E Visas have become increasingly popular with foreign investors, entrepreneurs and multinational companies, as work visas such as the H-1B and L visa categories have faced increased scrutiny under the Trump Administration’s “American First” immigration policies.
The E Visa is a desirable non-immigrant visa because it does not require sponsorship from U.S. citizens or businesses, giving foreign entrepreneurs and investors control over their own destinies.
E-2 visa requirements include –
- The owner/investor must be from an E Visa Treaty Country
- The owner/investor must have a detailed business plan and a business that is ready to open.
- The owner/investor must show they have a substantial investment on hand to open the business and to keep it running until it can sustain itself.
The E Visa requirements are easy for most entrepreneurs to wrap their head around, especially if they have owned and run a business in the past. And while the requirements are applicable to almost any business an investor would like to open, there are some businesses that lend themselves toward an easy E Visa application.
5 Best Businesses for Foreign Investor and Entrepreneurs
While multinational companies can use the L visa category to hire valued team members from offices overseas, some companies find hiring on the E-2 visa to be more straightforward. E-2 petitions can be used for any employee who shares a nationality with the company’s majority owner (the owner must be from a Treaty Country). The company must be registered as an E visa company with the Embassy in the owner’s country of nationality – the Embassy, in turn will process all E-2 petitions. An E-2 employee should be hired as a manager, executive, or as an essential knowledge employee.
Franchises are popular choices for investor visas for several reasons. In many cases, they present turnkey business opportunities. Detailed business plans and operating cost projections give investors a concise idea of what their substantial investment should be, allowing them to clearly make their case in their E-2 visa application. Franchises can be any size – from a mall kiosk that employs one or two people to a convenience store or restaurant, and in some cases, investors can access training and support from the franchise group. Franchise opportunities are also widespread – from cities to rural communities and everywhere in between, allowing E Visa holders the opportunity to choose where they would like to work and live.
Consulting practices have the benefit of leveraging the visa holder’s professional experience to start a business with very low overhead costs. While the substantial investment for a restaurant or office might be quite high, a one-person consulting business can start up, operate and realize profit for far less. Consulting businesses can encompass a broad range of skill sets – from IT and software development to architecture and design – the most important factor for your application will be the detailed business plan that shows how you plan to support yourself and grow your business.
Purchase an existing business
Like franchise opportunities, purchasing an existing business gives entrepreneurs the chance to invest in a business that is ready to start running and making money. With the financial history of the business in hand, investment and operating costs are easy to determine and present with your visa application. Additionally, investors can start building on the business’s existing clientele.
It is very common to use an E Visa to open a restaurant in the United States. As such, immigration law has clear precedents on what a business plan is supposed to look like, making the E Visa application more straightforward. Additionally, if an investor is hoping to hire workers from their home country, it is common to make the case that your foreign employees have essential knowledge for ethnic cuisines and for running your business. To learn how a Thai coupled brought Asian cuisine to downeast Maine using the E-2 visa, click here.
Follow your passion
You might not see your business on the list of top investor visa opportunities – and that’s OK! The E-2 visa is made for entrepreneurs like you – and starting your business will oftentimes necessitate long days, weeks and months to be successful. Read how a British gamekeeper brought his family traditions to sportsmen in Mid-Atlantic here. Business start-ups are hard, but if you have the skills to share and the passion to succeed, you are on your way to realizing your own American Dream.
If you have questions about your investment or are ready to start the E Visa application, it is essential that you have an immigration attorney you can trust. At FordMurray we pride ourselves on being honest and responsive – and we are passionate about helping people work and live in the United States. Contact us today for a free consultation.