By: Kalani Hawks Villafranca, U.S. Immigration Attorney – Hawks Villafranca Law, PLLC
E2 Investor Visa for Mexicans
You feel stuck. You know you want to move to the U.S. and give your family a better future. You’re committed to doing this the right way, but you don’t know how or where to start. If this is you, then you need to keep reading because the E2 Investor Visa may be just the solution you’ve been looking for. This powerful visa option puts you in control and lets you make your dream of moving to the U.S. a reality.
Be your own sponsor in the USA
Many people mistakenly think you must have either a family or employer sponsor for your immigration application, or have millions of dollars to invest in the U.S. That’s simply not true! With an E2 Investor Visa, you can be your own sponsor and get a valid immigration status to live and work in the U.S. while you run your U.S. company. You don’t need to invest a million dollars and almost any kind of U.S. business can qualify. The U.S. has investment treaties with more than 70 countries around the globe, and if your country is on the list, then an E2 investor visa could be a fantastic option for your future in the United States.
The E-2 Investor Visa can provide long-term stability for your family in the United States, because it can be renewed indefinitely, provides a work permit for you and your spouse, and provides visas for your children under 21. Many of my clients are Mexican professionals just like you, who have used the E2 Investor Visa to move to the U.S., seize the opportunities for growth in their careers, and provide a better life for their kids. If you have around $100,000 USD to invest, then the E2 visa is within your reach and will put you in control of your future in the U.S.
E2 Investor Visa for Mexicans
- Initial Visa Valid for 4 years
- Renewable Indefinitely
- Investor gets a work permit to work in the U.S. business
- Spouse gets an unrestricted work permit to work for any U.S. employer
- Any kind of U.S. business can qualify – new business, company purchase, franchise
- No minimum dollar amount for investment
- Fast approvals in Mexico City – move to the U.S. in less than 6 months
What Kind of Business is Best for Your E2 Investor Visa?
Almost any kind of business can qualify for an E2 Investor Visa as long as it is a real and active U.S. company. To get your E2 Investor Visa, you need to own at least 50% of a U.S. business, but you don’t need to start a brand new business to get an E2 Investor Visa. While E2 Investor Visas are available for new businesses, you can also qualify by buying an existing business or opening a franchise.
Many of my clients decide to buy a franchise in the U.S. and use that franchise as the U.S. business to support their successful E2 visa applications. A franchise can be a fantastic U.S. investment and can make your E2 visa application easier for a number of reasons. Franchises are great for investors who may have not previously owned businesses because a franchise comes with a roadmap to success and the support of the franchisor and other franchise owners who are in the same situation can provide community and support for your success.
Any number of businesses can support your E2 Investor Visa. The best business for you is the one you are excited about owning and qualified to manage so that you have the motivation and skill necessary to make your business a success.
What Kind of Business Won’t Work for Your E2 Investor Visa?
While most U.S. businesses will qualify, some don’t. If the business is passive and doesn’t offer goods or services it can’t qualify for an E-2 visa. This is because the U.S. government wants to give E-2 Investor Visas to businesses that have a positive impact on the U.S. economy. For example, a company that passively owns real estate would not qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa because it is designed to build wealth for the foreign owner of the property without providing any positive impact on the U.S. economy through employment, job creation, or other means.
Even businesses that would qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa won’t be eligible if they apply too early in the process. That’s because an organization that only exists on paper or that is speculative does not qualify. A business won’t qualify if it has done nothing other than form a U.S. LLC and opened a bank account, even if that bank account has $500,000 in it. But your start-up or and new businesses can qualify if you can show you’ve invested the necessary amount of money, taken substantial steps towards opening, and that you will soon open for business to the public.
How Do You Pick the Right Business for Your E2 Investor Visa?
Many of my clients feel anxious because they don’t know how to pick the right kind of business for their E-2 Investor Visa. It’s smart to be careful and thorough before investing in a U.S. business, but the good news is that you don’t have to know everything or do it all yourself. Having the support of trusted, experienced advisors will set you up for success. I always suggest that my clients work with a reputable business broker or franchise consultant, like the team at Visa Franchise. Professional business consultants have the experience and knowledge to help you locate a business or franchise that is both 1) capable of supporting an E-2 visa and 2) structured to succeed financially so it can support your family and your future in the U.S.
How Much Money Do You Need to Invest?
You don’t need a million dollars to get an E-2 investor visa and, in fact, there is NO minimum investment amount required. The investment amount needed for an E-2 is much smaller than you might imagine, which makes the E2 Investor Visa a great opportunity for individuals and families who want to live and work in the U.S.
To get an E-2 Investor Visa you have to invest as much money as is needed to properly run your business. The minimum investment amount depends on the type of business you own and run. While $100,000 is often seen as a safe minimum investment amount, the amount you have to invest is tied completely to your particular business, not to an arbitrary investment amount that did or didn’t work for someone else’s visa application.
If you’re opening a flower shop, $50,000 may be more than sufficient to properly create and launch your new business. If you’re opening a car manufacturing plant, you’ll need to invest much more than $100,000 to properly open your business.
You are required to invest money in your U.S. business before applying for your E-2 visa. Speculative or planned investment is not enough, and money held in a U.S.-based bank account is not counted towards your investment amount. The U.S. government wants to see that you, the E-2 investor, have actually put your money “at-risk” by spending money on goods, services, equipment, leases, or other similar items needed to run your business.
How Do You Apply for an E2 Investor Visa in Mexico?
If you own at least 50% of any U.S. company, and you’ve invested enough money to get your business up and running, then it’s time to apply for your E-2 visa.
For most Mexican investors and their families, the best option will be to apply for your E-2 Investor Visa at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. While the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez also accepts E2 visa applications, the processing times are much slower than in Mexico City. You can also apply for an E-2 visa from the United States, but we do not generally recommend this option as it is riskier, more expensive, and more time-consuming for you and your family.
When you’re ready to apply, your immigration attorney will prepare a clear, concise E2 Investor Visa application outlining your eligibility and will submit it directly to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Next you’ll attend a biometrics appointment where you will have your fingerprints and photo taken. These appointments are available at various locations throughout Mexico, and you can go wherever is most convenient for you and your family. Once you complete your biometrics appointment, you will be scheduled for your E2 Investor Visa interview.
When you attend your E2 Investor Visa interview, a U.S. Consular Officer will ask you questions about your personal history, your U.S.-based company, and your plans for ensuring your company is successful. You will usually get a decision on your application during that interview. If your case is approved, the Officer will keep your passport and you’ll return a few days later to pick it up with your new E2 Investor Visa printed inside.
Now you have your E2 Investor Visa and you’re ready to start your new life and new business in the United States!
What Are the Next Steps to Start your Future in the US?
The E-2 Visa is so powerful because it puts you in control. If you are a Mexican professional wanting to live and work in the U.S., you should consider the E-2 Investor Visa, and build the life you’ve been dreaming of. With this self-sponsored visa option you can take action now to seize the opportunities available in the U.S., grow your career and your business, and provide stability and peace for your family.