Investor Immigration: E-2 Investor Visa – How much do I have to invest?

E-2 Investor Immigration visa - How much do I have to invest?

The E-2 investor visa is a great option for foreign entrepreneurs from certain E-2 treaty countries who wish to start a new venture in the US. After an investor establishes that she meets most requirements for an E-2 visa, the next logical question is, “How much money do I have invest to qualify for an E-2 visa?”

How much money do I have to invest to secure an E-2 investor visa?

Summary: The investment must be substantial in proportion to the required business startup expenses.

Detailed answer from investor immigration lawyer:

There is no required minimum investment amount for an E-2 investor visa. Please note this is different from the EB-5 Investor Green Card, which requires a specific minimum investment amount.

To qualify for an E-2 investor visa, the investor immigration rules require that the investment be substantial. Whether an investment is substantial is determined by examining the required startup costs of the particular E-2 business the investor wishes to start. Depending on the type of business, the amount invested may vary considerably. For example, a company offering marketing services could merely invest in an office lease and necessary technology. On the other hand, a manufacturing plant will require a high investment amount to have credible expectations of success. The task of an E-2 investor immigration lawyer is to argue the suitability of the capital committed to the enterprise as outlined in the business plan.

The Consular Officer reviews the amount of funds invested in proportion to the cost of establishing the particular business. The funds invested must be substantial in proportion the required business startup expenses. Generally, to be considered substantial, the higher the cost of the E-2 enterprise, the higher investment amount should be in proportion to the required startup costs.

Please note that this does not mean that a simple purchase of a laptop or cellphone will be deemed substantial for E-2 investor visa purposes, even if your business has such low startup requirements. While the investment must be substantial for the particular business type, it is also required that the investment be sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise. Moreover, the investment must be of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. If all you have invested is a computer and a phone, you have very little to lose if your business fails. The US government wants you to commit a substantial sum to your investment to ensure that you will do everything possible to make your US investment a success.

If you wish to determine whether your proposed investment amount is substantial, or if you would like to develop your personalized investor visa USA strategy, contact our investor immigration lawyer.

But I heard I must invest at least $100,000?

Summary. No, this is not a requirement just a recommendation.

Detailed answer from investor immigration lawyer:

It is often recommended that the E-2 investment be at least $100,000, but this is not a requirement. Many attorneys recommend a minimum investment of $100,000 to $150,000, because for most businesses an investment of this magnitude would cover a substantial portion of startup expenses and demonstrate the investor’s commitment to the US enterprise. This being said, we have seen successful E-2 investments below $50,000. As explained above, a low investment amount raises the risk of the officer finding a lack of commitment from the investor.  

If you wish to determine whether your proposed investment amount is substantial, or if you would like to develop your custom tailored entrepreneur visa USA strategy, contact our investor immigration lawyer.  

What if my business does not require a large startup investment?

Summary: You will need to prove that the investment is substantial in proportion to the required business startup expenses.

Detailed answer from investor immigration lawyer:

Often E-2 investors are concerned that their business does not require a significant initial investment. This is often the case with startup companies in industries, such as marketing, consulting, web design, and other technology focused businesses. These same investors are regularly surprised at their final investment amounts when they tally all the costs of starting their US business. In most cases, to form a US company you have to register a company in the state where you will be conducting business. This includes paying state registration fees and sometimes even publishing notice in specific newspapers. In some cases, you may also need a local business or retail license or specific permits. To ensure an effective company formation strategy, you will likely hire a business attorney and accountant. Then you may need a professional to develop your website and online presence and a consultant who can help you develop a business plan. Additionally, you will most likely need at least one computer, a printer, and other office equipment and supplies. These expenses can quickly add up to a substantial number which in combination with a cash investment in the business bank account could qualify you for an E-2 investor visa.

If you require assistance in demonstrating that your E-2 investment amount is substantial, or if you would like to develop your custom tailored investor visa USA strategy, contact our investor immigration lawyer.  

What is the minimum investment amount for purchasing an existing business?

Summary: Generally, the investment amount will be the cost of purchasing the business.

Detailed answer from investor immigration lawyer:

When an investor is applying for an E-2 visa based on purchasing an already established business, the investment amount is generally the cost of purchasing the business. Personal loans and guarantees used to invest in the business are generally acceptable for E-2 purposes as they are considered personal funds.

Other financing options may be permissible too. The adjudicating Consular Officer decides the amount of financing allowed. Visa regulations are not specific in this regard. A rough guideline is that financing should not be more than 25-30% of the total purchase price of an investment between $100,000 and $500,000. The percentage of permitted secured financing increases proportionally with the amount of money spent on purchasing the business. For example, if a business costs $1 million, financing of 50% should generally be allowed.

If you are wondering whether your proposed E-2 investor visa investment amount is substantial, or if you would like to develop your custom tailored entrepreneur visa USA strategy, contact our investor immigration lawyer.  

I offer confidential 30 minute & 1 hour consultations.

What is the minimum investment amount for starting a new business?

Summary: Generally, the cost of establishing the business to the point where it is operational.

Detailed answer from investor immigration lawyer:

When an investor is applying for an E-2 investor visa based on developing a new business, the investment amount is usually the cost of establishing the business to the point where it is operational. These costs can significantly vary as there are many different types of businesses. For example, for a restaurant the investor would be expected to have leased the business premises and purchased equipment prior to filing the visa application.


Please note, if you wish to obtain an E-2 visa based on a new business it is necessary to commit the funds, ie. lease premises and purchase the equipment, before the E-2 investor visa application is submitted. According to the E-2 investor immigration rules, depositing funds into a business bank account with an intent to invest in the future is insufficient for showing the E-2 investor’s commitment to the business.

An investor immigration lawyer, experienced in business law and E-2 visas, can help you determine whether your business idea qualifies for an E-2 investor visa and guide you through all phases of the E-2 investor immigration visa process, including: investment planning, transaction structuring, and E-2 visa application.

The above provides general information on a complicated topic. We highly encourage you to talk to an experienced investor immigration attorney to develop your individual E-2 investor visa USA strategy.

Our Investor Immigration Lawyer Is Here to Help You

Would you like your own customized investor immigration USA strategy? Are you an entrepreneur looking for the most suitable entrepreneur visa USA option? Do you need assistance preparing and filing your E-2 investor visa application? Our investor immigration lawyer can devise a custom tailored E-2 investor visa USA strategy and prepare your E-2 investor visa application in compliance with all relevant investor immigration rules. As an experienced investor immigration law firm, Pandev Law has the knowledge and experience to guide you through investor immigration USA journey.

Please complete our contact form, email admin@pandevlaw.com, or call us at 212-220-6652 to schedule a consultation with our investor immigration lawyer.

During your consultation, our investor immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, and a recommendation about your next steps.

Disclaimer: Although this article discusses general legal issues, it does not constitute legal advice. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. Pandev Law, LLC expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.