The U.S. government DOES NOT set a minimum amount of investment needed to qualify for an E-2 visa.
The U.S. government DOES NOT set a minimum amount of investment, but it DOES require that your investment be “substantial”. An investment is considered substantial when it satisfies the “proportionality test,” an assessment that compares of the amount of money you invest to the cost of the business you are purchasing or starting. To pass this test, your investment amount must be a certain percentage of the cost of your E-2 business. The required percentage depends on the value of your business.
If you invest $100,000 in a company valued at $1 million, such as a hotel chain, then you have only made an investment of 10 percent. Such an investment would likely not meet this requirement.
Though there is no fixed percentage that constitutes a substantial investment, if the value of the business is lower, then generally the percentage invested must be higher. If the value of the business is higher, then generally the percentage invested can be lower. Here are a few helpful guidelines to use when evaluating these proportions.
For example, if you invest $100,000 in a business that costs $100,000, such as a small restaurant, then you have made an investment of 100 percent. This investment would meet the requirement.
Typical Accepted Investment Percentage:
$3,000,000 or more
$500,000 - $3,000,000
$100,000 - $500,000
$100,000 or less
The proportionality test is rarely applied to multi-million dollar investments in American businesses. Such investments will likely qualify as substantial based on their size alone.
Though investments as low as $35,000 have met E-2 requirements before, generally investments under $100,000 are difficult to get approved.
The following list includes evidence you may submit to prove that your investment is substantial:
- Canceled money orders and/or checks
- Loan and/or mortgage agreements
- Capitalization table
- Corresponding personal and/or business bank statements
- Corresponding financial accounting documentation
- Lease agreement
- Term Sheet, Letter of Intent, or Memorandum of Understanding
- Valuation analysis of business assets
- Bill of Sale
- Itemized list of goods and materials purchased for the start-up
- Escrow documents
- Purchase agreement for business assets
- Valuation analysis of stock
- Stock purchase agreement, accompanied by meeting minutes, stock certificate or ledger, and/or corresponding forms of payment for stock.
How Much Money Do I Have to Invest?