Our E-2 visa immigration clients often as this question during the initial E-2 visa consultation. As the E-2 treaty investor visa is premised on an individual entering the U.S. or being transfered to the U.S. to operate or work with a business that was established via capital investment this is a valid and worthwhile question to answer in this blog post.
The E-2 visa regulations and the Department of State discuss the substantiality of the E-2 visa capital investment amount. Although it is not clearly laid out as it was in the past with specific dollar amounts, what is apparent is that a proportionality test is used to determine if an investment is satisfactory.
This proportionality E-2 capital investment test is premised on the idea that different E-2 businesses, in different industries will require different levels of funding to be able to adequately operate and support the E-2 business. Some of the factors that are considered in E-2 investment sums are how much money is needed to make initial E-2 business purchases to be able to operate the business. For example, if you are hoping to establish an E2 business that requires trucks for transportation then the E-2 visa business plan and investment amount needs to take these costs into account and be sure to prove enough E-2 investment funds are available.
Additionally, there is a long-term focus placed on E-2 visa applciations as well in the sense that questions will be asked regarding the ‘normal’ amounts considred sufficient to ensure proper operation of the business entitiy. Included in this consideration are issues of salary amounts to support needed employees, marketing costs, lease or peropty ownership costs, and other operating expesenses. The focus with these inquries is to convince the immigration service or the immigration officers at your local consulate that your E-2 visa business has enough capital backing to be successfully developed in the U.S.
Taking this E-2 visa information into account, it is apparent that there is no ‘one-size fits all’ E-2 investment amount. The size and type of business makes a huge difference in considering whether you have enough capital available to place at risk in the U.S. venture and thereby qualify for the E visa.
If your E visa business normally is a rather low cost operation, it will also be expected that the E-2 investor will be able to contribute a larger percentage of the overall needed investment capital up front.