How Much Do I Need to Invest to Get an E2 Visa? Overview

“How much do I need to invest to get an E2 visa?” is a very important question. The answer could make or break your dreams of running your own business in America. The good news is that there is no minimum amount. Your investment has to pass the “proportionality” test. The investment must be substantial enough so that the business has a reasonable chance of success. The proportionality test compares the investment amount and the cost of the business.

What is an E2 Business?

An E2 business can be either an established business or a startup. What is important is that you must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the business. You cannot be a passive investor and the business cannot be a non-profit organization. For example, investing in stocks or undeveloped land are usually passive activities. Furthermore, you must have already invested or be actively involved in the process or investing. There is no restriction on the type of commercial enterprise. The business can be a goods/product type business or a service business.

How Much Do I Need to Invest to Get an E2 Visa? The “Proportionality Test”

The proportionality test operates like an inverted sliding scale. The lower the cost of the business, the higher the percentage of investment that is required. For example, a $30,000 investment in a hair salon that costs $30,000 would qualify but so would a $10 million dollar investment into a company that costs $100 million dollars. If the investment amount and the cost of the business are the same, i.e., the investment pays for 100% of the business, then investment is substantial.

The E-visa unit will look at the sale price of an existing business, to determine the cost of the business. With a startup, they will look at the actual costs that are needed to fund the company to the point where it is operational.

How to Pass the Marginality Test?

It is critical that the E2 business pass the marginality test. A marginal enterprise is likely to fail and the Department of State will not grant an E2 visa in those circumstances. “Marginality” means the business does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than a minimal living for you and your family.

To pass this test, you should submit a 5-year business plan of projected future revenue. Your investment should also expand job opportunities and generate other sources of income. The investment should generate income substantially above the cost of living.