Individuals in the United States who are looking to invest into a business may apply for an Investor Visa, which is also known as an E2 Visa. Some common questions that are asked are the following:
- What type of business does it have to be?
Answer: Immigration laws do not require a specific type of business. So, the type of business is entirely up to the individual. It can be a pizzeria, restaurant, barbershop,grocery, food distributorship, or in the field of transportation.
- How much do I need to invest?
Answer: Again, Immigration laws do not require a specific amount of monetary investment. All that is required is that the investment is “substantial”. What does “substantial” mean? There is no clear definition. As long as the investment is enough to support the successful operation of the business, it should qualify. I have had cases where a $20,000 investment was sufficient because we were able to prove that this was the initial investment and that the investor had the experience and skills to grow the business into something much larger.
- Do I have to invest all the money before I file for the Visa?
Answer: This is a great question. The simple answer is no. However, Immigration will want to see that your funds are available and ready for investment, and that all issues pertaining to the investment have been resolved and are ready to go forward but for you getting the visa. So, what this essentially means is that you have all the money in the bank account and that all the contracts related to starting the business have been fully negotiated. The contracts do not need to have been signed. All that is required is that you prove to Immigration that everything is ready to go and that once you get the visa, the contracts and investment will be finalized.
- What about my family members?
Answer: If your family members are in the United States with you, they can file with you also and will also receive an E2 Visa. Your spouse will be eligible for work authorization and can work anywhere the spouse wishes to work. If your family members are outside the United States, they should qualify to enter the United States with an E2 Visa.