Filing for an E-2 Immigration Visa? You Should be Aware of These Associated Risks

By: Salma Benkabbou, Esq.

The Millennial Business Lawyer®

E-2 Immigration Visa

Are you considering applying for a visa after investing in the US? Applying for an E-2 Immigration visa to the United States can be a great option. E-2 visas allow immigrants from treaty countries to apply for a visa after investing substantial capital in a U.S. business. However, if you are applying for the visa, it is essential that you qualify for a visa. In some cases, immigrants receive the initial E-2 visa, yet, when they apply for a renewal of the visa, immigration officials deny their application. One of the most common mistakes E-2 visa holders make is failing to purchase a viable business. 

Ensure You are Purchasing a Viable Business to Secure your E-2 Immigration Visa

In order to secure the visa an applicant must have invested, or be actively in the process of investing substantial capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. Not every business qualifies as a bona fide enterprise. Instead, a bona fide enterprise is a “real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking.” The business must produce goods or services for profit. 

Additionally, the business must meet all legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction. For example, if the business is located in Tampa, Florida, the business must meet all applicable laws and regulations required by the state of Florida. The business cannot be a marginal enterprise. A marginal enterprise must have the present or future capacity to generate enough income to provide a minimum living income for the investor and his or her family. 

E-2 Immigration Visa

Applying for Renewal of Your E-2 Immigration Visa

After receiving your visa, an immigrant can stay for an initial two-year period. Immigration officials can grant extensions of E-2 visas for up to two years. As long as the immigrant has the intention to depart the U.S. when the E-2 visa expires, he or she can continue to receive two-year extensions with no limit. 

Immigration officials do not apply the same level of scrutiny for E-2 applicants as they do to immigrants who are applying for a visa renewal. When immigrants apply for an E-2 visa, the immigrant can be in the process of investing capital into a qualifying business. However, by the time an immigrant applies for a renewal, immigration officials expect to see proof that the business is producing a profit. 

The Business Must Become Profitable 

When an immigrant applies for an E-2 immigration visa by investing in a new enterprise, the enterprise does not need to be profitable. However, the enterprise must have the capacity to generate a profit and enough income for the investors to live on within five years of the date that the investor’s E-2 visa begins.

Our E-2 Visa Lawyers can Help 
If you are applying for an E-2 immigration visa or for an E-2 visa renewal, our lawyers can help. This exclusive visa is not for everyone and the requirements for applying or renewing are very strenuous, and should be taken seriously. At The Benkabbou Law Firm, PLLC, our lawyers can help you understand the entire process. We will help you invest in a viable business to increase your chances of renewal. Contact our immigration law firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn about the risks of filing for your visa and how we can help you avoid any missteps.