The future of the E2 Treaty Investor Visa has never looked brighter. Despite what some perceive as an overhaul of the US immigration system by the Trump administration, the E2 visa remains relatively unchanged in its basic requirements.
Since new rules were put in place beginning in November 2019 which increased the minimum EB5 investment amount from $500,000 USD to $900,000 USD, the E2 visa has gained increased interest from qualified nationals. It is predicted that the popularity of the visa will continue to grow as the E2 visa offers an extremely quick path to living and working in the United States (compared to other US visa categories).
While the E2 visa does not lead directly to a green card as its EB5 cousin, most clients will have ‘visa in hand’ in under six months – comparing that to USCIS’ current processing for EB5 petitions, which is a shocking 32 to 49 months.
As the E2 visa does not lead directly to US permanent resident status, the documentary evidence required, as well as the scrutiny it faces by US immigration officers is generally less than that of the EB5 visa.
The fact that the E2 visa is directly applied for and adjudicated by a US consular post adds to its advantage given the streamlined application process. Bypassing USCIS, which is notorious for tough adjudication and challenging Requests for Evidence (RFE), warrants utilizing the E2 Treaty Investor Visa as a means for temporarily living and working in the United States.
Contrary to what one finds on the internet, one cannot apply for an E2 visa from within the United States. One may only apply for a Change of Status to E2 status, which will be granted for a maximum period of two years. Additionally, if one leaves the US during this period, they will be required to apply for an E2 visa at their local US consular post before re-entering, as leaving the US effectively cancels your change of E2 status.
The steady rise of taxes in the United Kingdom and Europe render entrepreneurship weak at best, and obsolete at its worst. Nevertheless, those with the entrepreneurial drive may find a great deal of success with expanding or creating a new business in the United States where taxes remain much lower than those in the UK and Europe. Despite the Trump administrations anti-immigrant rhetoric, the US remains a popular destination for foreign investment and ingenuity.
A freelance entrepreneur in Belgium may find little motivation to grow their business by remaining in Belgium where 50% of their earnings will be taxed on any amount over €40,480 (not to mention additional payments for social insurance contributions). Instead, they can bring their entrepreneur spirit and business ideas to the United States for development.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of the E2 visa is that there is no minimum investment amount. The proper investment is the amount of money it takes to establish the business and get it up and running (i.e. turn key). Nevertheless, as the investment is required to be a ‘substantial’ amount, you should discuss your business venture with a qualified US immigration lawyer before making any investment expenditures.
Barella Global and its team of E2 visa lawyers are able to assist clients from start to finish. In addition to its E2 immigration services, Barella Global’s in-house partner company can incorporate your US company in your state of choosing, as well as draft the E2 compliant business plan – a critical aspect of the E2 investor visa process.
To speak with an E2 visa lawyer in London or Brussels, contact our office today.
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