A foreign-national’s ability to lawfully live and work in the U.S. is not easy, but there are advantages for an entrepreneurial citizen of a country that has an investment treaty with the United States. The visa allows people to invest in a U.S. business by starting one, buying one or becoming a co-owner. For fifteen years Attorney Lynn S. Olinger has had a remarkable success rate in obtaining clients E-2 investor visas and status.
E-2 is a nonimmigrant status, meaning it does not directly lead to permanent residency or citizenship. But where that is your goal, E-2 is an excellent and underutilized way to live and work in the U.S. while exploring other green card options.
Do not confuse E-2 visas with the green-card-through-investment-visa (EB-5), which requires $1,000,000 (or in some cases $500,000) capital. The E-2 has no set dollar amount. The investment must be “substantial,” which is relative to the cost of starting or buying the business.
Benefits of an E-2 Investor Visa
No minimum amount required.
Immigration attorney Lynn S. Olinger has obtained E-2 visas and status for clients investing as little as $35,000 for service-related businesses. The typical investments range between $50,000 to $150,000.
A start-up may take time to get going.
So long as the enterprise has the future capacity to generate more than a minimal living for the investor and family, the law recognizes that start-ups begin modestly.
The investor’s spouse is eligible for open-market employment.
The investor is automatically qualified to work in the investment business, while his or her spouse receives employment authorization for any job. By analyzing each case and strategizing for the clients’ needs, attorney Lynn S. Olinger may recommend that one spouse rather than the other be the principal investor.
There is no yearly quota or maximum time limit.
The E-2 visa may be renewed every two to five years as long as the business remains robust and profitable enough to do more that provide a living just for the investor and family.
An investor may simultaneously seek green card status through work or family.
An applicant may not be denied an initial or renewal E-2 solely because he or she is the beneficiary of a family-based or employment-based immigrant petition. Attorney Lynn S. Olinger has effectively kept clients in the U.S. through E-2 investments while awaiting green card eligibility in other categories.
E-2 applications are eligible for expedited adjudication.
E-2 applications do not experience the delay endemic to so many other cases within the immigration system. Additionally, they are eligible for expedited service (within 15 days).