E2 Investor Visa: What Constitutes a ‘Substantial Amount of Capital’ for Investment?



Hey everyone! If you’re considering an E2 investor visa, you might be wondering, “How much do I need to invest to get approved?” The regulations specify that the investment must be active and substantial, but there is no particular dollar amount associated with substantiality. This can be confusing, so in this blog post, I’ll help you better understand the requirement of a substantial investment. We’ll dive into the regulations, discuss the proportionality test, and explore specific examples provided by U.S. Consulates. Let’s unravel the complexities and shed light on this crucial aspect of the E2 visa process.


Breaking Down the Substantial Investment Requirement:


The regulations surrounding an E2 substantial investment are found at 8 CFR 214.2 (e)(12) but are not straightforward. In lieu of a set dollar amount, multiple factors are considered when determining the investment’s sufficiency, such as commitment to the business and likelihood of success. One of these factors is the proportionality test, which weighs the qualifying funds invested against the cost of the business. In simpler terms, the lower the cost of the business, the higher the investor’s investment should be.


Understanding the Proportionality Test:


Let’s illustrate the proportionality test with two examples. We’ll use the example of a flower shop, costing $100,000 or less. A prospective E2 applicant’s investment should ideally be close to 100% of the flower shop’s cost. In contrast, a much more expensive business, such as one worth $100 million, would require a lower percentage of qualifying investment by the E2 applicant. While a 10% proportionality might seem low, the sheer magnitude of a $10 million investment in a $100 million business can still be considered substantial.


Consular Guidance and Examples:


Although a prospective investor who is already in the U.S. on another visa status may have the option of filing a change of status to E2 without leaving the country, many new investors elect to apply for E2 through the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. Often, each consulate will have its own specific requirements and instructions for the E2 visa application both in terms of process and investment guidelines. For example, the U.S. Consulate in Paris has a strict initial E2 application limit of 50 standard pages and requires the filing of a completed E2 application online within two (2) days after a prospective investor requests an interview appointment. Australia’s consular guidance provides valuable insights into the proportionality expectations for different business costs. They offer examples based on three tiers of business costs: up to $500,000, between $500,000 and $3 million, and above $3 million. These examples highlight the minimum percentage of investment needed for each tier, emphasizing the importance of proportionality.




While the regulations and proportionality test may seem complex, understanding them is crucial for a successful E2 visa application. Remember, the lower the cost of the business, the higher the investment proportion should be, and vice versa. The U.S. Consulate in Australia provides valuable clarity on proportionality expectations, while the U.S. Consulate in Paris provides detailed information on particular application requirements preferred by their reviewing officers. By aligning your investment and application process with the specific requirements of your chosen consulate, you can increase your chances of meeting the substantial investment requirement and other general E2 specifications.


I hope this blog post has shed light on the substantial investment requirement for an E2 investor visa. If you found this information helpful, please share it with others who may benefit from it. We believe in empowering individuals with knowledge and providing in-depth insights into U.S. immigration. Stay tuned for more informative content in the future. See you next time!


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Michael Ashoori, Esq.

President of Ashoori Law

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

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