FAQ’s for E2 Visa


It is a US Business Investor Visa (E2) program where you must invest in a business to qualify for the visa. E-2 visa falls in the non-immigrant category it permits you to make an investment in any of the US Businesses you want to go for. An E-2 visa also permits you to work there for the business you wanted to stand out. It is also mandatory for an E-2 application that you must belong to a country that has an E-2 treaty with the US. The number of countries that falls in the e-2 treaty categories of the USA is around 80.

After all the initial consultation and understanding of E2 visa program you need to hire a business consultant first to fulfil all the requirement of business acquisition and who may coordinate with registered attorney at law for petition filing.

Process flow is as below:

  1. Decide the nature of business to start or acquire.
  2. Share basic personal and financial documents for initial evaluation.
  3. Sign our service agreement and pay initial service fee.
  4. Company & Tax registration and Bank Account opening.
  5. Transfer the investment amount into your US business bank account.
  6. Business setup / acquisition.
  7. 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.
  8. Do thorough market research and prepare a detailed and extensive business plan.
  9. Engagement and Appointment of Immigration Attorney
  10. Visa application preparation and submission.
  11. Attending business interview in US embassy.
  12. Be ready for the RFE (request for evidence).
  13. Visa issued.
  14. Travel to USA to manage your business.

There is no restriction of the type of business you may invest. You can start or purchase any sort of business based on your experience, preferences, choices, and budget.  Based on our time tested and proven business models, we have identified and shortlisted successful business opportunities from different industry domains to match with the scope and vision of any / all investors.

Investment must be in an active business and major portion of the whole investment budget must be executed and at a potential risk.

There is no minimum threshold of how much money has to be invested in the business in order to be qualified for E2 visa. The official statement form USCIS states that investment amount has to be “Substantial”.

That being said, substantiality of the investment merely depends on the nature of business and its business plan. For example, an IT services or web designing company needs a 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 rural area can’t be equal to a fine dine restaurant in an urban area. Investment must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business.

Most of the times 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 a careful preparation can win the case.

We as business consultant and your representatives can do all the work to find the business, negotiate with the Seller or Create a new business from the scratch on your behalf by having a Power of Attorney (PoA).

Existing business for sale must be profitable and have clean tax records to qualify for Investor visa and satisfy all requirements and as a standard market practice such businesses would be valued higher which means the Investment amount must be $100,000 and above to find that business.

While in comparison, starting a new business will not have any goodwill attached to it so it would be much less expensive as compared to existing business as much as $100,000 Only.

As your consultant, we will find out the businesses available for sale as per your preferences, requirement, and budget and conduct an independent due diligence on business to verify its eligibility and then we will connect you with Seller for negotiating a deal.

There are normally 2 ways of making the seller payment:

  1. If seller only need a cash payment (via Bank Transfer), then you must make the necessary transfer from your personal / business bank account through official banking channel.
  2. If seller agrees, then you can make the payment through escrow account (third party bank guarantee) with a condition of visa approval.

As your consultant, we will sketch the whole business structure and requirements and then start step by step process to setup the whole infrastructure like business registration, space leasing, equipment, licensing and approval, recruitment, procurement, tax, insurance, and so on.

In starting a business investment will be done on as and when due rather than a lumpsum payment. You need to register the company and open a business bank account in USA then transfer the whole investment budget into that account so that it can be used when required.

Yes, there must be an operating capital equals to 3 to 6 months of amount kept in business bank account. Operating capital includes the operating and overhead expenses like rent, utilities, salaries and taxes.

Other than your business capital investment, there will be the below expenses for your E2 visa application:

  1. Consultant Fee
  2. Attorney Fee
  3. Business & Tax Registration
  4. Business Plan & Financial Feasibility
  5. Petition Filling Fee

While past experience can be a positive point in managing and growing your business in USA, yet it is not mandatory. The E‐2 visa requires  the  applicant  to demonstrate the necessary ability and skills to successfully operate the U.S. business. There is no specific education or work experience requirement.  The  law  allows the  E‐2 applicant  to present a combination of any relevant education, training and/or work experience in business, management, sales, accounting, and entrepreneurship to prove competency and readiness  to  direct  and development the U.S. enterprise. The   challenge  arises when  the  E‐2 investor lacks significant business training or experience. The optimal solution for an individual who is  relatively  new to the industry or business field is to invest in a franchise business or if you have a good business plan clearly outlining your ideas from all business perspectives like operations, marketing, and finances showing your precise planning and preparation, you can overcome the deficit of lack of experience.

