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Annandale E-2 Visa Attorneys
Comprehensive Investment Guidance in Washington, D.C.
The United States maintains a variety of trade treaties with countries all over the world. Citizens of these countries have the opportunity to work in the U.S. to oversee and support a business they have made a qualifying investment in.
At Johnson & Masumi, we have served thousands of clients and know how to approach complex immigration cases. Our experienced Annandale E-2 visa lawyers can evaluate whether your investment qualifies as “substantial” and work to ensure you meet all other eligibility requirements. Our team can also assist you throughout the application process and represent you in all communications with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Qualifying for the E-2 Visa
Obtaining an E-2 visa requires more than making a large investment in a U.S.-based enterprise. E-2 applicants must also meet several other eligibility requirements.
To qualify for the E-2 visa, you must:
- Be a citizen of a country that maintains a trade agreement with the United States. The U.S. State Department publishes the current list on its website. Examples of countries currently participating in applicable trade agreements as of October 2021 include Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and more.
- Make a substantial investment in a U.S.-based business. There is no set minimum investment amount for the E-2 visa. However, you should in most cases expect to invest at least $100,000. You may be able to spend less if the amount of your investment is considered “sizable” relative to the type of company you are investing in. The investment must be placed “at risk,” meaning there is a possibility you could lose some or all of it.
- Travel to the United States to support your investment. When you come to the United States on an E-2 visa, you must exclusively work for the company you have invested in. You must own the business you invest in, or the company must be at least 50% owned by other citizens of your home country.
- Serve as an owner, executive, or supervisor at the business you invest in. You cannot “passively invest” with an E-2 visa, as you are required to take an active role in overseeing your investment. You may also potentially fulfill this requirement by serving as a non-executive employee with specialized knowledge.
- Invest in a company that meets all commercial and legal requirements. The business you invest in must be attempting to generate a profit and sell legitimate goods or services. In general, the company should also endeavor to create jobs for U.S. workers.
Intend to depart the U.S. when your business has concluded. Technically, the E-2 visa is temporary. You must demonstrate your intention and willingness to depart the country once you are no longer supporting the business you have invested in. However, you are not necessarily required to maintain another residence outside the United States. Our Annandale E-2 visa Attorneys can help you prepare evidence to sufficiently establish this intention.
Benefits of the E-2 Visa
The E-2 visa allows recipients to live in the United States so long as they directly manage the business that they invested in. These visas can last for up to five years but can be renewed an unlimited number of times. This allows E-2 visa holders to effectively live in the country indefinitely.
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 can typically accompany E-2 visa recipients to the United States. Spouses can obtain work authorizations and are not required to exclusively work for the company their partner invested in. Children can study in the U.S. on an E-2 visa until they turn 21, at which point they will need a new visa.
An unlimited number of E-2 visas can be issued each year. This means you will not need to wait for a visa to become available once your application has been approved.
Mariam is a caring lawyer, she was able to handle my case with professionalism despite the short deadline to reply back to USCIS. She is really confident about her job and will take extra steps to make sure things go as planned.- S.S.
I am now a free man and will get my Green Card back soon. None of this would have been possible without Mariam and her firm. Words can't describe how grateful I am to her and if you're reading this look no further!- Aimal M.
The diligence of Mariam, making sure we had everything that could possibly be needed even when sometimes I felt it was too much. The team definitely kept me having hope but always kept things realistic and gave me realistic expectations.- Oshoke E.
Mariam Masumi helped my wife get her case approved and I am thankful for her hard work. She is a very knowledgeable and experienced lawyer.- Ali R.
After working with them for less than 6 months, I received approvals for my employment authorization, waiver of inadmissibility, and finally my permanent resident card.- Marie A.
The E-2 Visa vs. The EB-5 Visa
If you are willing to make a sizable investment to access U.S. immigration benefits, you may have several options available to you depending on your qualifications, goals, and the amount you are able to invest. The E-2 visa and EB-5 visa are two of the most popular employment visa options for immigrant investors.
If you are hoping to eventually become a United States citizen, the EB-5 visa is likely the better choice. The EB-5 visa is a type of green card, meaning recipients are considered lawful permanent residents and can eventually qualify for naturalization. Though the E-2 visa can facilitate long-term stays in the United States, it is still a temporary, non-immigrant visa. The E-2 visa may serve your needs if you only wish to pursue economic opportunities in the United States and have no interest in becoming a lawful permanent resident or citizen.
EB-5 visas typically require much larger investments than E-2 visas. As of October 2021, EB-5 applicants must invest a minimum of $500,000 if they choose to support a USCIS-approved regional center. If EB-5 applicants wish to make a direct investment, they must contribute at least $100,000 as of October 2021. These minimums are likely to increase in the future. Again, the E-2 visa has no minimum investment amount, though many applicants regularly invest at least $100,000. This dynamic effectively makes the E-2 visa a more affordable immigration solution.
An important caveat of the E-2 visa is that recipients can only work for the business they invested in. This means their presence in the United States is dependent on this employment, and once the employment relationship with the enterprise ends, an E-2 visa holder must depart the country. EB-5 visa recipients can eventually choose to work for other employers (or not work at all), but they must first remove conditions from their green card. To do this, they must prove the business they invested in created (or in some cases, saved) at least ten U.S. jobs within two years of receiving their green card.
Our team at Johnson & Masumi is extensively familiar with all types of employment visas and can determine which benefits you may qualify for. If you are likely eligible for multiple types of investor visas, our Annandale E-2 visa lawyers can help you weigh the pros and cons of each visa and assist you in making an informed decision.
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