E2 Investor Visa

E2 Visa status is investors coming to the United States to develop or direct the operations of a business enterprise in which they have invested a substantial amount of capital. One of the main considerations when determining qualifications for the E2 visa is an investment. We discuss what is considered an “investment” for the E2 Investor visa.

What is an “investment” for the E2 Investor Visa?

According to INA 101(a)(15)(E)(ii) an E2 visa is available for investors whose purpose is, “solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or of an enterprise in which he is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital.” Three factors are used to determine the meaning of “investment” such as (1) Source of Funds, (2) Risk of Funds, and (3) Commitment of Funds. We explain these three factors in detail below.

Factor 1: Source of Funds

There are many different acceptable sources for the funds used in an E2 investment. The source of the investment funds can be from any country. The source of the investment funds must be the result of legal activities and cannot be tied to illicit activities.  The investment funds must be in your possession and control to qualify.  Examples of qualifying investment funds include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Capital assets or funds from savings,
  • Gifts,
  • Inheritance,
  • Contest winnings,
  • Loans collateralized by the applicant’s own personal assets (must be at risk) or other legitimate sources.

Factor 2: Risk of Funds

The investment funds or other capital assets must be at risk with the expectation of generating a financial return. For this reason, non-profit ventures do not qualify for E-2 visa status. The investment funds must be subject to partial or total loss if the business fails. If the investment funds are from indebtedness, the following must be met:

  • Indebtedness such as mortgage debt or commercial loans secured by the assets of the enterprise cannot count toward the investment, as there is no risk of loss.  For example, if the business in which the applicant is investing is used as collateral, funds from the resulting loan or mortgage are not at risk, even if some personal assets are also used as collateral.
  • Only indebtedness collateralized by the applicant’s own personal assets, such as a second mortgage on a home, or unsecured loan, such as a loan on the applicant’s personal signature may be included since the applicant risks the funds in the event of business failure.

Factor 3: Commitment of Funds

The investment funds or assets must be committed to the investment, and the commitment must be real and irrevocable.  An investment conditioned upon the issuance of the E-2 visa may still qualify if the assets to be used are held in escrow for release or transfer once the condition is met.  The investor must have entered into an agreement and have committed funds.

*Note – Intent to invest, possession of uncommitted funds in a bank account, and prospective investment arrangements without commitment, do not qualify as an investment for an E-2 visa.

E Visas for Traders & Investors

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