NewsCase StudiesEvents

USA Emigration Explained by David Katona

Also in the news...

Top 10 cultural and linguistic blunders in international advertising

So youíve made up your mind: your company is going to expand internationally!!

Expand your international business to make it faster, bigger, and better

This essential hands-on book will show you how to successfully navigate the region's most attractive markets: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.

Are The New Import Embargos Of Big Importance?

Yes, they are. On August 6 and 7, Russia reacted to the sectorial EU-sanctions with an embargo on the import of food and agricultural products from the EU, USA, Norway, Canada and Australia.

195 Countries - Where to Go First? Introducing Winning Globally Chapter 2

In July, we released the first chapter of Winning Globally

Opportunities for UK oil and gas companies in Africa

UKTIís event in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games highlighted support available to help UK business access export opportunities in east and west Africa.

USA Emigration Explained by David Katona

Back to News

Overseas expert David Katona discusses the ins and outs of emigration

David Katona

Although there are many types oftemporary work visas that may allow one to work in the United States,the most appropriate visa for UK nationals looking to invest in a newor existing business in the US is typically the E-1 or E-2 visa.

The E-1 visa is available in situationswhere a UK national or business invests in a new or existing USentity that engages in substantial international trade of goods orservices with the UK. The UK national (or another UK national orbusiness) must purchase at least 50% of the shares of the US company,and the volume of trade between the UK and US must be more than 50%of the traders total international trade volume. Furthermore, thetrade must be substantial, regular and continuous (ie, cannot bebased on one trade transaction). If all these conditions are met,the UK investor can obtain an E-1 visa if s/he directs the trade. The US company can also hire any UK national (ie, who is not theinvestor himself) who will assume a supervisory or essential skillsposition at the company.

The E-2 visa is appropriate when a UKnational or business makes a substantial investment into a new orexisting US business. As with the E-1 visa, the UK national orbusiness must purchase at least 50% of the US enterprise. The focusin this visa category however is on the investment, not the trade. The investment must be deemed substantial and non-marginal. Non-marginal broadly means that the investment cannot merely resultin an income stream to support the investor and his/her family. Rather, the business must have the potential to generate job growth,substantially benefit the community in which it is situated orgenerate more than personal income for the investor. Whether theinvestment is considered substantial is even harder to explain. Thisis because US immigration regulations dont define substantiality. As a result, each Embassy post can have differing views on whatqualifies as a substantial investment. In London, for example,where consular officers are notoriously tough on investors, aninvestment of $50,000 may not qualify the investor for an E-2 visa,whereas another Embassy might indeed view such an investment assubstantial and agree to accord E-2 status.

Because of the relatively highstandards that seem to be regularly imposed by the US Embassy inLondon, individuals seeking to pursue smaller investments can bediscouraged from attempting. What some may not be aware of, however,is that there may be a way around the Embassy. If an individual isable to obtain (or already has) a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, theindividual can travel to the United States as a prospective investor,identify an appropriate investment and apply to change status in theU.S. from visitor to E-1 or E-2 status. Such a change of statusapplication is made with the US Citizenship & ImmigrationServices (CIS), which tends to have a more lenient standard forsubstantiality than many Embassies. Employing this strategy, aprospective investor may then be able to successfully obtain an E-2visa and pursue a smaller investment than would otherwise be approvedby the Embassy in London.

For additional information on the E-1or E-2 visa categories, or other potential U.S. investment options,please dont hesitate to contact me at dkatona@katonamir.com.



You are not logged in!

Please login or register to ask our experts a question.

Login now or register.