Yes, either of the spouse can become main applicant (subject to satisfying business knowledge) and the dependent can obtain a work authorization in USA.

Business setup and preparation can go up to 8 – 12 weeks and petition processing usual time is up to 90 days.

You can apply for E2 visa at a US Consulate at the country of your lawful residence (Consular Processing) or do the Change status to E2 visa status while lawfully present in the United States (Change of Status).

You can sponsor your wife and kids under age 21 years as E2 dependent visa and your spouse may obtain a work authorization too. So, she can work anywhere if she wants.

To get an E2 visa, your investment must be considered substantial. The tricky part to this requirement is that there is no set minimum amount that is considered substantial. To determine whether an investment is substantial, a proportionality test is used. This means that the amount you invest will be compared with the total cost of a comparable established business.

For example, if you are investing in a restaurant, the amount of your investment will be compared to the total cost of the restaurant.

If you are investing in a brand-new business, the amount of your investment will be compared against the total cost to bring the business to full functionality. The proportionality test should be viewed as a sliding scale.

  • For lower cost businesses, you should invest 100% of the total cost of the established business.
  • For higher cost businesses, you may invest less than the total cost of the business.

To make things easy, as a rule of thumb, we recommend investing NO LESS than $100,000 for an E2 visa.

This is not a guarantee that $100,000 will satisfy the substantiality requirement. But you certainly should not invest less than $100,000.

E2 visa approval is on the sole discretion of the adjudicator reviewing your petition and no one can ever give any guarantee of approval. However, hiring a qualified business consultant and competent immigration attorney at law can minimize the risk of denial because of experience and expertise.

Business is an asset which you have acquired against your investment and is not dependent on visa approval. In an unfortunate scenario of visa refusal, you may decide to:

  1. Overcome any objections caused your visa refusal and re-apply.
  2. Continue the business operations as foreign investor and earn profits. (Hiring a business manager can fulfill the operations)
  3. Sell the business and recover your investment back.

In some of cases of buying a business, depending on the arrangements with seller, you can put the funds in escrow account for a limited time period with a condition / contingency of E2 approval. This might be beneficial for you to minimize the risk of losing a major investment in case of denial.

A 5-year business plan is required, and the business plan is a key element that immigration officials consider when they review your Visa petition. 

Subject to the qualification of the business, and its marginality, there can be maximum of 2 partners with 50% shares each can join the business and sponsor their families for E2 Visa.

We don’t leave our clients alone on their life changing journey. We offer business accelerator program we assist and guide in training, advising and even managing your business until you become confident enough to manage it yourself.

We are Business Consultants and have collaborated with some of most reputed and experienced attorneys whom we engage / appoint for petition filling.

There are 2 major reasons to work with a business consultant for E2 visa:

  1. Immigration attorney only work on visa application preparation while all the business process must be completed via an experienced consultant.
  2. Immigration Attorney in USA would only deal with E2 application where the Investment amount is at least $100,000 – $150,000 or even more while we as consultant will set up your business as per your minimum budget requirement.

Our service fee for business services is depends on the scope of services. However, 50% of any fee to be paid at the time of signing the contract and balance 50% at the time of application submission. Total fee must be completed before finalizing the business documents / financial feasibility report of the business.

You can choose and pick any business (literally any) as per your background, experience or expertise. Please be reminded that the business category should be the one which you must be comfortable with, as you must run and manage it for future.

As a mandatory requirement of E2 visa application, funds must be from the legal source and committed towards the E2 business. Which means you must spend and invest the major portion of the funds before the application.

As a mandatory requirement of E2 funds should have a clear proof of funds (which can be your income, saving, sale of asset or property, inheritance, personal loan or gift) and it must be transferred to USA via official banking channels to match the money trails.

So, once you start the process, you open a corporate bank account in USA and transfer the funds to that account for future expenses.  The account operations will be in your control so will be fully secured.

For many start‐up businesses, the E‐2 investor is normally not required to hire employees right away. The investor only needs to prove his or her intent to hire U.S. workers within a reasonable time, and the business has a credible need for employees. To demonstrate a genuine intention to hire U.S. workers, the E‐2 investor may show evidence of job advertisements, recruitment efforts, and/or a projected employee hiring timeline. Some strict visa officers may require the investor to hire employees prior to applying for E‐2 visa. However, if the investment is in an existing business, then the E‐2 applicant must prove that the business already creates meaningful jobs for American workers.

