Everything You Need To Know About Getting an E2 Visa


FAQ Questions about getting an E2 Visa


Getting an e2 Visa typically takes 4-6 months and will require investing significantly in a franchise, buying an existing business, or creating a new business.  The Klappenberger & Son franchise is one of the least expensive franchises that qualifies as a significant investment.  

Klappenberger & Son is an excellent choice because it is in a recession-resistant industry with multiple revenue streams.


Bruce Chamberlin interviewed Maud Poudat of Vasques and Poudat.

Bruce Chamberlin is an independent broker affiliated with Klappenberger & Son, a painting and handyman franchise. 

Below are faqs about obtaining an e2 Visa. 

How is an e2 Visa different from other visas?

Well, first of all, thank you for having us. As you said, our law firm is based out of Orlando, and our law firm is Vasquez & Poudat.  What makes the e2 different? There are lots and lots of other visas that allow you to work in the United States. However, the e2 visa is the only investor visa allowing a foreign national to run his company. Essentially, they can come and create their own company or buy an existing business. And it’s the only visa that’s going to give you a duration of a maximum of five years. And that’s also renewable indefinitely.


What does it cost to get an e2 visa?

There are no set minimum investment amounts for an e2 visa. So I wouldn’t say anything has changed since 2023. What the officer would look at is, you know, whether the investment is proportionate to the type of activity that the foreign national intends to run in the United States. So, for example, you have a startup company, that’s a consulting company, well, that type of company is not going to need as much investment as you know, for example, a restaurant, you know, with seating of like 50 to 100, you know, tables.

There is no minimum investment requirement. And then you have to look at, you know, the type of activity. Whether, you know, if it’s a purchase of an existing business, you would look at how much is the company, you know, what, how much is the cost, and probably the consular officers going to look at, you know, an investment in a range of like 70% of the purchase amount of the total cost of opening the business? 


Is it possible to get an e2 Visa without an attorney?

Anything is possible. Whether we recommend it is another question. You always hear of some clients who can get a visa without a lawyer, but we don’t recommend it. Because, you know, obviously lawyers have, I’ve done it multiple, multiple times. And so we know the requirements, especially specifically, we know, with each Consulate because each Consulate will have its needs.

We know how to maximize your chances of approval and success. Therefore we recommend hiring an attorney to obtain an e2 visa. 

What does an attorney typically charge for getting an e2 visa?

Again, it will vary depending on the number of years of experience of that lawyer and the location; I would say, of anything between $5000 and $8,000 1000.

 Again, and I’ve seen it all, honestly. So again, you want to look at the reviews before you decide to hire a lawyer. You want to make sure the price matches the experience of the lawyer. 

When considering the magnitude of what they’re trying to do, that’s a pretty reasonable investment.  

The complexity of a case can vary as well. If you’re dealing with a straightforward company, one investor, it would be cheaper than, you know, we’re looking at a multinational company that’s trying to bring employees to the US and so forth. Or you have multiple investors in one company, that’s also a factor in the cost.


What are the filing costs involved for an e2 visa?

There are varying different costs involved in getting an E2 Visa. Whether you choose to apply for a visa directly with a US consulate or you decide to do what’s called a change of status in the United States.

The person is here, already on a tourist visa or any other type of visa, and that will change to an E2 key. For a visa application, you’re looking at a minimum of $250 for each applicant, spouse, and children to 21. And you have reciprocity fees also that apply. With each Consulate, some do not have reciprocity fees; some will have reciprocity. So that’s your lawyer to let you know.

Suppose you’re changing your status with US Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States. In that case, you’re looking at fees of $460.00, the actual petition premium processing fees, and if you want a decision within 15 days of your filing, that’s $2,500. And then, for the dependent’s spouse and children, it’s one fee of $370. Now know the fees are always subject to change, which will change over the summer of 2023.


What are the easiest countries to come into the US right now?

That’s the first time I’ve ever been asked that question. You know, I would say countries within Western Europe, you know, they always have more accessible chains of coming to the US on E2s, but even not every Consulate is the same. 

