties and risks associated with opening a new business in a new country and specifically the United States and prefer to minimize the risk of losing the investment by taking a more reliable route. Franchises are recognized as “already established business models” which most of the time has been “successfully tested” by the franchisor or through other franchisees in the U.S.
There are hundreds of low or medium-cost franchises available in the US market which range between $80K to $120K which has tried and tested the business model and perfectly matched with all E2 business investor visa requirements as well.
However, in all the business options, it must be kept in mind that as one of the prerequisites of the E2 program, a major portion of the investment amount has to be invested or in the process of investing into the business and must be on RISK. This means in case of visa refusal, if any, the investor has to be ready to bear the losses as the amount invested towards establishing the business up to the qualification criteria may not be recovered.
What is the process of starting the E2 visa program?
After all the initial consultation and understanding of the E2 visa program, you need to hire a business consultant first to fulfill all the requirements of business acquisition and who may coordinate with a registered attorney at law for petition filing.
- choose the business model which you want to execute, and have it discussed with the consultant.
- connect with the seller or franchisor to start the business bargain in case of the existing business or franchise or start the registration process of the business with the help of the consultant.
- do thorough market research and prepare a detailed and extensive business plan.
- Transfer the funds to the USA and finalize the business deal.
- Connect with an attorney for application preparation.
- Submit the petition.
- Be ready for the RFE (request for evidence) from USCIS and an interview in case of consular processing.
- Visa approved – enjoy your American Dream
- If Visa Rejected – Explore the appeal options or take a decision on the business to run or wind up.
About the US
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