Time and time again, I receive various queries regarding the “investment” component of the E-2 visa. In the day and age of readily available information-overload (thanks, Google), much has been written over the years regarding the E-2 visa and its requirements, particularly about “how much” to invest in order to maximize chances of receiving the E-2 visa (or status).
While there are many different figures cited in various blogs, newsgroups, and other sites, ranging from $25,000 to $2.5 million, there is NO OFFICIAL MINIMUM which the U.S. government dictates MUST be invested in the E-2 visa context.
In 10+ years of my immigration law practice, I can say, based on actual E-2 cases, one can say that average investments in approved cases range between $50,000 and $250,000, ordinarily.
However, it is important to stress that the appropriate level of investment varies from case to case and is reviewed by the U.S. government as such, on a “case-by-case” basis. While an investment of $35,000, for example, could be approved in one case, it may very well be denied in another. The same holds true for an investment of any other amount.
As prospective investor, in order to maximize one’s chances of successful E-2 visa issuance, one must remain mindful of several factors, which will be important in the government’s decision-making process:
(1) What is needed investment-wise, to get YOUR U.S. business up and running properly.
(2) the amount invested is the “correct” and adequate amount, given your unique situation.
(3) the amount invested is “sufficient” to safeguard your ongoing commitment to the success of the enterprise.
(4) the investment is potentially “subject to partial or total loss”, if business fortunes turn bad. (no financial safeguard!)
(5) the investment funds cannot be withdrawn at will, once the visa is issued, but must remain in the enterprise.
(6) based on the investment, the U.S. business enterprise will likely be profitable within the first 5 years of operation.
There are, of course, additional E-2 visa requirements, not directly relating to the investment.
The MORE you accomplish before the visa is applied for, the HIGHER the likelihood of the visa being granted. In other words, the more of the start-up commitment and risk you take upon yourself before applying, the better your chances.