SUCCESSFUL E-2 VISA CASE
- Applicant: Mr. Chu
- Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)
- Industry: Bicycle Distribution
- Position: CEO and Majority Shareholder, Owner
- Year Incorporated: 2015
- Number of Dependents: 1
- Investment Amount: $132,050
- Company did not have any sales contracts in the United States
- New company with no marketing experience
- No retail stores were present in the United States
Mr. Chu* came to Tsang and Associates seeking assistance in applying for an E-2 treaty investor visa for his newly formed company, Bicycle Company. As the owner, majority shareholder, and CEO of Bicycle Company, Mr. Chu sought to come to the United States to facilitate the launch and anticipated growth of Bicycle Company. His extensive experience in management along with his knowledge of the U.S. and Taiwan market-places would be vital. Otherwise, Mr. Chu may miss out on an opportunity in the United States for his company to start a new chapter. As such, Mr. Chu came to Tsang and Associates hoping for help. We filed Mr. Chu’s E-2 visa application on November 2, 2015 and Mr. Chu received E-2 approval on November 11, 2015.
Keys to Success
In order for one to be successful in their E-2 visa application, there are several requirements that are necessary according to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services regulations:
- The treaty investor must possess the nationality of the treaty country
- The corporation must be a bona fide U.S. Corporation, a real operating enterprise and not a fictitious paper organization
- Capital invested must be substantial and irrevocably committed to the enterprise
- The investment cannot be marginal
- Investor must have ability to develop and direct the enterprise
- Investor must have intent to depart following the end of E-2 status
National of Treaty Country
When Mr. Chu came to us at Tsang and Associates, we believed strongly in his case. First of all, it was clear that Mr. Chu possessed the nationality of a treaty country, as he was a citizen of Taiwan which has been a treaty country since 1948. Therefore, because 100% of Bicycle Company was owned by Mr. Chu, a Taiwanese national, this meant that the entire ownership interest of Bicycle Company fell under the foreign ownership requirement, satisfying the treaty country detail.
Real and Operating Enterprise
One of the more challenging aspects of this case we had to tackle was showing that the corporation was a bona fide U.S. Corporation. When Mr. Chu first came to us, this requirement was not fulfilled, as he had not yet incorporated Bicycle Company in the United States. This required much work on our part to satisfy. It had no retail stores in the United States and did not have any sales contracts so proving that Bicycle Company was indeed a real and active company was challenging. As such, we assisted Mr. Chu in incorporating Bicycle Company in an expedited manner and acquiring business licenses and leases as well as partnership agreements. In addition, we helped Mr. Chu form a much needed business plan, detailing the projected growth of the company as well as the creation of additional jobs. Furthermore, we provided an organizational chart pointing to Mr. Chu’s role as the CEO of the company. We even created the website for Bicycle Company and provided 3 months of maintenance following its creation to prove that Bicycle Company was continually doing business. We assisted Mr. Chu right from the start in his U.S. Company, incorporating it in July of 2015, indicating that Bicycle Company was indeed a “real operating enterprise” and not a “fictitious paper organization”.
Substantial and Irrevocable Investment
In addition, we were required to prove that the investment made by Mr. Chu was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking”. As such, we noted that since Bicycle Company’s incorporation in July of 2015, Mr. Chu has invested more than $130,000 into the company for the initial stages of setting up the U.S. corporation. We emphasized that Mr. Chu had already incurred more than $53,000 in costs during this set up stage, evidenced by the company’s balance sheet and organizational costs. Moreover, we proved using the company’s commercial lease agreement and payment, that Mr. Chu had already committed to a five-year lease. Furthermore, introducing the “proportionality test” utilized by USCIS, we showed that Mr. Chu had indeed satisfied the proportional relationship between the amount invested by the investor himself and the cost of purchasing or creating the particular business; in fact, Mr. Chu had invested 100% of the $132,050 in investment money. Thus we were able to demonstrate that Mr. Chu was “unquestionably committed to the success of the business”.
More than Marginal Investment
In addition to proving that the investment made was substantial, we were required to prove that the investment was more than marginal. According to federal regulations, an investment is considered to be more than marginal in the cases that it either provides income that exceeds what is necessary to support the individual and the family or that it would make a significant economic contribution in the future. We were able to attack this with a two pronged response. First, we proved using the business plan that we formed, that there is substantial projected growth within the next couple of years, generating a very healthy revenue and allowing for additional expansion; this would be more than enough to provide for Mr. Chu himself and his wife. Second, we showed that the business plan projected to create 10 additional jobs by the end of the next couple of years, proving that the investment was not just marginal.
Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise
Another key point we had to show was that Mr. Chu was coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise, meaning that he would have to have a controlling interest in the company. According to USCIS regulation, ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify. Thus, we highlighted that Mr. Chu would be coming to the U.S. to oversee his company as the CEO and principal investor. We detailed all of his proposed duties. These included overseeing all financial aspects of the company’s operations, developing new marketing campaigns, controlling the costs of operations, increasing gross revenues, and managing the budgets. We demonstrated that Mr. Chu would be serving in a multi-faceted senior management position, that he would be instrumental in directing the business’s day-to-day operations and long term growth. We then furthered Mr. Chu’s qualifications for the job by detailing his higher education as well as his extensive experience with executive and managerial duties in the past.
Intent to Depart
The last key we had to prove was that Mr. Chu did not have any intention to overstay his visa. We did this by establishing Mr. Chu’s extensive social and financial ties abroad in Taiwan. We demonstrated using his bank account statements as well as his registration of real estate and deed of house in Taiwan, that Mr. Chu had property interests in Taiwan that would not simply be abandoned. Thus we were able to prove that Mr. Chu indeed had an intent to depart the United States following this visa duration.
After the completion of all the paperwork in this case, the last step was to prepare Mr. Chu for his interview with the immigration officers. Initially, Mr. Chu was fearful that did interview would not go well and that he wouldn’t know how to answer the officer’s questions. He was scared because his company did not have any sales contracts in the United States, he had no marketing experience, and because no retail stores were present in the United States. However, we constantly encouraged him and helped him prepare. We gave him hours of practice interviews and assisted him in coming up with the best answers to anticipated questions. All in all, Mr. Chu grew to feel comfortable with the upcoming interview. Once the interview came and went, he was very happy that there was no question that he was unable to properly answer. He passed.
Our client’s E-2 treaty investor visa was approved on November 11, 2015 without any request for evidence. We then assisted both Mr. Chu and his wife in the ensuing interviews following visa approval.
*Name has been changed to protect client identity.