E2 Investor Visa

Nationals of Grenada qualify to apply for an E-2 visa, based on Grenada being a treaty country under the E-2 classification. The foreigners are allowed to establish businesses in the U.S. so that they can employ skilled Americans and contribute to the U.S. economy.

Through the E-2 visa program, Grenadians can remain in the U.S. as long as they renew their visas and continue to meet the qualifications of the visa program. Those who do not wish to extend their stay in the U.S. can return before the expiry of their visa.

The E-2 Project Has To Be Profitable

Every Grenadian who wishes to invest in the U.S. should ensure that their preferred enterprise can create considerable profits. This is because Grenadian investors are required to establish businesses that are sustainable and contribute towards the growth of the U.S.’s economy.

The profits earned by Grenadians investor are usually measured by comparing the financial records and the size of the company in U.S. However, if the enterprise is a startup, the owner has to provide cash flow estimations so that their project can be tested for projected profitability.

The applicant is required to make an investment and the investment must be “substantial.” There is no set amount of investment though $100,000 is considered to be a representative amount. There are many precedents for investment being less than US$100,000.

Please contact us at e2visa@ccgrenadines.com if you have additional questions.

Frequently Asked E2 Questions

What are the guidelines/definition(s) for a small business and the proportionality and marginality investment requirements?

Proportionality means that the investor must own and control the business and never have less than 50% equity. The lower the investment, the higher the capital contribution has to be.

Marginality on an existing business, should be a net profit beyond what the investor pays him/herself and his/her staff. On a new business we have to demonstrate that the business is likely to generate more than what the investor and his/her family require to sustain themselves and that the business has an economic impact. In other words, the investment needs to generate significantly more income than just to provide a minimal living to the investor and family.

Is the investor required to own at least 50% of the enterprise and have control of the business?

Yes. In addition, the investor is required to own more if it is a low investment amount. The investor must also control the business.

The enterprise must be a “real operating” enterprise and the investment must be “at risk”. What does that mean?

The business cannot be a mere paper transaction or an idle enterprise. It has to be an active business (not an investment in a piece of land) in which the investor invests his own capital, subject to risk and loss. The investment must be “at risk” in the commercial sense; not a passive investment such as for example, the investor’s private home. At risk means the investor invests his capital in a real operating enterprise and is subject to the whims of the market place.

The investor must be entering the U.S. to “develop and direct” the enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise (if the applicant is the principal investor) or the applicant must be in possession of operational control by being employed by the enterprise in an executive, managerial, supervisory or highly specialized skill capacity.

What does “develop and direct” mean in a practical sense? How active must the applicant be in the management of the business? Can the applicant delegate such management?

Delegating management comes within the purview of developing and directing. This means hiring a manager and paying him/her. An example of what is not developing and directing would be the purchasing of an apartment complex with 55 units and hiring a property management firm to take care of business.

What other rules apply to applicants who are senior employees of the enterprise, but not the principal investor?

Depending on the business size this could be a manager or an essential employee. Such employees can get an E-2 as well but they must have the nationality of the investor.

Will the spouse and minor children (under age 21) be included under the E-2?

Yes, though the spouse must apply for employment authorization. Children may not work however they may attend school.

The treaty envisages more than just creating a job for the principal investor, but is there a requirement to employ a particular number of U.S. citizens or permanent residents?

There are no requirements nor quotas as it pertains to the hiring of US citizens or permanent residents.

Is there a possibility of a longer initial term (i.e. more than 2 years and up to 5 years)?

The maximum initial period of stay is 2 years and extensions may be granted of up to 2 years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions, so long as the E-2 business activities continue.

The E-2 visa can be granted up to 5 years, an extension applied for stateside can be granted for a maximum of two years. Stateside extensions are not recommended unless the applicant has no need to travel internationally. To travel internationally the applicant is required to have a visa in their passport.

Is there a language requirement for E-2 Visa Applicants?

There are no regulatory or statutory language (i.e. English language) requirements; however, if the applicant is not able to articulate the business purpose or answer business questions at the consulate or embassy prior to visa issuance, the consular officer could call into questions whether the applicant is able “to develop and direct” the enterprise.

Are there residency requirements or ties required to be shown to the treaty country (e.g. Grenada)?

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa and the applicant has to sign a letter of intent to return to their home country after the E-2 lapses. It is important that the applicant demonstrate tangible ties to the home treaty country. Such requirements could include home or business ownership, significant investment and/or family living in the treaty country.

E-2 Process Flow

  • Identify qualifying E-2 business
  • Retain immigration and corporate counsel
  • Corporate counsel drafts sales doc’s
  • Client puts purchase amount into escrow
  • Retain business plan company to draft 5-year E-2 business plan
  • Provide all necessary doc’s to immigration counsel
  • Immigration counsel assembles application package
  • Immigration counsel files package with U.S. Post in Barbados
  • Immigration counsel prepares client for consular interview
  • Client attends interview at Post in Barbados
  • Client gets E-2 visa
  • Funds are released from escrow to seller
  • Client enters U.S. in E-2 status
  • No travel restrictions or residence requirement