Written by Elizabeth Tran, Business Development Associate at Visa Franchise
As the leading E-2 visa business advisor, Visa Franchise is proud to conduct and report ongoing research on the E-2 visa. This includes monthly updates from popular E-2 visa countries, and our annual report of the E-2 visa approval and denial rates. Stricter regulations were imposed in certain E-2 countries that could change the E-2 visa landscape in the coming years.
What is the E-2 Visa
The E-2 visa is a renewable nonimmigrant visa that allows entrepreneurs from a treaty country to invest in a business and move to the U.S. Unlike the EB-5 visa, there is no minimum investment amount for the E-2 visa, but rather depends on the type of the business. Many immigration attorneys recommend an investment of $200,000 or more as to satisfy the substantial investment requirement of the E-2 visa. Furthermore, the E-2 visa does not require a set number of American jobs created or maintained. Although the E-2 visa is not a direct path to the green card, the visa can be renewed indefinitely so long as the business is sustainable.
Other benefits with the E-2 visa include the spouse’s ability to work in the U.S. and children being able to reside and study in the U.S. until they are 21. At Visa Franchise we focus on finding the right businesses for our E-2 clients by often prioritizing security and longevity of the business.
The E-2 Visa Approval and Denial Rate
In 2019, the E-2 visa approval rate remained the same year-over-year at 89%. The E-2 visa success rate did not decrease as it had in previous years.
*The Adjusted Approval Rate Equals [ Minus [[Refusals Minus Overcomes] Divided By [Issuances Plus Refusals Minus Overcomes]]]. 2017 and 2018 Approval Rates are adjusted with Overcomes, while 2019 data did not have overcome information.
The E-2 visa denial rate in 2019 is 11%. The E-2 denial rate did not increase despite stricter policies imposed on E-2 visa countries and immigration overall. These policies reflected more on other nonimmigrant visas. The overall nonimmigrant visa denial rate increased from 22% in 2018 to 26% in 2019. The E-2 visa has one of the highest approval ratings relative to other nonimmigrant visas.
E-2 Visa 2019 Policy Changes
While the E-2 visa approval rate did not decrease, it is still worth noting the many regulations implemented in several E-2 treaty countries. These changes were in large part due to the mandate in Section 10 of Executive Order 13780, requiring the Department of State to review all non-immigrant visa reciprocity agreements to make sure they are truly reciprocal. Many other visas had further restrictions. Most notably, the EB-5 visa’s minimum investment amount increased from $500,000 to $900,000.
France: The E-2 visa validity period has been reduced from 60 months to 25 months.
Netherlands: The E-2 visa validity period has decreased from five years to three years. Furthermore, the E-2 Visa fee has increased from $0 to $2,228.
Australia: The E-2 fees for Australian nations has increased from $105 to $3,574, representing a 3303.81% increase!
Israel: The E-2 visa validity period has decreased from five years to two years.
Iran: Citizens of Iran are no longer eligible for the E-2 visa.
Shortened E-2 validity periods are not a threat as the E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely so long as the business is doing well. That is why Visa Franchise goes through a due diligence process to make sure the businesses we investigate are the right businesses for the E-2.
Countries with the Most E-2 Visas 2019
Japan has always had an extremely high number of E-2 visa issuances relative to other countries. Most of the Japanese E-2 visas are for E-2 managers that are transferred to work in the E-2 company in the United States. After discussing with many immigration attorneys, most E-2 visas from countries besides Japan and Germany represent investor visas applied by individual entrepreneurs who plan to operate a small U.S. businesses.
The top ten countries were the same as last year, with the rankings switching slightly. Last year’s second highest E-2 visas came from Germany but has now been replaced by Canada. France also fell on the E-2 visa rankings, which could be due to the shorter validity periods imposed this year.
Some applicants also have dual-nationality with an E-2 country through Citizenship by Investment programs or citizenship by ancestry. For example, China is not an E-2 country but many Chinese nationals obtain dual nationality with an E-2 country passport from Citizenship by Investment programs in Turkey and Grenada.
By continents, nearly 80% of E-2 visas issued came from Asia and Europe in 2019. North America’s E-2 visa issuance rate increased from 12% to 15%, mainly due to the increased number of E-2 visas coming from Canada. Asia, Europe, and North America are the predominant continents for E-2 visa issuances with the Top 12 E-2 visa countries also coming from those areas.
The E-2 visa has a higher approval rate at 89% relative to other nonimmigrant visas. Despite stricter immigration policies implemented under the Trump administration, the E-2 visa approval rate did not decrease compared to other visas. The denial rate of nonimmigrant visas overall is more than double the E-2 visa denial rate.
The top E-2 visa countries and continents remain similar year-over-year, but fees and validity periods have changed regularly. Therefore, it is vital for E-2 visa applicants to find a strong business for the E-2 visa that can meet the renewal requirements after the first validity period. It is best practice to work with professionals that will support you throughout the entire E-2 process such as immigration attorneys and business advisors like Visa Franchise.
If you are interested in owning a franchise or business for your E-2 Visa, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-888-550-7556
Who is Visa Franchise
Visa Franchise is a business advisory firm focused on the E-2 visa. Our goal is to simplify the process by finding and analyzing the best franchise and business investments for our clients and their families based on their own unique profiles, from owner-operated franchise businesses to investments in growing independent businesses.
Note: It is always advised to consult with a licensed immigration attorney regarding immigration matters