I own a house in the United States. Does this qualify as an investment and entitle me to an E-2 visa.
No. Owning property in the United States does not entitle you to a visa. To qualify for an E-2 visa the investment must be a real active and commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, producing some service or commodity.
Can I retire to the U.S. on an E-2 visa?
No. The E visa is a work visa, specifically intended for those who are coming to the U.S. to “solely carry on substantial trade” or “solely to develop and direct the operations of the enterprise”. Eligibility ceases when you no longer meet these requirements.
Does an E visa lead to a “green card” or “citizenship”?
An E visa is a non-immigrant visa and does not lead to either a “green card” or “citizenship”. You may remain in the U.S. only as long as your business conforms to the E visa regulations. Applicants who wish to become US citizens must apply for the appropriate immigrant visa category.
How much money do I need to invest?
There is no minimum money requirement; however the investment must be substantial in relation to the total cost of either purchasing an established business or creating a new business. It must also be sufficient to ensure the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
Do I need to have the money invested before I apply for the visa?
Yes. The E-2 visa regulations state that the funds or assets must be committed to the enterprise and the commitments must be real and irrevocable. Funds can be considered “irrevocably committed” if they are held in an escrow account for release of transfer contingent on the issuance of an E visa. Mere intent to invest or possession of uncommitted funds on a bank account, or even prospective investment arrangements entailing no present commitment will not suffice.
How can I start a business without a visa?
You may enter the U.S. in B-1 (temporary business) visa status in order to set up (not run) your business. You may not be paid in the U.S. while in B-1 status. If required you may hire individuals (who are properly documented to work in the U.S.) to manage and run daily operations prior to receiving your visa. Once you have the initial commitments completed you may apply for your E visa.
Can my spouse and children work in the U.S.?
Effective January 16, 2002, dependent spouses of E visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization from the Citizenship and Immigrant Service. Children of E visa holders are not permitted to work in the United States unless they have independently qualified for employment authorization.
Can my fiancé(e)s or common law wife accompany me?
Under U.S. Immigration law, a legal marriage must exist to be considered as a spouse. Therefore, fiancé(e)s and common law spouses do not qualify for derivative E visas.
Do my children need to be present at the interview?
Dependent children under 14 do not need to attend. However they must be in Ireland when their visas are issued. Applicants maybe advised to provide evidence of their presence.
Can anyone apply for an E visa in Dublin?
You may do so if you are a resident of Ireland, domicile in the state or are a landed immigrant from a qualifying treaty country. You will be asked for evidence of your residency. Please note British passport holders who are resident in Ireland may not be eligible. The Convention, which entered into force on July 3, 1815, applies only to British territory in Europe (the British Isles (except the Republic of Ireland), the Channel Islands and Gibraltar) and to “inhabitants” of such territory. This term, as used in the Convention, means “one who resides actually and permanently in a given place, and has his domicile there”.