E2 visa online business: How to obtain an E2 with Amazon or any ecommerce venture

E2 visa online business
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Published on 3 May 2024 Time to read 6 min read Last update on 7 May 2024

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur eyeing the vibrant landscape of business opportunities in the United States? Perhaps you’re considering taking the plunge into the realm of e-commerce through platforms like Amazon or Shopify. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the E2 visa online business application process. From understanding the requirements to exploring the viability of this endeavor, we’ll equip you with the knowledge and insights needed to embark on this journey. Additionally, we’ll showcase real-life examples of clients who have successfully navigated this path, shedding light on the possibilities that await. Let’s begin!

Understanding the E-2 visa

The E-2 visa, commonly referred to as the “Investor Visa,” offers a strategic avenue for individuals to initiate or inject investment into a business enterprise within the United States. This specialized visa category is meticulously crafted to not only accommodate but also encourage foreign investors, aiming to stimulate economic vitality and spur job opportunities on American turf.

By providing a streamlined mechanism for foreign nationals to establish their presence in the US business landscape, the E-2 visa serves as a catalyst for fostering cross-border collaboration and cultivating sustainable growth initiatives.

Key requirements you need to be aware of! – E2 visa online business

#1. Substantial investment

When applying for an E-2 visa in the US, a substantial investment is crucial. While aiming for around $100,000 is common, it’s possible to be approved with less. This investment showcases your dedication to your US-based business.

Even for online businesses, investing at least $100,000 is necessary. But don’t fret, it’s achievable. By diligently tracking your expenses, you can make it work. This might involve purchasing equipment, securing office space, covering legal fees, hiring staff, obtaining a website domain, marketing your business, acquiring inventory, or ensuring operational stability. Through prudent financial management, meeting the investment requirement becomes feasible, bolstering your E-2 visa application.

#2. Marginality aspect

The marginality requirement within the E-2 visa application process, particularly for an E2 visa online business, is multifaceted and entails demonstrating the significant economic impact and viability of the business venture in the United States.

Primarily, the marginality aspect seeks to ensure that the proposed business will not only support the investor and their immediate family but also contribute to the US economy by creating jobs and fostering economic growth.

Now, for an e2 visa online business specifically, meeting the marginality can be achieved by demonstrating a concrete plan for job creation, even in the virtual realm. One effective strategy is to have at least one part-time employee at the time of visa application, as this demonstrates the investor’s commitment to hiring local talent and contributing to job growth.

Existing vs. New e-commerce businesses

At Visa Franchise, we’ve had the privilege of assisting numerous clients who already run successful e-commerce businesses. These established ventures boast revenue streams ranging from $30-40k to $200k, demonstrating their operational viability and capacity for growth. Unlike starting a new e-commerce business from scratch, these existing enterprises already have established job positions and revenue streams.

This puts them in a favorable position when it comes to meeting the substantial and marginality criteria required for the E-2 visa. Moreover, many of our clients have taken proactive steps to expand their operations in the US market. This includes initiatives such as opening warehouses, hiring American workers, and fulfilling tax obligations, all of which contribute to job creation and economic growth within the United States.

In contrast, starting an e-commerce business from the ground up presents unique challenges. New ventures must navigate the complexities of establishing a brand, building a customer base, and generating revenue from scratch. While this path offers immense potential for growth and innovation, it typically requires more time and resources to establish a foothold in the market compared to acquiring an existing business.

Leveraging Intellectual Property

Existing online businesses possess a unique advantage in the E-2 visa realm: the ability to transfer intellectual property (IP) to the visa-seeking entity. This underutilized E-2 visa trick involves transferring the intellectual property of an existing company to the E-2 visa company. By doing so, entrepreneurs can significantly reduce the required investment amount, as the investment no longer needs to be solely in cash. Instead, assets such as IP, inventory, and other tangible and intangible assets can be counted towards the investment requirement.

This innovative approach not only provides a more flexible investment option but also allows entrepreneurs to capitalize on the value they have already built within their existing business. If you want to learn more about this option, click here to read our full article.

Having a physical office for E-2 visa applicants

While not explicitly mandated by E-2 visa regulations, having a physical office is strongly recommended for visa applicants, particularly those with online businesses. It demonstrates to immigration officials that you are serious about operating your business within the country and contributing to the local economy. Moreover, having a physical office provides a regular work location, which can enhance operational efficiency and facilitate communication with clients, partners, and employees.

A lease agreement not only strengthens your case for the E-2 visa but also helps dispel any doubts regarding the legitimacy of your business operations in the US. By showcasing a physical presence, you mitigate the risk of immigration officers believing that you can easily manage the business remotely from your home country. This proactive approach demonstrates your willingness to integrate into the US business landscape and invest in its growth.

Closing Thoughts

Embarking on the E-2 visa journey with an online business entails navigating a complex landscape of requirements and considerations. While the path may seem daunting, diligent preparation and strategic planning can pave the way for success. Whether you’re contemplating launching a new venture or leveraging an existing business, we stand ready to guide you through the process. With over 1,200 families assisted in their relocation endeavors, we possess the expertise and resources to facilitate a seamless transition to the US. Reach out to us today to explore your options and embark on this transformative journey towards entrepreneurship in America.

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Mentioned visas

EB2-NIW (green card)

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Get NIW information

E2 Visa

An employment-based visa intended for those who either have an advanced degrees or exceptional ability

Access E-2 visa details