Is there a crypto visa to move to the U.S.?

Written by: Jack Findaro
Last Updated: May 26, 2022
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This article is based on a video originally recorded on Visa Franchise YouTube channel.

Can crypto be used for the E2 visa?

You might be wondering if there is a “crypto visa” program that would enable you to move to the U.S. through your bitcoin or cryptocurrency investment gains. Unfortunately, there is no literal “crypto visa”. Though, the E2 investor visa may be a good option for you. If you find interesting, the idea of moving to the U.S. through investment.

The best part is that there is a way to invest and obtain your visa without ever having to sell your bitcoin or cryptocurrency investment holdings.

How to move to the U.S. as an E2 visa investor?

The U.S. has various investor visa programs that allow wealthy individuals to move to the U.S. The most popular visa program that enables individuals meeting certain criteria to not be treated as U.S. taxpayers is the E2 visa. The E2 non-immigrant visa allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.

What are the main criteria to qualify for the E2 visa? (source)

1) Proof of funds

To qualify for the E-2 Investor visa. The applicant must provide substantial evidence that they possess and control the investing capital. The investor will need to show that this money came from a legitimate source. This helps to establish that the investment was not sourced from any criminal activity.

  • Examples – savings from income, loans, gift, sale of property, inheritance, company profits
  • Notably, cryptocurrency investment gains such as bitcoin are considered legitimate sources of income.

2) Citizenship of treaty country

You must be a national of a country which the U.S. maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. The most up-to-date treaty country information can be found here.

3) Invest a substantial amount of capital

USCIS does not explicitly state the amount that an E2 investor must invest in order to qualify for an E2, but we have seen our clients invest anywhere from $150,000 on upwards to receive their investor visa with no objections made to their investment amount during the visa interview process. This means that you should look for U.S. business investments of at least $150,000 on up in order to meet this threshold.

4) Business ownership / investment of operational business

You must be seeking to enter the United States to develop and direct the investment enterprise. You can establish this by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control. Through a managerial position or other corporate device.

  • A bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.

5) Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States.

crypto visa

How can I use my bitcoin or another cryptocurrency for the E2 visa?

As stated above, investment gains from bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies count as proof of funds. As they are considered investment income. From the lows of March 2020 to the end of July 2021, the value of bitcoin has soared over 650%. With many other cryptocurrencies also experiencing similar levels of appreciation. You can now utilize your gains to move to the U.S. by using them to invest in a business.

As you may know, many states and cities such as Miami, Florida are very pro-cryptocurrency. Certain states and cities are working towards programs to incentivize the cryptocurrency ecosystem in their respective jurisdictions. If this appeals to you, then you should certainly consider moving to the U.S.

How can I use my bitcoin or cryptocurrency for an E2 visa without selling my bitcoin or cryptocurrency?

The financial system, banks in particular, has transformed in recent years to be very accommodating towards high-net-worth individuals looking to receive a loan against their assets in order to avoid capital gains taxes. This is a perfectly legal aspect of the U.S. tax code. If you would rather hold (or HODL if you’re in the know) on to your bitcoin or other cryptocurrency assets as you believe that they still have room to appreciate. Then you have the option to obtain loans against your bitcoin or cryptocurrency assets. This way you can unlock the funds to invest in a business for the E2 visa while still keeping custody of your digital assets.

How can I move to the US without selling my invested assets?

Over the past decade, the traditional financial system has delivered an advantageous option to wealthy individuals –  cheap loans that they can use to fund their lifestyles while minimizing their tax bills.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article: “Banks say their wealthy clients are borrowing more than ever before, often using loans backed by their portfolios of stocks and bonds. Morgan Stanley wealth-management clients have $68.1 billion worth of securities-based and other non mortgage loans outstanding. More than double five years earlier. Bank of America Corp. said it has $62.4 billion in securities-based loans, dwarfing its book of home-equity lines of credit.”

This enables many benefits to wealthy individuals who are able to take advantage of this option. By borrowing against your portfolio, you can avoid selling assets and avoid capital-gains taxes.

For borrowers, the calculation is clear. If an asset appreciates faster than the interest rate on the loan, they come out ahead.

crypto visa

Can I borrow against my bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets?

Many bitcoin and cryptocurrency investors prefer to hold onto their holdings for as long as they can. This, in order to avoid having to pay capital-gains taxes when they sell and to allow their assets to appreciate.

It is common for wealthy individuals to be able to borrow against their stock or bond portfolio using the traditional banking system. But the market for borrowing against crypto assets is much more novel. Thankfully, there are various options for you to hold onto your cryptocurrency assets and borrow against them at the same time.

A few such services exist via decentralized finance, more commonly referred to as “DeFi”. Such services include the AAVE and Compound protocols. Further information and FAQ’s can be found here for AAVE and here for Compound.

Additionally, the DeFi and crypto newsletter Bankless has an interesting step-by-step guide on another process for how you can cash out on your crypto gains without having to sell.

While all the options for borrowing against your assets come with significant risk. It is important to know what options may be available to you so that you can do research, become informed. This is in order to make a well-informed decision.

How can Visa Franchise help?

We find and analyze businesses, principally franchises, based on each client’s unique profile. We take many factors into consideration. Including your available funds to invest, investment goals, business interests. Among a variety of other factors. Our team then works to procure the best franchise or business opportunities that fit your criteria. We are constantly conducting research to improving our offerings in order to remain the best in class within the E2 investor visa industry.

We are happy to work hand in hand with your immigration or corporate attorney. If you do not have one, we can help you find one that meets your criteria.

Established in 2015, since then we have helped hundreds of individuals and their families find the right business investment opportunity. That enabled them to move to the US through an E2 investor visa. Our clients have come from over 60 countries around the world. We are constantly onboarding new clients in order to best serve their needs.

If interested, please reach out for a consultation or visit our homepage here.

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