The law does not specifically prohibit a home‐based business from qualifying for the E‐2 visa. However, small start‐up businesses operated from the E‐2 investor’s residence face high risk of visa denial. The reason is that E‐2 visa prohibits marginal businesses from qualifying. The “marginal business” concept means a commercial enterprise that is too small to make meaningful contributions to the economy. Although the E‐2 visa allows a small start‐up to qualify, the immigration officer must believe that the entrepreneur has genuine intentions of growing the business to a sufficient size and performance within 3 to 5 years.

The straight answer is No. Unfortunately, if you are visiting USA on B1, B2, ESTA visa waiver or Canadian visitor, you are not allowed to work for your own business. Only things which you are allowed to do is to make investment related and/or business setup activities.

Work related activities in general are day-to-day business operations activities that are required to keep a business running such as selling or customer service while the business setup activities are more of business regulatory work, infrastructural planning and design and preparing the strategies and documentations.

As an example; if your business is a coffee shop, you may establish and construct the café but cannot serve the clients or work as cashier.

  • Finding a business opportunity
  • Business set up and registration
  • Opening a business bank account
  • Hiring an attorney
  • Attend meeting and seminars
  • Consult with business associates
  • Negotiate a contract
  • Lease an office or workplace
  • Hire US employees

The E-1 visa is for residents of countries that have substantial trade with the United States. The amount of trade has to justify employment for a large number of people in the United States. Also, it should represent the majority of trade interests.

The E-2 visa is for investors who buy at least 50 percent ownership of a United States company.

One of the main risks of E2 visa is that investor must have majority shares in the business and majority portion of investment required for the establishment or business acquisition must be invested and at risk prior to application submission. Adding funds in a business bank account isn’t enough to prove commitment in the operation of the business which means in case of an application refusal, investor might not recover full portion of the invested capital.

Second major risk, business has to proof its marginality and performance during the existence as this is a major condition on the renewal part.

One more of the small intensity disadvantage is that investor cannot work in any business out of his E2 business unless he obtains a special permission from USCIS.

  • Personal income with income proof
  • Business loan secured by applicant’s assets
  • Unsecured business loan with investor’s signature
  • Amount received from the sale of property or assets with sales proof
  • Inherited money
  • Gift money

Not necessarily. You can enter into a Purchase Agreement that states that the actual closing of the sale will be contingent upon approval of your E-2 Treaty Investor’s visa while the purchase amount is put into an escrow account. This helps to show that the investment funds are being put at risk and actively invested.

E-2 is beneficial in the way that we can renew it and extend it for a period. E-2 company, and E-2 investor is not bound to the limitations that how many times renovation of E-2 is done. But one thing that must be in mind is that the E-2 company must be fulfilling all the requirements of an E-2 visa. 

There are two different types of E2 visa processing;

  1. E2 visa at a US Consulate at the country of your lawful residence (Consular Processing).
  2. Change status to E2 visa status while lawfully present in the United States (Change of Status)

Visa: A visa is an entry document that allows foreign nationals to seek entry to the United States. Visas are placed in a foreign national passport at a US Consulate abroad.

Status: A foreign national is given status at the port of entry to the United States. Status gives you the ability to be lawfully present in the United States.

A visa can be valid for up to 10 years, but that doesn’t mean that you can be present in the United States for entire 10 years. The validity period of a visa determines the timeframe that you can seek entry into the US at a United States port of entry while your status determines how long you are authorized to stay in the United States. The length of time you are allowed to stay in the US will be written in your Form I-94 which is stapled in your passport.

Once you leave the United States, you no longer have the status you previously held (even if there is still time remaining on your Form I-94). There are certain limited exceptions to this though.

Consular Processing

Consular processing is the process of actually getting an E2 visa affixed to your passport. Typically, you will elect to get an E2 visa if you are outside of the US or if you plan to travel in and out of the US once you receive your E2 visa. For consular processing you need to prepare & submit the E2 documents along with visa application form called as DS160 to the respective US consulate.

Once reviewed, the consulate will set up an interview with you. At the interview, you may be asked questions about the E2 investment, the source of your investment funds and other relevant business information. Following the interview, once approved the consulate will stamp the visa in your passport.

