E2 Visa Frequently Asked Questions
What are the documents that the US embassy will require with my E2 visa application?
An experienced immigration attorney will provide a complete list, but some required documents are:
- Passport or any other document to confirm your nationality
- Documents to inform the legal formation of your company
- Various invoices and contracts that help prove the funds have been invested
- Business plan (usually developed through immigration attorney)
What is the difference between the E2 visa and the Green Card?
The green card or permanent resident card is an ID for non-American residents that allows immigrants to live and work in the United States indefinitely. The difference is that while a green card can be obtained by finding a job, getting married, or making a very sizable investment, the E2 visa is only connected to a more modest investment under certain conditions such as creating jobs and transferring the funds from abroad.
Should I pay a fee to receive information on franchising?
You should not. While some advisers charge you for their Franchise Consulting Services, at Franocity we do not charge any fee. We will provide all the information needed and will help find the best business for you.
Is it true that most investment visas require at least 1 million USD?
No, the majority of the investment visas from the U.S. such as the E2 visa can be achieved with approximately $100,000/$150,000 USD. Some expert advisors confirm that $80,000 USD may be enough since the decision of the embassy is also related to the type of business the investor decides to develop.
Is there a limit for the E2 visa extension? Am I allowed to renew the visa many times for a long period of time?
The E2 visa is very flexible. As long as you maintain the business running under the same requirements, there is no limit to the number of times it may be renewed. You may also travel in and out of the US often and the US government is typically very flexible with the amount of time that you spend abroad.
What if my country does not have good relations with the U.S? Can this affect the approval of my E2 visa application?
No, if you hire an experienced immigration attorney who knows exactly what is required and walks with you through the whole process, it is unlikely that your application will be rejected as long as your country is included in the Treaty of Commerce with the United States. Remember that the E2 visa has a very high approval rate compared to other types of visas.
What happens if I get my E2 visa approved but after 2 years I decide to sell the business? Will I be in trouble with the US authorities?
Not necessarily. You can keep your visa if you reinvest your funds into an approved new franchise at the same time you are selling your business. In that case, your visa status will not change.
If I already live in the US and have already started my business, can I apply for the E2 visa in the United States?
Yes, you can apply for an E2 visa requesting a "change of status" by filing your case in the U.S Citizenship Immigration Services (USCIS) if you do not want to travel to your home country. However, you are typically afforded more flexible travel options if you apply at the U.S Embassy or Consulate in your country of foreign residence.
What does the expression "put the money at risk" really means? Will I lose my money if my E2 visa is rejected?
The money should be at risk, invested, subject to a partial or total loss like in any business operation. The investor should have the business entity operating or significantly ready for operation, should have invested the money in the renovation, or in any goods such as inventory, equipment, vehicles or made other purchases that indicate that the business is ready to successfully operate.
Does the US collect taxes for transferring my funds and starting my company?
No, the US government applies taxes on the profits that your investment produces but not on the investment itself. When you transfer funds to start the business to a US bank account, no taxation from the US will occur.
What if my franchise is not successful?
It is not something that is likely to happen if you receive the appropriate advice. Industry reports show that 90% of new franchise investments are still open after 10 years.
As an investor, am I obligated to hire my employees before applying for the E2 visa? Is there a minimum of "real jobs" needed to be created to have the visa approved?
No. It is not mandatory as the E2 visa does not stipulate a job creation amount, but most attorneys recommend creating at least 2 jobs.
How should I proceed if I hold dual nationality from a country that is on the E2 visa list but is not the country where I live?
As many Latin-American citizens have European passports, they can apply for the E2 visa with the second nationality if the first one is not a Treaty of Commerce country. In this case, the investor should travel to the country in which he has dual citizenship and complete the application at the U.S embassy in that country. For example, as Brazil is not a treaty country, many Brazilians request an E2 visa in Spain or Italy using their Spanish or Italian passport.