If you are considering hiring foreign employees on an E-2 visa, that means you have already overcome one of the biggest hurdles of starting a business and are ready to hire and fuel your company’s growth – congratulations!
The E-2 visa is an incredibly flexible visa and applies to companies of all sizes – from family restaurants that wish to bring chefs from their home country, to multinational corporations that use the E visa as part of a larger business immigration strategy.
Requirements for Hiring Foreign Workers on E-2 Visa
Your business must be registered with the US Embassy as an E Visa Company
As an initial step for any foreign-owned company in sponsoring E visa employees, is to have the company “registered” as an E visa company with the appropriate US Embassy. Generally, this registration will occur with the first employee sponsored and will allow future E visa employees a streamlined visa application process. The registration is ordinarily renewed every five (5) years.
Your business must be profitable
Before you can hire a foreign worker, you must be able to show your business can provide a wage to your employee that will enable them to live in the United States or, at a minimum, have a solid business plan that demonstrates with clear projections, evidence, and data, that your business has strong potential for growth and profitability early in its establishment. Your business will need to show cash on hand and growth projections that show the sustainability of your hire.
Employees must be from your home country
Employees must share your nationality. As an example – a Canadian-owned company can only hire individuals that are citizens of Canada. The nationality of the company is determined by the owner who owns at least 50% of the company.
Employees must be hired as a manager, executive, or as an essential knowledge employee
Employers can’t hire just anyone on an E Visa – they should be employees with unique skill sets that make them essential to your business. Be prepared to show why you need to hire your foreign employee, what makes the position they are filling a managerial or executive level position, or what essential knowledge they have that you could not find in the American workforce. It can be helpful to show attempts to hire American workers before hiring foreign employees, but not completely necessary.