Investing is a risk-taking business and doesn’t always pay off. For E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Holders, the stakes for investing in the United States economy are higher than for United States citizens or lawful permanent residents. The requirements for obtaining an E-2 visa are stringent and one of the most important requirements, if not the most important requirement, is that an E-2 visa holder must invest in what is called a “real operating enterprise.” Simply put, this means that the business the E-2 visa holder is investing in is an entity that is highly likely to be profitable and benefit the United States economy. The investment cannot merely be speculative or idle.
Real Operating Enterprises v. Speculative or Idle Investments
The United States economy is still in recovery mode. E-2 Treaty Investors can help stimulate the United States economy by creating jobs. In order to create jobs, the E-2 visa holder must invest in a business that is successfully and lawfully operating in the United States. This can be a previously established business, or it can be a brand new business that the E-2 visa holder starts up. Either way, the same requirements must be met for the type of investment and the likelihood of success of the enterprise.
The investment must be one that generates income and not one that is speculative or idle. A speculative investment is one that has a higher risk of failure than it does of success. An idle investment is one that generates no income at all. For example, the investment cannot be uncommitted to the operation of the enterprise and cannot be merely a promise to invest actual capital. By investing in a successful, real operating enterprise, an E-2 visa holder is demonstrating to the United States government that the enterprise is one that will be beneficial to the economy.
Examples of Real Operating Enterprises in the United States
The enterprise an E-2 visa holder invests in must be an active entity, or must be a brand new entity started by the E-2 visa holder. Examples of such enterprises include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Agriculture and food production;
- Large retailers of everyday consumer goods;
- Manufacturing of pharmaceuticals;
- Utilization of natural resources for energy (such as natural gas, petroleum, wind farms, etc.);
- Entertainment industry; and
- Small businesses of nearly any type
Whatever type of industry the real operating enterprise is involved in, it must be successful enough to demonstrate actual, measurable growth, and the E-2 visa holder must be the principal investor of the company or have a managerial or executive role in the business. The most significant way to help reach this goal is to invest substantial sums of money or equity in the form of inventory and other goods that have value.
An indicator of how successful the enterprise will be is how businesses of the same type are currently functioning in the United States. Therefore, if a person or company is considering obtaining an E-2 visa, that person or company needs to investigate the current state of affairs for the type of business he or she intends to invest in. If the industry is creating jobs, then it is likely one that the United States would look upon favorably.
Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. Offers a Free Consultation for Your E-2 Treaty Investor Needs
Obtaining an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a very tricky process that requires the assistance of highly seasoned immigration attorneys. With such strict immigration laws in the United States, it is advisable to fully explore your options and find out if you will have the qualifications to obtain an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. The key factor is to ensure that the enterprise is one that will benefit the United States economy and create jobs, and not one that will rest on hope and potential. To discuss your immigration matter further, contact our experienced immigration attorneys at Geygan & Geygan, Ltd. today. Our firm offers a free consultation. To schedule your appointment with one of our attorneys, call us today at 513-791-1673.