International Visa

The business listings we have may be suitable to enable an E-2 Investor Visa or an EB-5 Alien Entrepreneur visa application for fast immigration to the United States. Brenda the Broker is affiliated with some of the finest immigration attorneys to acquire U.S. immigration status. Brenda the Broker has helped many of foreign nationals to immigrate to the United States by purchasing a U.S. business.

What is EB-5 Investor Green Card?

Permanent resident status based on EB-5 eligibility is available to investors, either alone or coming with their spouse and unmarried children. Eligible foreign nationals are those who have invested, or are actively in the process of investing, the required amount of capital into a new commercial enterprise that they have established. They must further demonstrate that this investment will benefit the U.S. economy and create the requisite number of full-time jobs for qualified persons within the U.S.

What is E-2 treaty investor visa?

The E-2 treaty investor visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter into the U.S. and carry out investment and trade activities. Investment activities include purchase of an existing business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.

What is a ‘substantial investment’?

An investment of at least $200,000 is considered substantial. However, it is not fixed and there are consulates who may accept as low as $100,000, while a few demand as much as $500,000. These figures are not the regulations of the USCIS, but they reflect our experience in similar applications over the years. If the investment becomes equal or greater than $500,000, you may be eligible to petition for permanent immigration status “Green card” via an EB-5 Visa application.

What do I need to invest?

While there is no minimum amount, the investment must be sufficient to establish, or purchase, a viable business. It is currently difficult to make a qualifying investment with less than $100,000 to $150,000, but it may be possible. Usually the larger the investment, the more profitable the business, the stronger the case. Note that for small businesses, you will be expected to have invested the great majority of the purchase price in cash.

How long can I stay in the US on investor visa?

You may stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited five-year visa extensions or two-year status extensions as long as you maintain E-2 qualifications. There is no limit on the number of extensions you can take.

What is the processing time for E2 visas?

The processing time for E2 visas is generally four weeks from the filing of the application; this may vary depending upon the work load in the U.S. Consulate you choose to apply. However, it may take significantly longer in some Consular posts (In particular the United Kingdom, where 8 to 10 weeks is not unusual.

What happens if I later sell my business?

If you sell the business without previously buying another qualifying business, you are no longer eligible to remain in E-2 status. You must either leave the States, or apply to change to a different status, for which you do qualify.

Can I apply for Green Card while on E-2 visa?

Yes, you may apply for Green Card while in the U.S. through the following options, and subject to meeting all USCIS requirements.

Countries with Treaties for E-2 Visas

Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Rep. of the), Congo (Rep.), (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldavia, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russian Fed., Senegal, Serbia Montenegra, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia, Wallis & Futura Islands, Western Sahara

The E-2 Visa

To qualify for an E-2 investor visa, the applicant must “develop and direct operations of an enterprise in which he or she has invested or is actively in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital.” As a foreign citizen, you may be issued an E-2 nonimmigrant visa if all of the following requirements are met:

(a) You or the firm are TFNs (at least 50% of the company stock is owned by TFNs)

(b) You or the firm for which you work will invest or have invested substantial capital (generally in excess of $100,000) which is at risk, meaning subject to potential loss if the business does not succeed, in a bona fide enterprise in the United States. The term “substantial” means:

(i) The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment (usually more than half of the value of the business), or

(ii) An amount normally considered necessary to establish a new business.

(c) You engage in executive or managerial duties or possess special skills that make your services essential to the employer’s operations.

(i) An executive position provides the employee great authority to determine the policy of and direction for the business or a major component of the business. The executive functions must be the primary functions of the employee, and not just incidental or collateral to other duties.

(ii) A supervisory position grants the employee ultimate control and responsibility for a large proportion of the enterprise’s operations or a major component of the enterprise. It does not involve the supervision of low-level employees. The supervisory element of the employee’s position must be a principal and primary function, and not an incidental or collateral function.

(iii) The essential nature of an alien’s “special skills” is determined by assessing the degree of proven expertise of the alien in the area of specialization, the uniqueness of the specific skills, the length of experience and training with the firm, the period of training needed to perform the contemplated duties, and the salary the special expertise commands. The consular officer must be convinced that the nature of the prospective employment is such that the alien’s eventual replacement by a U.S. worker is not feasible or that the employer is making reasonable and good-faith efforts to recruit and/or train U.S. workers to perform the job.

(d) The investment is not marginal (not your sole means of support and/or the goal of the investment is to create jobs for U.S. citizens or permanent residents)

(e) The investment enterprise actually exists or you are actively in the process of investing

(f) You confirm you will leave the United States upon termination of this status.

How To Apply

Trader and investor visas must be applied for at a U.S. consulate with a visa application.

An interview is conducted by a U.S. consul who is well versed in the rules and regulations pertaining to E visas. For the correct forms and the time for adjudication of your E visa application, check with the U.S. consulate where you intend to apply.

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Brenda Bernhard Los Angeles Business BrokerBrenda Bernhard, Brenda the Broker, is a Los Angeles Certified Business Broker (CBB) with years of experience in business buying, business selling, and business consulting services. Brenda the Broker is based in Los Angeles and helps clients with businesses for sale locally, nationally, and globally. If you're looking to buy or sell a business, contact Brenda today!  |  Learn More

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