E-2 BUSINESS: BONA FIDE VS. MARGINAL
Bona Fide Enterprise for E-2 Visa Purposes
Even if you come from a qualifying treaty country and have substantial, investable capital, your USCIS E-2 visa application could be denied if it fails to establish that the proposed or existing business is a bona fide enterprise. As such, an E-2 visa applicant should submit supplemental evidence that the enterprise meets E-2 visa criteria.
The USCIS E-2 visa standards require that the enterprise is a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial venture that produces goods or services for profit. To demonstrate that the investor has the requisite commitment to the enterprise, the E-2 visa applicant might provide USCIS with a detailed description of the activities of the business, as well as financial statements and business reports.
Other examples of evidence that may prove to USCIS that the proposed or existing enterprise qualifies as a bona fide venture include the following:
The USCIS requires that an E-2 visa applications be for a bona fide venture in the USA, and not a marginal enterprise. As such, it can be important for you provide them with sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the enterprise is bona fide.
A marginal enterprise, as defined by the USCIS, is one that does not have the current or potential capacity to generate more than enough income for the treaty investor and their E-2 visa dependents. A persuasive E-2 visa application should demonstrate that the treaty investor’s income will be more than sufficient for at least five years from the date of the E-2 visa classification.
The USCIS could deny an E-2 visa application if it determines that the proposed or existing enterprise is derived from relatively small capital and is intended only to provide a living for the investor and their E-2 dependents. One method of fortifying an E-2 application is by submitting a detailed business plan or executive summary.
Additional documentation that may convince the USCIS that a treaty investor business is bona fide, rather than marginal, includes following: