Florida, known worldwide for its cultural diversity and attractiveness to immigrants, particularly from Latin American countries, offers a welcoming environment to people from all walks of life. For those aspiring to immigrate to the United States legally, applying for an E2 visa can be an excellent choice. This visa category enables investors to oversee and develop a commercial enterprise within the country. However, securing an E2 visa in Florida entails a series of intricate procedures and strict adherence to specific conditions. In this article, we present an updated guide to obtaining an E2 visa in Florida.
Back to Basics – What Is an E2 Visa?
The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) defines an E2 visa as a means for nationals of treaty countries to gain entry to the United States by investing a substantial amount of capital in a US-based business. A treaty country is one that:
- Maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US.
- Holds a qualifying international agreement with the US.
- Has been designated as a qualifying country through legislation.
The E2 visa may also extend eligibility to certain employees of such entrepreneurs or qualifying organizations. This visa category allows citizens of specific countries to live and work in the United States for up to five years (depending on the treaty country) and offers the option of renewal as long as the business remains active and operational.
Obtaining an E2 Visa in Florida – Complying with All Requirements
When pursuing an E2 visa in Florida, strict adherence to all conditions is essential for a successful application. To begin, it is necessary to confirm whether you are a citizen of a nation that maintains a valid commerce and navigation treaty with the United States.
If this applies to you, you must demonstrate that the funds used for your investment in America were under the possession or control of nationals from a treaty country. This aspect is pivotal to the success of your application, making it advisable to seek guidance from an experienced immigration lawyer.
Once these initial requirements are met, you can proceed with your E2 visa application. The subsequent step involves the evaluation of your investment by consulate staff to determine if it qualifies as “substantial.”
This aspect may at times appear perplexing, as the E2 visa does not stipulate a specific financial threshold, as seen with the EB-5 visa, for instance. Therefore, we will provide further insights into how to ascertain whether the capital you intend to invest can be deemed “substantial.”
What Is a Substantial Investment to Obtain an E2 Visa in Florida?
For individuals seeking an E2 visa in Florida, the categorization of an investment as “substantial” is contingent on the total value or cost of the business.
For instance, consider Tom, who wishes to secure an E2 visa and open a business in Florida with an estimated total cost of half a million dollars. In such a scenario, a “substantial” investment would likely be considered as $350,000 or more.
As evident, this standard may be somewhat subjective. Consequently, the higher the percentage of the investment allocated, the greater the likelihood it will be regarded as “substantial.”
Most business types encompass various operational aspects, meaning that an investment in a venture can encompass expenses such as security deposits and rent for office space, merchandise procurement, computer acquisitions, office equipment, marketing expenditures, or franchise fees.
Regardless of the specifics, the investment should either be made at the time of the application or should be actively in the process of investment. Several methods can be employed to fulfill this requirement, including the filing of legal documents, contract execution, or the purchase of equipment or merchandise.
Obtaining an E2 Visa in Florida – Demonstrating the Enterprise Is Real
As the final requirement, applicants must prove that their new enterprise in Florida constitutes a genuine, non-marginal commercial venture. For E2 visa purposes, a marginal enterprise is defined as a business incapable of generating sufficient income to provide a minimal living standard for the treaty investor and their family. In such cases, applicants must present a five-year plan illustrating the business’s operation, profitability, growth, and economic contribution to the state.
Furthermore, applicants must establish their ability to direct or develop the business actively. This signifies that the investment cannot remain passive, including real estate investments. The investor or applicant must actively engage in the business within the United States.
Some may question the necessity for proficiency in the English language in this context. Typically, obtaining an E2 visa entails a certain level of English language familiarity.
We Can Help You Obtain Your E2 Visa in Florida
Securing an E2 visa in Florida can be a complex endeavor, with each case featuring its unique intricacies and no guaranteed results without full compliance with all requirements. In such circumstances, professional guidance is crucial to ensure success. Reach out to Jurado & Associates, P.A. today by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a consultation.