Five Surprising Facts About E-2 Visas

Diversity and Inclusion in franchising

E-2 Visas Allow International Investors to Achieve the American Dream of Business Ownership

One of the benefits of living in America is the abundance of business opportunities that are available to entrepreneurs. The quintessential American Dream is owning a business to provide for yourself and your family. To allow international investors to get their piece of this dream, the U.S.federal government created E-2 Visas. These non-immigrant, or non-permanent, visas allow investors from 82 treaty countries to work in the U.S. for a company that they are invested in. 

Additionally, these visas are also available to the spouse and minor, unmarried children of these entrepreneurs, who can accompany them to the U.S. As an indelible part of the U.S. economy, E-2 Visa holders are responsible for creating jobs and contributing to economic activity, so the U.S. government would be doing a disservice to the country if it ever got rid of this program. Here are five surprising facts about E-2 Visas:

E-2 Visas Aren’t Connected to U.S. Citizenship 

E-2 Visas are non-immigrant visas, meaning that they aren’t permanent or connected to U.S. citizenship. Unlike Green Cards, the E-2 Visa doesn’t allow you to live and work permanently in the U.S.

You Can Renew Your E-2 Visa an Unlimited Amount of Times 

One of the benefits of an E-2 Visa is that it can be renewed in two to five year intervals an unlimited amount of times. The time frame that you can stay in the U.S. depends on the treaty country you are from. For example, Canadians who qualify for the E-2 Visa get five years to run the business before they have to renew it, while Australians get four years.

There is No Minimum E-2 Visa Investment Requirement

As an international investor looking to obtain an E-2 Visa, your primary responsibility is to invest in a qualifying business  and provide jobs to the American people. But what is the minimum E-2 Visa investment requirement?  Legally speaking, there is no minimum amount that you need to invest in order to qualify for this visa. But, according to experts, like Bobby Chung, an immigration attorney with the Law Office of Bobby C. Chung, the more you can invest, the better. 

For example, while $100,000 is a fine investment, the immigration officer working on your case will have more confidence in the success of your company if you have $150,000 or more to invest.

Emerging Brands are More Likely to Work with E-2 Visa Investors

Chung also suggests that international investors should focus on looking into emerging brands and not nationally established brands like McDonald’s and Subway. These larger brands are not lacking for American investors, so E-2 Visa friendly emerging brands will be more likely to be motivated to accept your visa. You also have to have an exit plan to leave the country when your business is done.     

You Must Be in the Process of Investing in a Qualifying Business

SImilar to the minimum required investment to qualify for an E-2 Visa, the definition of a qualifying business is ambiguous. International investors must invest in a new or existing business that has a physical location, such as an office or storefront. Home-based businesses aren’t an option. You also must play a pivotal role in determining the direction of the business. This can be achieved through at least 50% ownership in the business or a managerial role with important skills. 

Working with a Franchise Consultant

To find out if franchising is right for you and what franchise opportunity fits you best, seek the help of a franchise consultant. These professionals can help you find your ideal franchise based on your financial background, skills, goals and more.

Franchises are popular with E-2 Visa holders because they provide a successful working system to follow. They also require projection costs, which can help you determine how much money you need to invest. As an E-2 Visa holder, not only are you creating great jobs for Americans, but you are also providing for yourself and your family.

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Haley Cafarella is a passionate journalist and writer for IFPG. In her role as content and marketing specialist, she creates original articles for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine. Her specialties include educational articles about buying a franchise and franchise consulting. She also reports on franchise professionals who were recently promoted or hired through FranchiseWire’s popular HireWire series.

Haley has contributed to a variety of regional publications, including Quo Vadis, New Brunswick Today, and the Trenton Monitor. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Rutgers University.
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