Summary on E-2 Investor and L-1 Intercompany Transfer Visas

By Sabine Weyergraf –


The E-2 Investor Visa requires a minimum investment of $100,000 which must be invested before the application can be filed with the Embassy. However, funds in escrow are considered an investment and qualify. Funds in escrow can be prepaid rent or the purchase price for an existing business.


Property management companies for long and short term rentals as well as “flipping” houses can qualify for an E-2 visa. In these cases, the applicant must prove that the home will not be a personal residence and that the investment creates direct employment. In the long term, the application must show at least four part-time W-2 employees or, as an alternative, two W-2 employees and four 1099s is also acceptable.


The purchase of commercial property or an established business also qualifies for an E-2 Investor Visa. To qualify, the business must be a profitable business that creates employment opportunities. The business is not required to have employees at the time of purchase, but it is beneficial to show current employees.


The E-2 will be issued between 2-5 years and can be renewed for 5 year intervals. Spouses of E-2 visa holders can apply for a general work authorization and receive a Social Security Number (SSN).


Children are included in the parent’s visa until they turn 21. It is extremely important to change their status before they turn 21. Otherwise, they will be illegal in the US. If they are in college, they can apply for an F-1 student visa which is the best option for them.


Children of E-2 visa holders who are over 21 and have completed an educational program relevant to the business can be hired and receive their own E-2 worker visa.


E-2 visa holders can bring in employees from their home country very easily.


Another type of entrepreneur visa is the L-1 Intercompany Transfer Visa. This visa requires that a foreign company transfers a manager to the US to establish a new business. The manager can be the business owner. The applicant must have been employed for one year at the foreign company before transferring to the US.  Typically, successful applications require the foreign company to have at least eight or more employees.


There is no minimum investment; however, the US company must to be ready for business.


The L-1 visa for a new business is only issued for one year. However, it is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who do not want to make the initial investment of $100,000. The L-1 visa allows the business one full year to strengthen its sales and profits. Then the applicant can present a much stronger E-2 visa application to the Embassy. It is highly likely L-1 visa applicants will need to switch to an E-2 Investor visa after one year. Requirements for a successful L-1 extension application are so stringent that is almost impossible for small and midsize companies to fulfill them.


As long as the foreign business exists and the US business is doing well with about 10 part-time or full-time employees, it is possible to apply for the multinational manager green card. It does not matter if the person is in L-1 or E-2 status in the US.  The key to this type of green card is that the foreign company still exists.


The L-1 spouse can also apply for work authorization. Children are included until age 21.



By Guest Contributor Sabine Weyergraf

Sabine Weyergraf is the founding partner and New York licensed attorney practicing solely immigration law with Weyergraf Immigration, PA in Sarasota, Florida.

Contact: 941-706-4102,


This article is provided for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.


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