What Businesses are Best for E-2 Visa

E-2 Visa BusinessIf you want to live in the United States but do not have a way to apply for a green card yet, E-2 visa is a relatively more viable choice.  

E-2 visa is a non-immigrant work visa.  If you purchase or establish a qualified business in the United States, you have a chance to acquire E-2 visa and live in the United States. There are special requirements to meet in order to get E-2 visa.

If you meet the requirements, the next thing to consider is to pick a business that is good for E-2.  Everyone has his or her own particular considerations for a business, but the factors below can be considered in deciding on the E-2 business.

Factors to consider for an E-2 business:

There is Substantial Investment Made to the Business

The E2 visa regulations state that you must make a “substantial investment” in a US business. It does not say exactly what is “substantial” as to the investment amount,

There are investments like $50,000 or $60,000 that were approved.  But it is case-by-case.  It depends on the type of business, location, and other considerations. 

It is, however, an investment of $100,000 – $200,000 or above are on the safer side for approval.

E-2 Business Must be Active and For-Profit

The E-2 regulations require that your E2 business be an active for-profit business. 

It means the E-2 business must be actively engaging in business activities, producing services or products. The Company must be a for-profit undertaking, and cannot be a speculative investment, such as the purchase of a parcel of undeveloped real estate.  Passive investments also do not qualify for an E-2 visa.

E-2 Visa Business has to be Non-Marginal

The E2 visa regulations state that the E2 business cannot be marginal. What it means is that the business must have the “capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family.”

In plain words, it means the business must have a number of employees who are not family members.  The regulation does not say how many.  It is up to the consular or USCIS’s decision to say if a business is marginal of a particular case.  By experience, three full-time employees are normally considered non-marginal for an E-2 business.

Therefore, when considering the type of business, it is good to have the type of business that can easily afford to hire people. See our list of sample businesses below.

For newcomers, consider buying owner-absentee and semi-owner-absentee types of businesses

It is a matter of fact that a business involves many aspects of things.  A business owner has to deal with so many things in a day no matter how big or small his business is.

If you are new to the United States, there are many things to learn about doing business on top of getting to know the new environment.  It will be easier to have a business that is ready to go than starting everything from scratch.

Find a business from a business point of view, not just for the visa.

E-2 visa can be renewed as long as the business is good.  So for the long term, the key point is that it is a viable business that can last for years.

New businesses generally have a higher rate of failure.  So it is important to pick the right business from the very beginning with sound business sense.  If it is in double that the business can survive over a longer period of time, you should skip the one and look for other businesses.

List of Sample E-2 Business

Below is a list of sample E-2 businesses that you can do.  It is by no means a comprehensive list, but those are commonly engaged by E-2 business owners.

  • Auto Repair Shop
  • Cabinet Making and Distribution Business
  • Cafeteria
  • Catering Company
  • House Cleaner Service
  • Clothing Manufacturer
  • Computer/Technology Advisory Services
  • Computer Application Design
  • Consulting Company
  • Convenience Store
  • Fashion Design Company
  • Film Maker
  • Fitness Center
  • Food Delivery Service
  • Franchise Owners
  • Graphic Designer
  • Home Remolding Company
  • Import/Export Company
  • Internet Marketing Company
  • Legal Referral Business
  • Management Consulting Company
  • Online Retailer
  • Plumbing Company
  • Pool Cleaning Company
  • Printing Shop
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Restaurant
  • Retail Shop
  • Sporting Soccer League
  • Technology Mobil App Developer
  • Trucking Company
  • Web Designer Service
  • Wedding Photographer
  • Wine Distributor
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