Understanding E-2 Requirements
As a treaty investor, you must be coming to the United States to invest in a new or existing enterprise. USCIS defines an E-2 investment as the investor’s placing of capital, including funds and other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. Your investment may be for the purpose of establishing a new business venture, or purchasing a pre-existing business. In either scenario, you must demonstrate that the capital you are investing is substantial.
Your investment must be in a bona fide enterprise and may not be marginal. A bona fide enterprise is one that is a real, active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. The enterprise cannot be an idle investment held for potential appreciation in value, such as undeveloped land or stocks held by an investor who has no intent to direct the enterprise.
You must show that you will develop and direct the investment enterprise by demonstrating ownership of at least 50 percent of the enterprise, or by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate devices.
Immigrant Investor Visa
USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth.
Under the EB-5 Visa Program, a $500,000 investment in a “Regional Center” enables foreign investors to qualify for the Green Card without the constraints of having to set-up and manage a U.S. business. This immigration option allows investors to live in any U.S. state and engage in a business, employment, or any activity of the investor’s choice, or just retire.