San Antonio E2 Visa Lawyer
E2 Visa for Investors
The E2 Visa is a US investor visa for people investing in their own business in the United States. Investing includes starting a new business or purchasing an existing business. To qualify, your country of nationality must be on the List of E2 Visa Countries (countries that have a trade treaty with the US). It is recommended that E2 Visa applicants invest a minimum that is between $50,000 USD and $100,000 USD. Our immigration lawyers are knowledgeable on the E2 investor visa and its requirements.
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San Antonio E2 Visa Attorney
The major benefits the E2 Visa offers are:
1. Live in the USA
With the E2 visa you and your immediate family will be able to legally live in the USA. Your immediate family includes your spouse and your unmarried children under the age of 21.
2. Work in the USA
You will be authorized to legally work in the USA. Your spouse will also be eligible to get a work permit. Your spouse’s work permit allows your spouse to legally work for any employer in the USA.
3. Public Education
Your children will have access to schools in the USA and be able to attend classes from Pre-K to high school.
Your children that have already graduated from high school will be able to attend universities in the US without a Student Visa.
5. Social Security Number
You and your spouse will be able to get Social Security Numbers.
6. Driver’s License
You and your spouse will be eligible to apply for a State Driver’s License in the state you live in.
The E2 Visa has 4 general requirements:
1. Invest in a business in the US
You must invest in starting a new business. You may also buy an existing business in the USA. We recommend you invest a minimum between $50,000 USD and $100,000 USD. What the law requires, is that you invest the amount required to be successful in your business. In other words, the minimum required investment varies depending on the size of the business you choose to invest in.
2. Create Jobs
It is recommended that your investment create jobs for US workers. We recommend that your E2 investment create a minimum of 1 to 3 jobs. Part time positions and independent contractors can be fine. To determine if the jobs you plan to create make the E2 investor visa viable, the best thing to do is to discuss your case with our immigration attorney.
3. The investment must be “active”
You must invest in a business that is considered an “active” business, as opposed to an “inactive” business. An “active” business is one that has expenses, income, and can create jobs. Examples of “active” business: (1) a restaurant, (2) landscape company, (3) cleaning service company, (4) home remodeling company, etc. Examples of “passive” investments that do not qualify for the E2 visa: (1) investing in the stock market, (2) a bank investment account, (3) buying a vacation home for personal use.
4. E2 Visa Country List
To get an E2 investor visa, your country of nationality must appear on the E2 Visa Country List. To be on this list, your country must have signed a trade treaty with the US.
The E2 Visa application is a simple process: The E2 Visa application is prepared, then it is presented at a US Consulate outside of the US, usually in the applicant’s country of nationality. Then the US Consulate interviews the E2 applicant. When the Consulate determines that the E2 Visa requirements have been met, the visa is issued after the interview.
The E2 Visa application process is:
Step 1 – E2 Document Checklist
Once you hire our law firm, our immigration lawyer will prepare a very specific checklist of the documents needed to prepare your E2 Visa application. This checklist is the most important part of the investor visa application, because it lays out exactly what will be needed to apply for the Green Card.
Step 2 – E2 Visa Application
Once we have received your documents, the immigration attorney will prepare your E2 Visa application. When your application is ready, we will schedule the E2 Visa interview for the investor and immediate family, if any.
Step 3 – E2 Visa Interview at US Consulate
The final step of the application process is the E2 Visa Interview. This interview is done at a US Embassy/Consulate outside of the US, usually in the applicant’s country of nationality. Prior to this interview, our immigration attorney will prepare you for the E2 interview. The interview preparation includes a detailed discussion of the types of questions that you can expect during the E2 Interview.
When the US Consulate determines that you meet the E2 requirements, your visa is issued shortly after the interview.
Generally, the E2 Visa can be issued for up to 5 years at a time. It can also be renewed in increments of up to 5 years. More importantly, there is no limit to the number of times the E2 Investor Visa can be renewed. This means that you can live in the US the rest of your life with this visa. To renew the visa, your E2 business must continue to operate successfully. In other words, you must continue to stimulate the US economy to renew the E2 Visa.
