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Immigrating and starting a business with the E-2 visa

It may be possible for individuals interested in immigrating to the United States to do so by opening a business in Pennsylvania. The E-2 visa allows entrepreneurs to move to the U.S. with their families, and individuals who have run a successful business elsewhere and have sufficient investment funds may be good candidates for this visa. If the business is particularly innovative, creates a number of new jobs and is big enough, the chances for approval increase.

It is necessary to be from a country that has an investment treaty with the United States. Individuals also must demonstrate that they have run a business successfully and that they have a substantial amount of money to invest in a new one. No set amount is specified, but applicants should be able to invest at least $200,000.

The paperwork for this kind of visa can often be processed in a matter of months, and once this occurs, the business owner and the owner's immediate family can move to the United States. The spouse of the owner is permitted to begin working in any occupation anywhere.

There are a few disadvantages. This is employment-based immigration, which means that the business must succeed in order for the family to remain in the country. The owner must also be an active worker at the business, so some English proficiency is required.

This particular type of visa also does not offer a clear path to citizenship or to a green card. Individuals who are interested in eventually applying for either of these options may want to speak with an attorney about how they might pursue these after satisfying the requirement for an E-2 visa and spending a few years in the United States.

Source: Forbes, "Want To Immigrate To The U.S.A.? Open A Business With The E-2 Visa", Andy J. Semotiuk, August 07, 2014

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