E-2 Visa through Real Estate Investment
E-2 Investor Visa
The E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa category for individuals who are investing in a U.S. business. The E-2 Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. in order to develop and direct the business in which they have invested.
To be eligible for an E-2 Visa, the foreign national must be a citizen of a treaty country, which is a country that has a specific treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. Additionally, the investment must be substantial and in a bona fide commercial enterprise.
The investment must also be active, meaning that the investor is actively involved in the management and day-to-day operations of the business.
E-2 Visa and Real Estate
The E-2 Visa is designed for individuals who are actively investing in and managing a bona fide commercial enterprise in the U.S. For this reason, a real estate investment (such as buying a property and renting it out for a profit), in general, is considered passive and does not qualify for E-2 visa.
In order for an investment to be eligible for E-2 Visa, it must meet several criteria, including being active and substantial.
Passive investments, such as real estate, do not meet the active requirement as they typically do not involve the investor’s day-to-day management and control of the business or employing workers.
However, there are a few different options for having an E2 visa business that involves real estate. The first option is a property management company, which provides services to property owners, such as collecting rent, maintaining the property, and finding tenants.
A property management company can qualify as an active business for an E-2 Visa.
In this case, a prospective E-2 Visa investor may acquire real estate with one company and manage the property using another company exclusively devoted to property management.
It is to be noted, however, that propery management companies will be considered more credible if they manage several properties, not just a few.
Another option is a real estate development company. A real estate development company is involved in the process of acquiring land, planning, designing, and constructing real estate projects. As long as the company is engaged in an active for-profit business, it can qualify for an E-2 Visa.
In other words, the mere acquisition of real estate properties for resale cannot be the main activity of the company.
The company must be engaged also in the development and construction activity, which involves hiring people and genereal contractors, purchase of equipment, retaining services of lawyers, accountants and architects, among others.
In conclusion, while purchasing rental property alone may not qualify for an E-2 Visa, having an active real estate-related business, such as a property management company or a real estate development company, can make it possible to obtain an E-2 Visa.
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