Thousands of entrepreneurs, would-be business owners, and people with a dream of owning their own business move to the United States in search of a better quality of life and more lucrative business opportunities. There are several different visas that enable you to live, work, or study in the United States as a foreign national, but only a few that certain people qualify for.
The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a non-immigrant temporary visa for nationals of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation who wish to go to the United States to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital. The mere investment of capital by either starting up a new business, or purchasing an existing business or a franchise is not enough to provide sufficient evidence that as a foreign national, you qualify to be granted an E2 treaty investor visa. E2 Visa business plans are a critical component to an overall application for an E2 non-immigrant visa and must include certain criteria as it relates to the investment and future well-being of the U.S. enterprise in question.
As stringent as US immigration laws are, specifically as it pertains to the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, the goal is to not only make sure that foreign nationals meet all of the required criteria, but that they will be successful once granted their non-immigrant visa when present in the United States developing their business. A well documented E2 business plan that details the breakdown of start-up costs necessary for the business to become operational, or the cost break-down of the business or franchise being purchased, will go a long way in not only proving the applicant meets the required investment level, but that sufficient financial resources are available to sustain the U.S. enterprise for a reasonable period of time until it becomes profitable.
To demonstrate current or future profitability, 5 year financial projections should be provided that includes profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow forecasts. The financial projections should be substantiated and backed up by external sources. If the applicant is purchasing an existing business then prior tax returns and financial statements are usually provided which form the historical basis of the 5 year financial projections created as part of an E2 visa business plan. If the foreign national is starting up a new business then comparable industry profile ratios should be used from the same industry to compare line item details such as sales growth, cost of goods sold, inventory levels, gross margins, and profit before interest and taxes, to name just a few.
Outside of the financial projections there are many other aspects that make up the E2 business plan, including but not limited to an executive summary, market analysis summary, marketing strategy, SWOT analysis, personnel summary and detailed job descriptions. According to the US Embassy in London, they have seen a dramatic number of E2 treaty investor visa applications over the past 10 years. However, they warn that it is important for investors to understand the purpose of the E-2 visa, so they do not risk losing time and money in a lengthy visa process that may not result in an approval being granted. Having a well documented E2 immigration business plan will demonstrate that you have spent time, effort, and money in to making sure your future business strategy has a proper written plan and appropriate course of action.