Posted: October 28, 2021
The application of the requirement for a "substantial" investment can vary widely between consular officers and United States Immigration Service (USCIS) immigration officers. The regulations do not impose a minimum investment, but it is important to note that the amount of the investment must be commensurate with the cost and nature of the business involved, and sufficient to ensure that it thrives. Most businesses that fail, fail because they are undercapitalized.
When evaluating whether the investment is substantial, the immigration officer will look to the amount of money required to make sure that your financial commitment will be sufficient to bring the company to success. Usually, they want to see that 100% of the purchase price is paid. The officer will also take a close look at how you have spent your investment funds, such as prepayment of rent on your business premises, contracts you have entered and paid such as for marketing services, inventory, the purchase of materials and equipment, etc.
If the cost of an established business is less than $100,000, the investment should be as close as possible to 100% of that amount invested or committed. On the other hand, a highly expensive business would require a lower percentage of qualifying investment. There are no bright line percentages that exist for an investment to be considered substantial. However, also consider that the business cannot be marginal. It is considered marginal if it cannot provide jobs to US workers. If you are buying an existing business for less than $50,000.00 it likely does not financially support anyone but the owner. Nonetheless, our firm has successfully assisted E2 visa applicants whose investment was $50,000 or less on occasion. Generally, these will be service-oriented businesses that don’t need expensive equipment or inventory.
This means that you may not have enough experience or background to convince the consular officer that you can effectively manage the business. Your lack of proficiency in the English language or your minimum educational level can also be part of the reasons for this negative outcome.
Yes. The consulates have, thus far, requested that the applicants who were denied on this basis resubmit the application and visa fees, which will lead to another visa interview.
This means that your case is pending administrative processing, during which the officer is either waiting for additional documentation from you or must conduct some background checks on your case before a decision can be made. This can relate to missing documentation, missing information from you or from another agency or authority, or background checks. Once the proper documents or information are received, a decision can then be issued.
It may be possible to apply for a US visa in a country other than the country from which you obtained your passport or your country of residence; this is known as “applying as a “third country national” (TCN). Most consulates accept applications from third country nationals, but not all. During the pandemic, very few processed TCN applications. You should check the website of the consulate embassy where you want to apply for the visa to see if applications from "third country nationals" are accepted under their policies. The foreign affairs manuals indicates that you should be present in the consular jurisdiction where you apply. Applying for a visa in a country other than yours involves risks. Since the E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa, the consular officer will need to determine whether you plan to immigrate to the United States and assess the likelihood of your return to your home country once your authorization to remain in the United States ends. Officials in other countries may not be familiar with your country of citizenship and may not feel comfortable making this decision.
The issuance of your E-2 visa will not be contingent on showing proof of vaccination. However, as of November 8, 2021, you will be required, as a general rule, to show proof of an acceptable COVID-19 vaccination or satisfy the airline if you fly to the US and/or customs and border officer that you fall within one of the exceptions listed in the October 25, 2021, presidential proclamation. https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/pdf/Vax-Order-10-25-21-p.pdf
We frequently receive questions about the E2 visa, its requirements, and the E2 visa process. In an effort to help you obtain as much information needed as possible, we have compiled those that we think are the most common ones, so please feel free to visit our E2 Visa frequently asked questions page to find more information on this subject.
Contact our Immigration Board Certified Attorneys (Admitted and Accredited by the Florida Bar) to prepare your E2 visa application and ensure that the information required under the statutory criteria for a successful E2 application is met. Call us today at 407.674.6968, or fill out our online form and we will contact you as soon as possible.