I would say Switzerland is a good one, Belgium, Frankfurt, but you have countries like, you know, Italy and Spain, they look complex. Even France right now is a bit difficult. And then you have other countries like in South America, where, you know, we’ve seen challenges with COVID, delays, w in Chile, we’re not even processing e2. And then, you have to find another country willing to accept their findings. So that’s been a little bit of a challenge. But know, you know, there’s always a chance of doing a change of status in the US if the person has a valid E2 Visa , as long as they, you know, wait 90 days to do it after they’re entering the US.

But other countries, just as a side note, other countries that are off the list right now are challenging too. We have countries like Colombia, where they’re not even processing e2s at the moment; Chile, you know, just came out with a release that says they were processing now e2 files back in March 2021, I think was it 2022. Anyways, they had a huge backlog. Toronto was wrong for a while, but now it’s back to a four-month processing time. Some have stated that they’re trying to start, i.e., processing again, but we’re not sure about the delay.


Besides a criminal record, what red flags are two new out here aware of that might prevent them from being accepted?

Well, they are, you know, different red flags. One pertains to eligibility overall, not just for the e2s. Still, for any visa application, as you mentioned, criminal records are like prior immigration violations, such as overstaying. 

First, if someone overstays their visa in the past.

Secondly, if any fraud in the application process. 

Also, if the investment is minimal, that’s something obviously, they will look at. And then, in terms of marginality of the business, that’s one of the major requirements, which, you know, is demonstrated through a business plan. So, when you find this application, you also follow the business plan.

The business plan will lay out projections over the next five years. It will include the terms of employees and how much, you know, the salary for the investor will be. The Consulate wants to be sure the payment will be sufficient to support himself and his family. In addition,  the business mind will have to oversee the employment of at least two to three full-time employees over the next five years. 

It is a red flag. Suppose a business plan does not show any potential for the development of the activity. That will be a huge red flag.


The business needs to demonstrate that it will hire employees.

 So that’s the goal, you know, when we submit any to this application, no matter what type of business it is, we will have to show employment creation in the business plan. And we always tell people that if you do not plan on hiring people, they will not qualify for an E2 Visa , so they must be aware of that.

Other factors would be not being able to speak English. When I said flaunt, I meant at least to be able to communicate with your staff and future clients. That’s one of the red flags. And they will also look at whether you have family members, so maybe like parents that can sponsor you for your green card, or

US citizen children or spouses can also be a red flag because, for e2, it is a non-immigrant visa. You have to show that at the expiration of that visa, you will go back home, even though you know the intent is really to get it renewed.  


Is the immigration process any different for people who have advanced degrees?

Having an advanced degree in and of itself, again, is not a requirement for an e2. So, I don’t know if this is a general question that is more geared toward e2. You know, in general, yes, having an advanced degree is, you know, gets you higher chances of getting a visa such as, you know, an H1B visa, or perhaps an L or an O visa before the e2, it is not a requirement.

Now, suppose a person is going to be doing something particular. In that case, you know, that requires a bachelor’s degree or higher than Yes, especially if you’re going to be an employee of an E2 Visa company already registered. That’s trying to bring employees to the US. Having an advanced degree is going to be very important. Perhaps sometimes even a requirement. But getting an E2 investor visa is not required to be an investor in the company. And we’ve seen many people who have gotten approved without advanced degrees.


How long does an e2 visa last? Is there a limit on the extensions?

The US Consulate and that length of time will vary depending on which country you’re coming from. Because the E2 Visa is based on reciprocity, some countries, like most African countries, will have perhaps three months up to a year. They generally don’t have much time per se, except in Morocco or, you know, some of those countries. But, like countries like Canada or Belgium, you know, have five years, Mexico, I think, is back to four years. Some countries have, perhaps, you know, even less than five, but it’s still, you know, manageable if you want to come here as an investor. And then, if you’re going to change status in the US, you’ll always have two years allowable by USCIS. And again, that’s renewable indefinitely. So even if you’re talking about a visa, or a change of status, by USCIS, it’s always renewable indefinitely and generally put the same amount of time.


Can an individual bring their family? And if they can, can they work?

Yes. Individuals I mentioned earlier can bring their spouses, and children under 21 years old spouses are going to be authorized to work. And it’s tied to the status they’re going to get.  


Are Individuals who enter with e2 Visas eligible for public assistance?

