E-2 visa: a fast-track for becoming a legal resident of the U.S.
December 3, 2021
7 minutes read
The United States has been drawing investors from all over the world with its loyal tax system and strong asset protection. At the same time, the unstable social and economic situation in the world contributes to a more intensive growth of the number of investors.
Why E-2 is catchier than EB-5
One of the options for investors to move to U.S. territory is the EB-5 visa, but its processing has a number of difficulties. Therefore, wealthy migrants prefer the investment visa E-2, as applications for its registration are approved much more often.
The EB-5 visa has been very popular among investors willing to invest heavily in the U.S. economy for many years. However, its processing involves a number of restrictions, which often discourages potential applicants. Permanent residence in the United States and a ban on long-term travel are the toughest requirements for applicants for this visa. Applicants for E-2 do not face these restrictions, which greatly increases its popularity.
Current statistics show that the number of E-2 visa applications is increasing rapidly. According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 43,286 investor permits were issued in 2019 alone. The United Kingdom, Asia, and Latin America have also seen a steady increase in E-2 interest. Investors from these countries are particularly concerned about the safety of their assets for political reasons.
Requirements for E-2 visa applicants
Despite the fact that E-2 is one of the most affordable and convenient investment visas, a number of conditions must be met in order to obtain it. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has imposed new requirements for investors, applying for the visa:
- be a citizen of a country that has signed a trade agreement with the United States;
- invest or be in the process of investing in a U.S. government-owned enterprise or business;
- reside in the U.S. solely for the purpose of developing investment projects, retaining ownership of at least 50% of the invested funds and controlling their use.
The U.S. now has trade agreements with 80 countries. Among these countries Canada, Australia, Mexico, Colombia and South Korea can be highlighted, citizens of which open E-2 visa most often. Unlike the EB-5, which requires $900,000 of investment in the U.S. economy, the amount of investment needed to qualify for the E-2 visa is calculated on a case-by-case basis. As a rule, the amount of investment necessary to obtain such a visa is more than $200,000.
A more affordable amount of investment contributes to the expansion of the range of applicants for the investment visa. Another factor in the popularity of the E-2 is the absence of restrictions on travel and residence. On the contrary, obtaining and holding an EB-5 visa requires the applicant to stay permanently in the U.S. and imposes restrictions on the time of their trips abroad. As for E-2 visa holders, valid for 3 months to 5 years, they can freely cross the U.S. border in both directions an unlimited number of times.
How to obtain a U.S. visa E-2
Despite the ease of applying for an E-2, the process of obtaining one can be difficult for those who live outside the United States. Visa applicants almost always have to seek help from business consultants and immigration lawyers. At the same time, it takes only a few months to process an applicant's request, allowing the foreigner to become eligible to enter the U.S. relatively quickly.
Most applicants, who are not residing in the United States, can apply for a visa at the U.S. consulates in their home countries. The entire processing procedure can take from 3 to 8 months. The most important document, when applying for the E-2 remotely, is the confirmation of the investment of $200,000 or more, which has been made or is being made.
There are a sufficient number of companies on the market, ready to help E-2 visa applicants find the best objects for investment and successfully cope with the legal requirements. Many immigration lawyers, who specialize in E-2 and other visas, work with such companies and offer additional services, which allows investors to reduce the period for obtaining a visa up to 4 months.
The benefits of E-2 visa
Despite some difficulties with the processing, the E-2 is growing in popularity because of the advantages it offers to foreign investors. The United States represents the largest consumer market in the world, as well as the most developed and liquid financial market. Cities like New York, Miami, Austin, Atlanta and Houston specialize in real estate, technology and startup investments. These metropolitan areas are the focus of investors from all over the world, who want to invest safely and increase their profits.
In addition, if a foreign investor decides to extend their stay in the U.S. and continue with their projects, they can reissue their E-2 visa as many times as necessary. The investor is also free to travel throughout the United States and cross the border into the country both ways an unlimited number of times. Along with the E-2 holder, their family members are eligible to go to the United States, as well as to study and work there.
The consultations with qualified specialists and thorough study of the USA main markets will help the foreigner not only to successfully apply for visa E-2, but also to quickly profit from investments in the American economy. It is safe to say that E-2 visa is one of the fastest ways to get a legal status in the United States.
Source: Uglobal immigration
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