One of the ways that foreign nationals wishing to invest in a business venture and oversee it in Illinois is to acquire an E-2 investor visa. When considering this move, you should be aware of the specific requirements for this visa designation.
Substantial investment required
An E-2 investor visa gives applicants non-immigrant status in the United States, allowing them to enter and work here if they have a substantial investment in a bona fide enterprise. If you fail to have a significant enough investment or do not have a bona fide business, you won’t qualify for this immigration status. An EB-5 investor green card may better serve some investors as the visa is not a good fit for everyone.
Much like applying for a loan, foreign investors should have financial documents ready to provide that their venture is bona fide. These include but are not limited to:
- Notice of assignment of an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service
- Tax returns and financial statements
- Business licenses
- Bank statements and escrow documents
- Contracts, customer and vendor agreements
An E-2 investor visa allows you to live and work in the United States for two years and travel freely while here. Spouses can also work while dependents can attend school.
Stipulations and drawbacks of E-2 visas
Although you can renew your E-2 visa an unlimited number of times, the process to do so is often slow. You must also be a national of a country that has an investment treaty with the United States to qualify for this particular visa designation.
Citizens of the United Kingdom should note that they must follow additional requirements to qualify for an E-2 visa. Among the documents you may need to provide are U.K.-based investments and pay slips, U.K. tax returns, and other connections you may have in the United Kingdom.