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Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 111945
Experience:  Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
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Question visa (E2): I am from the UK and applying

Resolved Question:

Question for US visa (E2):
I am from the UK and applying for an E2 visa in the US. All the paperwork and evidence has been submitted and I received a notice from the immigration firm that the US Embassy wants more information regarding investment.
The more information is for the annual report for the UK company (which I own and run) for this past year.
This makes me quite nervous for the following reason:
this past year I have been not earning as much as I used to purely because of trying to invest in the US enterprise so I have been travelling to the US looking for office space and everything else that is required for the business to be able to operate upon the approval of the visa. So I have been spending most of the money from my pay cheques but also from personal savings.
The investment amount shows more than what I had earned from the UK company - would this be of concern at all?
it just worries me that they are asking for just the annual reports of the last year?
Thank you for any advice or information!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 3 years ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My name is***** I am a licensed attorney and I am here to help resolve your legal issue. Tackling legal issues can sometimes get cumbersome or confusing. Should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know at any time during our question and answer session if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! You are NOT charged per question and you are NOT charged per response, so post at your desire! Just please remember that sometimes the law does not have an easy or convenient solution and that is not the fault of the expert. Please do not shoot the messenger.

How much have you invested so far in the U.S. company? Will you be able to show where the additional funds not-UK company related came from?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have invested around $50K in the US enterprise.

I can also show the additional funds aside from the UK company no problem (the funds were from previous years of the company paid to me and put aside as savings)

Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 3 years ago.

Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that your UK business does not have to necessarily show success and continued operation as if you were doing an L-1A visa. More than anything they are looking for proof as to where the funds are coming from since they need to make sure that funds are legitimate and not connected to terrorist or trafficking organizations. If you can show the source of your funds being legitimate from your company, personal funds (where those personal funds come from), etc., then you should be ok. The bad news is that $50,000 is a small amount of money compared to what they usually look for. What will be the actual final amount invested when you apply for the visa? In what city or state are you establishing the business?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It will be established in the state of Texas. Now since it is an IT business, there is not much investment involved...a few bits of equipment, software, legal fees, office space - thats all that is needed. I know there is no specified amount but as long as it is good enough to at least get things started up - I see no problem, right?

I have heard that some people have gotten away with even less amount than this.

Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 3 years ago.

Yes, unfortunately, problem. You are correct, some people get through with less than that investment, but it is very rare. Do you really want to put in $50,000 with a high chance that you will be denied and have to sell everything to try to recoup the investment and hope you don’t take a loss? Or would you rather invest a higher amount to have a much higher chance of success to not have to go through such a headache? I'm just letting you know because I care. I could just give you the basic answer as a response and you would go away happy, but I would feel bad that I didn't warn you of the pitfalls. Know what I mean?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
absolutely. The issue here though is that there is not much more I can invest. in fact I had to buy equipment that I do not need at all just to get some of the investment here. :-/
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 3 years ago.

Ok. I ask that you PLEASE not log off without leaving a smiley face/positive rating. This is VERY important and we do not finish just because it says, "To finish".

That's what I was afraid of. The problem is that while the law only says, "substantial investment", for the E-2 visa they usually look for around $200,000 or more. This is because anything less is a weak case that could easily fail. And they will not approve a visa for a business that they think will easily fail and you would end up being out of status. The reason I ask where you plan to invest is because if you go to a big city, Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, or like you said, big cities in Texas liks Dallas, Houston, Austin, etc., where most people want to live, the cost of living and doing business is much higher. If $50,000 is all you have and you still want to be successful, you may have to open the business in some small town in the middle of nowhere that has a very low cost of living and doing business, like maybe a small town in North or South Dakota, Utah, Nebraska, etc. This is because a $50,000 or so investment would have a much better chance of succeeding in such a location.

Usually attorneys do not take cases of E visas for less than a $200,000 investment because they do not want to risk losing the case and having an upset client because the client has to have the money already invested and at risk and if it is denied, they have to try to sell the business or something to try to recoup their investment.

Here is a link to the E-2 if you want to read more:

And here is another good link to what the consular officer looks at:

Again, you won’t find it says $200,000, but with a $50,000, I don’t think it is a high chance of success.

Since you own a business outside of the U.S. for more than 1 year and will continue to run that business, you can invest $100,000 or more in a U.S. business (doesn't have to be the same business, but must be related by ownership) and you can try for an L-1A visa. Here is a link to that, but keep in mind that both businesses have to be run and should be successful. You can't just come to the U.S. and forget about the business outside and let it die:

Again, this doesn’t have to be $100,000. You can do it for less, but with the L-1A, they like to see a good number of jobs created for U.S. workers. So probably 4 or more at the beginning. The L-1A also has the advantage of getting you a green card quickly. Here is a link:

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