There are many types of Visas in the United States, and they are divided between immigrant (permanent) and non-immigrant(temporary) Visas. Among the non-immigrant Visa category, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a popular choice for foreign nationals that intend to come to the United States to make a “substantial investment” in a commercial enterprise. The investor must be a citizen of a country with which the United States has entered into a “Treaty of Commerce and Navigation”.
There are at least three ways a foreign investor can get an E-2 Visa through a construction company.
1. Startup construction company
The E-2 regulations do not specify what is a “substantial investment”. In general terms, an investment is to be considered “substantial” if enough capital has been invested to ensure that the company can be run. In a startup construction company, the initial investment can be made in all machinery, equipment, and tools necessary to start operating. However, to assist a consular officer determine whether an investment is substantial, it is highly recommended to submit a credible business plan.
Our company helps in opening new corporations in California. We can help in finding contractors with a license for the safe and legal conduction of a construction company in California.
2. Purchase of an existing construction company
Another way to obtain an E-2 Visa is to acquire an existing construction company. Ideally, the company should have been in business for at least 2 years and have a steady cashflow deriving from long-term contracts.
We help in finding a construction company willing to sell a part of the business.
3. Property management of residential complex
A less frequently used, but very option to get an E-2 Visa is to build a small (25-30 units) residential complex, and then lease out the units. Real estate investments are generally not appropriate for the E-2 Visa because they are considered “passive investments”. However, building and then managing a residential complex will not be considered a passive investment, because there will be money at risk during the construction.
Duration of an E-2 Visa
An initial E-2 Visa is generally issued for a period of 5 years. It can be renewed indefinitely if the commercial enterprise where the investment was made is still active and has not become a “marginal enterprise”. An E-2 Visa holder looking for permanent residency (the “Green Card”) can apply for an EB-5 Visa if his/her company has reached the required investment and employment thresholds.