Many sources claim that you have to invest a minimum of $ 100,000 to get your E-2 visa (investor visa that allows you to live 4 years (for Swiss) or 5 years (for French and Belgian) in the United States. The United States, then a visa easily renewable (unlimited number), as the company continues to practice.
Since the change of administration in the United States in January 2017, it has clearly become more difficult to obtain an E-2 visa. Yet it is not the amount of investment that has been enhanced. Let’s first look at the three ways you can get the E-2 visa :
- Starting a business,
- The takeover of a company or
- Opening/redemption a franchise.
In the case of business creation, the vigilance of the consular officer will be acute and the amount invested is a major element in the evaluation of the project. In addition, we must make an effort to make this creation operational before we can present you at the Embassy. Your investment is therefore at risk and you should find and equip your office or office, hire your employee and find customers. If your project is weak on one of these points, you must excel in all the others.
In the case of a buy-out, the Embassy’s analysis will be less detailed. The amount of investment may be lower, as long as you resume an activity that runs and/or you have the ability to recover. If, in addition, you pick up an employee or employees, obtaining the visa is greatly facilitated. There are companies in the service sector for which the assets can be valued in a satisfactory manner.
In the case of a purchase or a franchise resumption, the Embassy is very reassured, because the franchisor will take you in hand and provide the bulk of the effort of communication with your future client. It is clearly more complicated now to obtain a visa for “home-based” franchises (that is, having the home office) than for those in “brick & mortar” (with commercial premises or an office).
If you are in a hurry, opt for the buy or franchise, because your visit to the Embassy can intervene earlier than for business creation. In most cases, we can convince franchisors or business sellers to include a suspensive clause for obtaining a visa, which protects your investment.
Nevertheless, be careful: a franchise contract is a commitment of at least five, often ten years, this requires a good analysis and reflection. Ditto for commercial leases in the United States, which are often longer than in Europe. The real difficulty in building an E-2 visa is getting a commercial lease, especially in large cities.
An Investor Visa project requires that we take care of and integrate many elements, including market analysis, feasibility study, financial analysis of companies to buy back, understanding of the contract of the franchise, obtaining and understanding the commercial lease, writing the business plan and “last, but not least”, closing the visa file. Because, without this sesame, nothing will be possible. But it is quite possible to invest well under $ 100,000, rest assured!