While many people realize that an immigration lawyer can help with the process of seeking an immigrant visa, there are other ways an attorney can help. For example, an attorney can assist in the process of applying for nonimmigrant employment visas such as the E-2 treaty investor visa.
An E-2 visa lawyer can assist at all stages in the process, from answering questions and determining eligibility to completing applications and resolving problems or seeking extensions. The E-2 visa can provide outstanding opportunities for business developers, employees, and family members. To obtain a visa, however, an experienced immigration attorney needs to prove that an applicant meets all of the qualifications.
An E-2 visa is a temporary visa issued for no more than two years but can be extended repeatedly to allow for an indefinite stay in the U.S. Immediate family members who accompany the holder of an E-2 visa can also receive an E-2 visa if they meet the requirements. Visa holders may travel abroad and obtain a visa extension when they return to the U.S.
E-2 visas are issued to people who are investing money into a business they intend to develop and direct. Prospective employees of the venture may also be eligible for an E-2 visa. An E-2 visa lawyer can help determine whether the E-2 is the best visa option or whether other employment visas such as an E-1 or L-1 visa might work better.
To be eligible for an E-2 visa, an individual must be in the process of investing or have already invested a substantial amount of money or other capital into a U.S. enterprise. The business must be bona fide and not marginal. Under 8 C.F.R. 214.2(e)(15), a venture is considered marginal if it lacks the present or future capacity to generate sufficient income to provide a living for the investor and their family. A start-up enterprise could qualify if it appears able to generate adequate income within five years.
8 C.F.R. §214.2(e) also explains when an investment is considered substantial. To meet the requirements for an E-2 visa, the investment must:
The regulation explains that if the enterprise is of lower value, the investor will need to contribute a greater percentage for the amount to be considered substantial. An E-2 visa lawyer could prepare documentation to show that an applicant’s investment meets the regulatory standard.
To qualify for an E-2 visa, an applicant must be a citizen or otherwise appropriately attached to a country with which the U.S. has entered into a commerce and navigation treaty. The list of applicable countries is on the State Department’s website.
The list of treaty nations is subject to change as international laws and treaties are amended. An E-2 visa lawyer can determine whether an individual’s nationality makes them eligible for a treaty investor visa.
Investors seeking an E-2 visa must demonstrate that they are entering the U.S. with the primary purpose of developing and directing the business in which they invest. The government may expect to see that an applicant holds at least 50 percent ownership of the venture or operational control through a management position or other means.
An E-2 visa lawyer can help prepare an application that provides all the available evidence that an investor is committed to the enterprise at a level that meets the qualifications for a treaty investor visa. To learn more about how an attorney can help, call now for a consultation.
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