Change of Status

If you are already present in the United States in a lawful non-immigrant status, you may choose to change your status to E2 status. The entire change of status process is done while you are in the US. You do not have to leave the US or attend an interview. To change your status, you will be required to submit the completed E2 petition to USCIS.

Keep in mind that if you change status to E2 status, once you leave the United States, you will no longer have status. To re-enter the US, you will have to get an E2 visa at a US Consulate abroad. US Consulates do not base their decision on a prior approved E2 Change of Status from USCIS. So, you will be applying all over again for an E-2 visa at the consulate. You will have to re-submit the documents proving that you meet the E2 requirements.

Description of How This Works by giving an Example

 Most of the countries provide 5 years validity of it with multiple entries in a country. This signifies that the bearer of an E2 visa may enter the country (USA) for a duration of 5 years. Multiple entries signify that the E2 visa holder can enter the United States multiple times. If the visa notifies the “single entry” it means that only E2 visa holders can enter for a single time in the country. As, it is not limited that the holder of a 5-year E2 visa, will stay in the United States continuously for 5 years. A person entering the USA with an E-2 visa will be granted 2 years of E2 status. It implies that E-2 visa holders can stay in the country for up to 2 years of period.

There are two options for E2 visa holders before the completion of the 2-year period either

  • Leave the country and then re-entering the state with a valid visa or
  • you can file the ‘’extension of status ‘’ application.


A non-US citizen may get an E2 visa through employment with an E2 business enterprise. There are generally 3 classes of employees that can get an E2 visa:

  1. Executive Employees
  2. Supervisory Employees
  3. Employees with Special Skills that are Essential to the E2 Enterprise

No, they will be able to apply even after you receive your approval. You may have the interviews at the same time, but if they wish to follow you afterwards, separate interviews can be held.

No.  The E-2 Visa can be obtained by either purchasing an existing business or creating a new business in the United States and the business must be an “active” business.  This excludes passive investments like real estate or owning stock.

You must be able to show that you have maintained the terms and conditions of your E-2 status; and that you have been physically present in the United States at the time of filing the application for extension of stay.

While it’s not a mandatory requirement but since like most Immigration law, the E-2 regulations are complicated, and you must demonstrate to immigration officials that you have met all of the legal elements.  In addition, the documentation requirements for an E-2 Visa are quite extensive and a legal brief must be written linking all of the elements of the Statute to your case, so hiring a qualified immigration attorney at law is an essential part of your E2 journey.

The citizenship of the country determines how long the E-2 visa is valid. Every country has its own terms and conditions for visa


Jordan: The E2 visa holder for the country Jordan is allowed to enter the USA within 3 months of the period. And it is a single-entry visa. It means that the E-2 visa holder from Jordan can enter the USA 1 time and entry must be within the 3 months of receiving the E2 visa (within the validity period). Once they enter the US, they will be given the status of 2 years for the E-2 visa.


Italy: On the other hand, if we consider the E2 visa from Italy as a multiple-entry visa with a 60-month validity period. This suggests that someone having an E2 visa from Italy can enter the United States repeatedly using their E2 visa. They are also allowed to stay in the country for up to 5-years. Upon every entry into the US using their E2 visa, they receive E2 status for up to 2 years.

By visiting the U.S. Department of State website and clicking the U.S. Visa Reciprocity link, you can determine the E2 visa requirements for your nation:


E2 visa approval is linked with the business plan you have submitted at the time of the application. If for any reason you want to switch from your initially presented business, then you may need to obtain approval from USCIS.

E2 is a Non-Immigrant visa and doesn’t lead to Green Card on its own.

Initial visa will be issued for 2 years and can be renewed for every 5 years subsequently for indefinite time. However, in order to qualify for a green card, you might need to qualify for a separate immigration procedure.

Following are some of the options to qualify for a green card program;

  1. EB-5 Green Card – one of the best routes towards the green card is to qualify for EB5 as most of the E2 requirements including the investment amount and job creation can be counted towards the EB5 contribution.
  2. Family Based – your US citizen close family members can sponsor your green card petition.
  3. Spousal – You may qualify for a green card if you enter into a legitimate marriage with a US citizen.
  4. Employment Based – You may qualify for a green card if a US company offers you a job and sponsors your green card.
  5. EB-1A – The EB-1A visa is for people with “extraordinary ability.”
  6. EB-1C – The EB-1C visa is for people considered as “multinational managers and executives.”
  7. EB-2 – NIW – With a National Interest Waiver, you can apply for an EB-2 visa without a US company sponsor.

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