By Michael Monnot – www.InfinityBusinessBrokers.com
Here are the most common questions about the E2 Visa and the answer to each:
What is an E-2 Visa?
The E2 Visa is a nonimmigrant Visa that allows a foreign national to come (with their spouse and children) to live and work in the United States by buying a business that qualifies for the E2 Visa.
Who is eligible for the E2 Visa?
Any foreign national who comes from a country that has a treaty with the United States could be eligible for the E2 Visa. The list of treaty countries can be found here: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/fees/treaty.html
Is this the Visa where you need $1,000,000 (1 million dollars) and you have to hire 10 people in order to qualify?
No, those are the qualifications for the EB-5 Visa. The E2 Visa does not have a minimum investment amount or a specific number of required employees.
How much money do I need to buy an E2 qualified business in the United States?
In most cases, you will need between $80,000 and $120,000 to invest in a business in order to qualify for the E2 Visa, but there are exceptions. You will need to ask an experienced and qualified Business Broker about the amount of money you will need to invest.
What kinds of businesses qualify for the E2 Visa?
Many types of businesses across many industries could potentially qualify for the E2 Visa. Ask your Business Broker if the type of business you are interested in purchasing would qualify or for businesses currently for sale that already qualify for the E2 Visa.
If I already have a B1/B2 Tourist Visa, can I apply for the E2 Visa?
Yes, you can apply for the E2 Visa while in the United States. If you already have the B1/B2 Tourist Visa, the approval of your E2 application can come in as little as two weeks and there is no required meeting at the consulate. However, an E2 Visa acquired in this method is only good for two years and if you wish to leave the United Sates in that time you will have to pick up a new Visa to return.
I have a family and I want to buy a business in the United States, can I bring my family with me?
Yes. When you are approved for an E2 Visa, your spouse and any children who are under the age of 21 can be granted derivative E2 Visas that will allow them to move with you to the United States.
If the E2 Visa only covers children under the age of 21, what happens when my child turns 21? Do they have to leave the United States?
Once your children turn 21 they will not be able to stay in the United States under your E2 Visa. If they would like to stay in the U.S., they have a few options. If they are attending a college or university, they could apply for their own student F1 Visa. They could also apply for the H1B Visa if they were able to find employment from a U.S. employer. A third option is for your children to buy a business, and by doing so, secure their own E2 Visa.
Will my spouse be able to work once we move to the United States?
Yes. If your spouse is in the United States on a derivative E2 Visa, they will need to apply for work authorization. Ask your Immigration Attorney for help with obtaining work authorization. Once your spouse has work authorization they can work in your business or anywhere else.
Can my children work or go to school in the United States?
Your children under the age of 21 who are in the United States under a derivative E2 Visa can attend school, but will not be able to get work authorization.
Do I have to come to the United States before I buy a business?
No, but you should. It would be very difficult to choose between businesses you’ve never seen and areas you’ve never visited. You should see the business, meet the sellers, look for schools for your children, look at homes to live in, etc.
How do I apply for the E2 Visa?
Visit our Start Here page to see a detailed explanation of the E2 Visa process. You will first need an experienced and qualified Business Broker and an Immigration Attorney to help you. You and your Business Broker will find a business that suits your goals, and then make an Offer to Purchase to buy that business. Once you and the seller of the business agree to purchase terms, your Immigration Attorney will package your Visa and send it to the consulate for review. You will have an interview at the U.S. consulate in your home country, and after your Visa is approved you will return to the United States to close on the business.
What are the keys to a successful E2 Visa application?
One of the keys to a successful application is knowing the specialties of your particular consulate. The regulations are the same for every U.S. consulate, but each one has specific items they look for. It also helps if you can show job creation and how your qualifications will mean a successful business operation.
How long does it take to get an E2 Visa?
The amount of time it takes to get a Visa depends on which consulate you are working with. Time frames typically range from three weeks to three months. Ask your Business Broker and Immigration Attorney about the timeframe for your specific circumstance.
What happens if the consulate does not approve my Visa?
If the consulate denies your application, they will give you the reasons why. You should immediately contact your Immigration Attorney if this happens.
How long can I stay in the United States with an E2 Visa?
As long as you maintain the qualifications for your E2 Visa, you can stay in the United States via unlimited five year Visa extensions or unlimited two year status extensions.
How do I renew my E2 Visa?
You should contact your Immigration Attorney long before your Visa expires. They will be able to assist you with the renewal process.
Don’t see your question here? Please leave us a comment or question below and we would be happy to get you the answers you need.
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