What is required when your E-2 visa business changes?
When your E2 Visa business changes:
Requirement 1. – As a treaty investor, you must come to the United States to invest in a new or existing company..
USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) defines an E-2 investment as the placement of certain capital, (including funds and other assets), at risk in the commercial sense with the ultimate goal of generating a profit. Your investment may be for the purpose of purchasing a pre-existing business. establish a new trading company. Regardless of which, you must show that the capital you are investing is substantial.
Requirement 2 – Your investment must be in a bona fide company and must not be marginal.
An investment that is considered ‘in good faith’ is a company that is a real and active commercial or business enterprise that produces services or tangible goods for profit. Such a business cannot be an idle investment held for “potential appreciation,” such as undeveloped land or shares held by an investor who does not intend to run the business.
A marginal company is considered one that will not generate more than enough income to make a significant economic contribution or provide a minimum living for you and your family.
Upon approval of an E-2 investment, the investor can work only in the company he founded (or acquired) and the company must manage the activities previously specified in the application at the time of filing. Of course, there are cases where a business owner may want to expand or change the E-2 business. It is then that the question arises whether or not the investor should officially address this change in status, structure, etc.
If a commercial change is important, the investor must request an approval from the Consulate for this change in commercial activities. This process differs by Consulate, but involves emailing the Consulate to find out directly what their individual criteria are. Some consulates simply ask petitioners, based on previous requests, to submit evidence of the new business (eg, new activities, business plan, etc.) and, based on that evidence, approve or deny the change.
The consulate may ask you to resubmit your E-2 application, but it depends on the changes that have occurred or are occurring. It should be said that this request is only necessary if the business change is substantial.
For example, if you have an E-2 visa approved for a restaurant and then expand your restaurant business to include a bar. It is unlikely that your business has changed enough to warrant a reclassification. However, if you were initially approved as a wedding photography business and opened an auto repair shop in the back, this would clearly represent a substantial change in the business.
File your change with the USCIS at the USA It is also another possibility. Again, this is only done when there has been a “substantial change” in the business. USCIS defines a substantial change as follows:
“A fundamental change in the basic characteristics of the employing entity, such as a merger, acquisition or sale of the division where the foreigner works.” It is considered “substantial change”.
When the USCIS considers that the entity has undergone a ‘substantial change’, it will be necessary to file a new Application for Form I-129. Filing Form I-129 with the USCIS facilitates the process of seeking and obtaining approval for a ‘substantial change’. In this case, the E-1 / E-2 Classification Supplement, the $ 325 fee, as well as a proper explanation and supporting documentation, must also be provided at the time of filing.
A ‘substantial change’ in business activities is the key here. By looking at new aspects of your business, can you make a rational link between the new business and the current one? If you can make this link rational, an amendment request may not be required.
When writing your business plan and describing your business and submitting your E-2 application, keep the above key factors in mind.
For example, the main business activity in your business plan may be: wedding photography, but it may also describe additional services, such as; ‘wedding consultant’, ‘nutritional planning’ for weddings, etc.
Consideration of future possibilities when you submit your request, you can eliminate the need for additional approvals through those government channels.