E2 Visa for India: How Indian Investors Can Apply for the E2 Visa

E2 Visa India

 

The E2 visa is one of the most powerful immigration options for investors and entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the United States. With an E2 visa, you can live in the US and operate your own business. Additionally, E2 visa processing times are quite short compared to other visa options, which is another reason why the E2 visa is so favorable. However, to qualify for an E2 visa you must hold citizenship to a country that has an E2 treaty with the United States. Unfortunately, India is not a qualifying country. For this reason, many Indian investors are unable to take advantage of the E2 visa.

 

In this guide, I will discuss ways for Indian investors to apply for an E2 visa. I’ll also discuss alternatives to the E2 visa. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’d be happy to help you.

 

 

Overview:

 

1. Intro to E2 Visa

2. Obtaining Citizenship to an E2 Country

3. E2 Alternatives

4. Conclusion

 

1. Intro to E2 Visa

 

The E2 visa is an investment-based visa for investors and entrepreneurs. The basic idea of the E2 visa is that it allows you to start a business or purchase an existing business in the US and work for that business.

 

E2 Visa Requirements

 

  • Must be a citizen of a country with an E2 treaty with the US
  • Make a substantial investment in a US company
  • E2 company cannot be a marginal enterprise
  • You will direct and develop the US company
  • Invest funds were obtained lawfully
  • E2 company must be an active, for-profit company
  • You must have the intent to depart the US once your E2 status ends
  • Investment must be at-risk

 

Benefits of an E2 Visa

 

  • Speedy processing
  • Ability to live in the US and operate and work for your own business
  • No limit to the number of times the E2 visa can be renewed
  • Your spouse and children under 21 can also accompany your E2 visa
  • Work authorization for your spouse

 

 

2. Obtaining Citizenship to an E2 Country

 

The main issue preventing Indian investors from applying for and getting approved for an E2 visa is that India does not have an E2 treaty with the US. In order to overcome this obstacle, one option is to obtain citizenship from a country that has an E2 treaty with the United States.

 

Grenadian Citizenship

 

  • One of the countries that foreign nationals from non-treaty countries get citizenship to is Grenada. Grenada is an E2 country.

 

  • Grenada is a country made up of three islands located in the Eastern Caribbean.

 

  • The primary reason Grenada is a country of choice for E2 investors is that Grenada has a program to obtain citizenship by investment.

 

 

  • As a disclaimer, I am not a Grenadian immigration lawyer, nor am I qualified to give immigration advice as it pertains to Grenada. For legal advice on Grenadian immigration matters, you should contact a Grenadian immigration lawyer. That said, Grenadian citizenship can be obtained for as low as an investment of $200,000.

 

Canadian Citizenship

 

  • Another E2 country that you may wish to look into is Canada.

 

  • Similar to Grenada, Canada has its own program for foreign investors to obtain citizenship on the basis of making an investment.

 

 

  • As a disclaimer, I am not a Canadian immigration lawyer, nor am I qualified to give immigration advice as it pertains to Canada.For legal advice on Canadian immigration matters, you should contact a Canadian immigration lawyer. That said, Canadian citizenship can be obtained for as low as an investment of C$800,000.

 

 

3. E2 Alternatives

 

If you do not want to obtain citizenship to an E2 country, then you may wish to consider applying for a US visa other than the E2 visa.

 

Here are 2 options to consider:

 

 

 

L1 Visa

 

The L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows a foreign company to transfer one of its employees to work for a related US company.

 

L1 Visa Requirements

 

  • Qualifying relationship between foreign company and US company (ex: parent/subsidiary; branch office; affiliate)

 

  • Continuous, full-time, work with the foreign company as either a manager, executive, or specialized knowledge worker (for at least 1 year within the last 3 years)

 

  • Will work for the US company as either a manager, executive, or specialized knowledge worker

 

 

Similarities Between L1 and E2

As a foreign investor interested in an E2 visa, you may be wondering how an L1 visa can help you accomplish your goal of starting a business in the US. One way is that the L1 visa also allows a foreign company to transfer a manager or executive to set-up a new office in the US. So as long as the foreign company continues to operate and you satisfy the other L1 requirements, you an L1 visa can allow you to come to the US to start a new business.

 

 

EB5 Visa

 

The EB5 visa is an immigrant visa for investors and entrepreneurs. As an immigrant visa classification, the EB5 visa leads to a green card for the investor, their spouse, and children under 21 years old.

 

EB5 Visa Requirements

 

  • Invest in a new commercial enterprise

 

  • Invest a minimum of $1 million (or $500,000 if the investment is located in a TEA)

 

  • Create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers

 

  • Investment funds must have been obtained lawfully

 

  • Investment must be at risk

 

  • Investor must engage in the management of the business

 

Similarities Between EB5 and E2

 

  • Both the E2 visa and the EB5 visa provide a route for foreign investors and entrepreneurs to live and work in the US by making an investment in a US business. While the E2 visa requires you to possess citizenship of an E2 treaty country, the EB5 visa has no such requirement.

 

 

4. Conclusion

 

As an Indian investor or entrepreneur, you may be interested in pursuing an E2 visa. The E2 visa is a great option to start a business in the US or to purchase an existing business. However, to qualify for an E2 visa you must have citizenship from a country with an E2 treaty with the US. India does not have an E2 treaty with the US. Therefore, to qualify for an E2 visa, you may consider applying for citizenship to another country which has an E2 treaty with the US. Two countries you may wish to consider are Grenada and Canada. Alternatively, if you do not want to obtain citizenship to another country, 2 visas to consider (which have similarities to the E2 visa) are the L1 visa and the EB5 visa.

 

If you have any questions, or if you would like to work with me, please feel free to email me directly at Michael@AshooriLaw.com. I’d be happy to help you.

 

Resources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.