1. What is the E2 Visa?
The E2 Visa is a US investor visa that allows people to enter the US to invest in their own business. Investing includes starting a new business or purchasing an existing business. To qualify, your country of nationality must be on the List of E2 Visa Countries (countries that have signed a trade treaty with the US). It is recommended that E2 Visa applicants invest a minimum between $50,000 USD and $100,000 USD.
2. Who can qualify for E2 Visa?
To qualify for an E2 Visa you should start by meeting 4 general requirements: (1) you must invest in a business in the US; (2) your investment should be able to create jobs in the US; (3) your investment should be in an active business which means that the business should have income, expenses and the ability to create jobs; and (4) your country of nationality must be on the E2 Visa Country List. Furthermore, the business must share the same nationality as the E2 applicant. In other words, citizens of the applicant’s country of nationality must own at least 50% of the business. Additionally, the E2 Visa is not just for the investor. It is also for the employees of the investor who have the same nationality as investor and are coming to the US to work as executives, managers or in a position that requires specialized skills.
3. How much do I have to invest for the E2 Visa?
The E2 Visa law is flexible and adaptable to big and small businesses alike. The law only requires that you invest a substantial amount that is big enough for the US business to be successful. The immigration attorney in our office recommends that the E2 investment be a minimum between $50,000 and $100,000 USD. An ideal amount would be at least $100,000 USD. These recommendations are based on our vast experience with E2 visa applications over the years.
4. Can I apply for an extension of stay on the E2 visa?
Yes, with the E2 Visa you may apply to extend your stay right here in the USA. In other words, when your E2 status is about to expire, you can avoid applying for the E2 visa in your home country by having our immigration lawyer request that your E2 status be extended while you are present in the USA. This process is done by mail and does not require an interview.
5. Can I apply to change my status when on E2 Investor Visa?
Yes, you may change your status while on the E2. For example, it is not uncommon for people on the E2 Visa to change their status to the H1B or the L1A. If you plan to change your E2 status, it is important that you plan a suitable timeline for this process with our immigration attorney.
6. Can I continue my education on the E2 visa?
Yes, the E2 visa allows you to study in the US, as long as you limit your studies to part time enrollment so that you may continue to focus on your E2 employment.
7. Can my spouse and kids also get the E2 visa?
Yes, when you get the E2 visa, your spouse and kids who are under 21 years old and unmarried, also qualify for the E2 visa.
8. Will my wife and kids be authorized to work in the US with E2 visa?
Your spouse yes, but your kids no. Spouses may apply for Employment Authorization once they have the E1 visa in hand. The Employment Authorization document will allow the spouse to work for any employer in the US. Kids, on the other hand, are not authorized to work in the US with the E2 Visa.
9. How long does it take to process the E2 visa?
Once your E2 visa application is ready, it takes anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks on the average to process an E2. The timeline varies depending on how busy your US Consulate is. Also, the US Consulates in some countries process the E2 Visa faster than others.
10. While I am on the E2 Visa, can I apply for a Green Card?
Yes, you can apply for a Green Card while you are on the E2 Visa. Some of the most common E1 Visa to Green Card options include (1) Green Card via a close relative who is a US Citizen or Permanent Residents, (2) Green Card via an employer who applies for your Green Card via the Labor Certification process, and a (3) Green Card via an employer who applies for your Green Card via the Multinational Executive/Manager process.
11. Should I invest before the E2 Visa is issued?
Generally yes, you invest before applying for the E2 Visa. But there are exceptions. It is highly recommended that you begin working with our immigration attorney before you invest so that you may be guided on the best way to structure your business for E2 Visa purposes.
12. I want to invest a business that requires $20,000 USD to start-up. Can I still apply for an E2 Visa?
If you are investing in a business that only requires $20,000 USD to start-up, then our immigration lawyers are going to recommend that you invest in a bigger business where you can invest at least $50,000 USD. Investing $20,000 USD can be a problem because your business should be able to create jobs in the US. This job requirement is harder to meet when the investment amount is below $50,000 USD. Therefore, investing a minimum of $50,000 to $100,000 USD is recommended for the E2 Visa.
For more information Contact Our San Antonio E2 Visa Lawyer
If you would like to set up a consultation with an immigration lawyer to discuss the time, costs and other requirements associated with an E2 Visa application, please call (210) 858-9681.