50% Approval for Apartment Flipping E2 Visa Business

Written by: Patrick Findaro
Last Updated by Maria Fernandez Amato: December 9, 2022
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This article is based on a video originally recorded on Visa Franchise Youtube Channel.

Are you thinking about moving to the United States through an investment? Have you considered the E2 visa? Maybe you have heard of the option of buying a couple of apartments, fixing them up, and then selling and getting an investor visa through that. In today’s video, I’m going to go through what it means to get an E2 visa through flipping apartments and why, depending on your risk tolerance, it might not be the best option for you.

e2 visa business

E2 Visa Requirements

Before getting ourselves into the apartment flipping subject, we must know the terms for applying to an E2 visa business. The E2 visa generally requires an investment of about $100,000 or more. Keep in mind, with labor costs and everything going on right now in the United States, it’s not uncommon to invest $200,000 or $300,000. This is to get a good business that has a decent profit margin for you and your family to benefit from, but as low as $100,000 and you should have a couple of Americans that benefit from the business. Therefore, whether that’s as an employee, a contractor, better to have employees.

Apartment Flipping Business

The E2 visa business has to be a substantial investment. It can’t be marginal, it needs to be helping Americans, and/or you should be making decent returns from your investment. And it has to be a real active business. That way, if we talk about flipping apartments, it can be active where you have contractors that are coming in. You buy three apartments, you are reconditioning them; you have all different types of work going on in apartments, then sell it.

However, depending where you’re applying from, there’s been a lot of investors doing that. For example, from Argentina, they have grand plans to buy and flip 15 or 20 apartments, and they just do three in a two-year period, per se. And they just flip one or two apartments in a five-year period, and then they try to renew their visa.

Consulates and embassies have been much more stringent for those that are going in presenting a business plan for flipping apartments. This is because, unless you’re flipping 10 or 20 or even 30-plus apartments in a couple year period, it doesn’t necessarily meet all the requirements of the E2 visa. And sadly, your compatriots have applied based on a business plan that they did not execute on. And that’s happened a lot for people flipping apartments.

Therefore, depending where you’re applying from, what embassy, what consulate, it could be a 50-50 shot of you getting approved for your E2 visa with a business plan based on flipping apartments in the United States. If you’re still set on the real estate industry and you really want to do real estate, but you wish for an E2 visa business that has better odds, we’ve seen real estate property management be successful above 90% for the E2 visa.

It's not uncommon to invest $200,000, $300,000 to get a good business that has a decent profit margin for you and your family to benefit from

Is It Worth It or not?

There are other real estate-related businesses, such as staging from homes. You could do development, but developing is going to cost a lot more money than $100,000, $200,000. And if you’re looking to develop 10 or 20 homes and then rent them out, that’s going to be a multimillion-dollar investment.

For this reason, if you’re moving to the US and wish for a tight timeframe, flipping apartments for the E2 visa probably won’t be a good fit because of its 50-50 odds to get approved for many consulates and embassies around the world. And this is based on the immigration attorneys that we work with for our clients at Visa Franchise, that tell us their client stories. It’s better probably to do property management, whether that’s your own independent business or a franchise route, rather than flipping apartments for your E2 visa.