E2 Visa can be used to Buy a Business
The E-2 Investor Visa allows an individual to enter and work inside the United States based on an investment he or she will be controlling, while inside the United States. This visa must generally be renewed every two years, but there is no limit to how many times one can renew. The investment must be “substantial.” We have restaurant and food service businesses that can often qualify for an E-2 Visa. You will need to hire a US Immigration Attorney to ensure that you, as a prospective purchaser, AND the business BOTH meet the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) E-2 Visa requirements.
The E-2 Visa nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
Requirement 1 – As a treaty investor, you must be coming to the United States to invest in a new or existing enterprise.
USCIS defines an E-2 Visa investment as the investor’s placing of capital, including funds and other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. Your investment may be for the purpose of establishing a new business venture, or purchasing a pre-existing business. In either scenario, you must demonstrate that the capital you are investing is substantial.
Requirement 2 – Your investment must be in a bona fide enterprise and may not be marginal.
A bona fide enterprise is one that is a real, active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. The enterprise cannot be an idle investment held for potential appreciation in value, such as undeveloped land or stocks held by an investor who has no intent to direct the enterprise.
A marginal enterprise is one that will not generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for you and your family or to make a significant economic contribution.
Requirement 3 – You must be in possession of the funds you will invest and the funds must be committed to your business.
Generally, you will be using your own cash for a cash purchase of the business.
Requirement 4 – You must be able to provide the source of your funding.
Requirement 5 – You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise.
Generally, you must me a majority owner and plan to owner-operate the business. Yes, you should have the knowledge, skills and experience to operate the business.
USCIS has a list of eligible treaty countries: E2 Treaty Eligible Countries
For more information, please describe your interest. Be sure to tell us a) languages which you speak, b) your home country and c) if you have hired a US immigration attorney.