The Statistics of E2 Visa and Success Rates — Turkey, Japan, and India examples
Mustafa Emre Selek / firstname.lastname@example.org
E2 Visa Approvals In Asia
Asia has traditionally been the most popular region for E-2 visa investors mainly due to Japan’s heavy concentration of petitioners. Through discussions with immigration attorneys, most of the E-2 visa issuances are for Japanese managers that are transferred to work in the Japanese company’s U.S. affiliate. Japan alone accounts for over 14,000 E-2 visa issuances, and that represents more than the 10,000 EB-5 visas issued every year! South Korea E-2 visa issuances have grown 20% over the past three years, and many Koreans open up franchise businesses across the United States through the E-2 visa program.
E2 Visa Approvals In The Middle East
E-2 visa issuances have grown 49% in Turkey over the past three years. Many Turkish nationals are moving to Florida and California and investing in a wide array of franchises including gelato, fitness, coffee, and fast casual restaurants.
E2 Visa Issuances When There Is No Treaty — Brazil, China, And India
Many countries including the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) do not have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. allowing for the E-2 investor visa. With more than 30% of our clients being dual nationals residing in countries that do not maintain an E-2 visa treaty with the United States, we have found that just because individuals are from a non-E-2 treaty country it does not necessarily mean that they or their spouses might not have another citizenship that would qualify them for an E-2 visa. Brazilians and Venezuelans may leverage their European ancestry from such countries as Spain and Italy to apply through their second nationality.
What is the US E2 Visa Success Rate? and what are your chances of being granted an E2 visa?
Applying for the E2 visa carries a significant up-front financial risk for applicants. To be eligible, you must have invested, with no guarantee that this will result in your visa being granted. Given the potential for financial loss resulting from a failed application, it’s helpful to understand the E2 visa success rate and what this means for your prospects of making a successful application.
What is the E2 visa success rate?
The E2 classification remains an accessible route into US business for foreign nationals. According to Department of State figures, the average approval rate over the past five years is approximately 80%, with the majority of applications made by citizens of Japan, Germany, France, Canada, and Great Britain. While the majority of applications are approved, at 20%, the refusal rate remains sizable, showing a notable proportion of applications fail to cut. From our own extensive experience of E2 visas, those that are refused tend to have been compiled without professional advice, and as such are more susceptible to falling foul of the E-2 eligibility and evidentiary requirements.
Why are E2 visa applications refused?
Each application, including the business plan and supporting documents, will be assessed against the eligibility criteria.
We see increasing scrutiny across all classes of US visa applications under the Trump administration. However, there are some pitfalls and common adjudication objections which applicants should look to address to avoid a refusal:
- Is your investment ‘substantial’?
The level of investment must be considered ‘substantial.’ What constitutes substantial is subjective relative to the enterprise in question. What level of investment is needed to make the business operational, looking at costs such as real estate leases, capital outlays for equipment and machinery, and others relevant to your type of business.
- Are your funds ‘legitimate’?
You will have to provide sufficient evidence in the required format to prove that the funds or assets used to make the E-2 investment are from a legitimate source.
- Is the enterprise too ‘marginal’?
You have to show that your venture will generate more than just enough income to support you and your family — you have to project and demonstrate there will be adequate profit growth that will result in full economic benefit beyond your family unit, such as providing jobs for US resident workers.
- Is the investment too ‘easily retrievable?
Your evidence should show that you are fully invested in the venture and not likely to use the system to make money and withdraw it. Provide proof of your investments and financial commitment in the enterprise to date, such as leases and assets already purchased.
- Have you demonstrated sufficient personal financial risk?
You need to be able to show that your business is operating on a legitimate basis with approved funding. The E2 visa won’t be granted unless you have already invested in the market and it is either ready to operate or already operational, e.g., premises are leased, equipment installed, and you are prepared to move as soon as you are approved. While it can be permissible to source funds from a legitimate third party, your investment must demonstrate sufficient financial risk to you personally. To meet this requirement, we generally recommend at least 75% of the investment should include your assets.
- Are you ‘capable’ of directing the enterprise?
The E-2 visa requirements on investors are more than just attaining ownership of the enterprise. E2 investors are expected to show they will be actively involved in developing and directing the business. An applicant’s ability to take this role on will be assessed by looking at investors’ academic and professional background to determine whether the applicant has the requisite skills and experience needed to run the enterprise successfully.
- Do you have ‘sufficient ties’ to your home country?
The E2 visa is a temporary, nonimmigrant visa and cannot be used as a stepping-stone to gaining US permanent residency. You must be able to show you have commitments and interests in your own country that prove you will leave the US on visa expiry, for example, mortgage statements.
What to do if your application is refused?
If your E2 visa application is refused, take advice on your options — whether to appeal, reapply for the E2 or apply for another visa category.
If you make a new application, ensure to address the grounds for refusal directly. Provide supporting documents for your visa application that correlate accurately to the visa criteria. For example, proof of the E-2 investment in the form of a source of funds and evidence of investment payments.
Prepare for your interview. Review the forms and supporting documentation especially your business plan. Providing inconsistent or misleading information are red flags and may be cause for visa denial. It is also essential to review the visa requirements and note down why you qualify for the visa. Prepare a brief explanation about the previous rejection and state how you’ve addressed the issues in the new application.