So public assistance is a broad term; some are allowed, and some are not. But you know, let’s say food stamps, if it’s requested through your child, it’s not really for you. That’s usually okay as long as your child is a US citizen. But the bottom line is that the person is coming here as an investor. And then, we had to prove that the business could generate enough income to support the investor and his family. And so, we do not recommend that the investor relies on public assistance; whatever the term is, it’s not a good factor in the United States.


Getting a driver’s license

Can someone who’s applying for an e2 can they get a driver’s license? And are they able to get it? I guess it would have. Would they have to be approved first before they could obtain a permit? Is that typical?

Yeah, that’s correct. Yes, absolutely.


What are the chances of not getting renewed?  

Again, there are criteria that the Consulate will look at for an application for visa renewal. It will depend on whether the business stands right at that point. But what the officer will look at the tax returns. The tax return will determine whether the business generated sufficient income over the last year. The US Consulate will look at the profitability and growth of the company. This will include the previous two years of their 1090 tax statement.  

If you have one part-time employee, you barely pay yourself; it’s been over three years since you’ve had this visa. Well, unfortunately, the chances of getting renewed are not that high. And at that point, you may want to consider changing or extending your status or, instead, with USCIS, leaving and applying for a new visa because the chances of renewal are not great.

The best option may be to stay here and then try for an extension with USCIS.   This strategy will give you more time because those processes take longer. Hopefully, that extra time will allow the business is doing better, and you will have more chances of getting renewed. 


What is the renewal process typically costs to keep your e2 visa?

If you hire a new lawyer, you stay with the same lawyer; I think if you stick with the same lawyer, we don’t charge the same, for example, for renewals.   We will discount the fees because we already have their prior files; usually, revival does not entail much work. However, the filing fees will remain the same.


Does having an e2 visa eventually lead to a green card?

Not in and of itself, so not? Because you own a company, will it lead to a green card? As a general answer would be no. There are exceptions to the rule. However, one is the Green Card three investments. For example, let’s say you have your company, and you’ve now invested at least $800,000 in a targeted employment area that allows for a lesser investment, or up to, you know, $1,050,000, in your own business, through your funds. It cannot be the company investing that amount, it’s your funds, and then you’ve hired ten full-time employees. Those types of results can lead to a green card.


If an e2 is granted for a particular franchise, does that make it easier for future candidates to get an e2 visa from that same franchise?

I would say, yes, for us consulates because they, you know, they do have records of all this. And, once a company is registered with that specific US consulate, it’s going to be easier, you know, franchises recognize, they have had several files going through the franchise, it will be easier for future franchisees to get it. However, they still have to prove, you know, the source of funds and that the investment is substantial. Right? You still have those requirements to meet.


Is there any other advice, I guess, that you would recommend for someone who is looking to obtain an e2 visa?

Yes, so we have good Advice. One is the number one would be getting professional services. So here you know, the professionals, don’t try to do it yourself and then listen to your lawyer’s Advice. When I talk about professionals, obviously, immigration lawyer, also, the lawyer that’s going to set up your company could be the immigration lawyer, could be someone else, the person that’s going to write the business plan for you, these are particular to the E2 Visa visa business plan, you know, to get a loan is not going to be the same business plan for an E2 Visa. Make sure that person knows how to do e2s.

Klappenberger & Son works closely with immigration attorneys and can help you through the process by becoming a franchise owner.

If English is not your most robust language, Klappenberger & Son offers extended training to ensure you are confident and ready for business.   For more information on costs, territories, and other topics, please visit franchise.klappenbergerandson.com.

Final Advice on getting an E2 Visa

 If you buy an existing business, get a good business broker that has dealt with e to visas. Why? As a lot of you know, the purchase the asset purchase, you want to have a provision in the contract that will protect you and your finances, whereby the funds will not be released to the seller, should the E2 Visa visa not be approved or meaning the E2 Visa, you know, the release of the phones will be contingent on getting the E2 Visa approved. And you can also do that, you know, with a change of status with USCIS. So, there you know, those can be added to the contract, and we do recommend them because you never know if your visa will be approved, and yet we can estimate the chances. But you know, they are sometimes egregious denials, and sometimes you cannot predict that, so you want to protect yourself. And that’s essential, work on your English if your English is not that good. So that’s essential for the e2 visa and ensuring your business will succeed

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