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The E2 Visa
Those wishing to invest in a business enterprise in the United States of America sometimes opt to apply for an E2 visa. This travel document is very useful for those from countries which share certain types of trade agreements with the United States of America.
The Kingdom of Thailand and the United States of America are both signers of the US-Thai Treaty of Amity. The upshot of this agreement, from the perspective of a Thai National, is the fact that Thai Nationals are accorded certain American immigration benefits as Treaty Investors. That being said, foreign nationals from countries outside of Thailand may also be able to enjoy E2 visa benefits provided they, and their country, meet the requisite criteria.
The general requirements for an E2 visa are that the Treaty investor seeking the visa, who can be either a natural or juristic entity, needs to be a Citizen, or national, of a treaty nation. The investment, upon which the visa application is predicated, needs to be significant. It needs to be of an adequate amount so as to “ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.”* Furthermore, the “percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.” The investment must be made in a genuine operational organization or enterprise. Therefore, passive investments are not likely to meet this requirement. Those wishing to use liquid funds in a bank account as a basis for an application will likely be denied.
To further quote the American State Department website directly:
“The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.”
“The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.”
“The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.”*
Applying for an E2 visa is a serious endeavor. Therefore, those seeking admission to the United States in E2 status are well advised to contact an American attorney to ascertain if one’s investment in the USA fits the criteria for E2 visa issuance. For those who have yet to invest in the USA, but may wish to obtain an E2 visa in connection with such an investment, an American attorney may be able to provide insight into the E2 visa process.
Contact Integrity Legal for more details about the E2 visa and how to submit an E2 visa application.
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