SUCCESSFUL E-2 VISA CASE

  • Applicant: Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong
  • Nationality: Taiwanese (Republic of China)
  • Industry: Dental Laboratory Engineering
  • Position: Mr. Hang- Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wong- Chief Financial Officer/ Chief of Human Resources
  • Year Incorporated: 2012
  • Investment Amount: Hang- $100,000, Wong- $100,050
  • Challenges:
    • Company was not yet incorporated in the United States
    • Both principal investors (Hang and Wong) each owned 50% of the company and filed simultaneously
    • Mr. Hang had a dental degree but Mr. Wong did not, causing fears that the USCIS officer may believe that Mr. Wong was just using Mr. Hang to come to the U.S.
    • Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong were related through their families

Mr. Hang* and Mr. Wong* came to us at Tsang and Associates hoping that we could assist them in establishing their dental laboratory and help them acquire the ensuing E-2 Treaty Investor visas. The company was primarily engaged in making crowns, bridges, dentures, artificial teeth, and orthodontic appliances for the dental profession. They intended to target dental practitioners in Southern California, but were also reaching out to cosmetic dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, and prosthodontists. Both individuals desired to come to the United States in order to facilitate the company’s launch into the U.S. field, utilizing their experiences to stimulate the company’s initial 5 year growth phase. As such, we helped prepare both of their cases and filed two separate petitions simultaneously on January 22, 2013. They received their visas on February 5, 2013.

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:
  1) The treaty investor must possess the nationality of the treaty country
  2) The corporation must be a bona fide U.S. Corporation, a real operating enterprise and    not a fictitious paper organization
  3) Capital invested must be substantial and irrevocably committed to the enterprise
  4) The investment cannot be marginal
  5) Investor must have ability to develop and direct the enterprise
  6) Investor must have intent to depart following the end of E-2 status

Nationality of Treaty Country

When Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong first came to us at Tsang and Associates, we were confident that we would be able to get their E-2 visas approved. They each were principal investors investing about $100,000 into the company for 50% ownership and they were both Taiwanese nationals, fulfilling the requirement of treaty country ownership. We proved this using the company’s articles of incorporation and various corporate documents, qualifying the investors and those of a treaty country.

Real and Operating Enterprise

We also had to establish that the company was a bona fide U.S. Corporation. At first, Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong had not yet incorporated in the United States. Thus, we assisted them right from the start in helping them create a business plan for their company and helping them acquire contracts and invoices that we were able to provide as evidence of the company’s business. We also created an organizational chart detailing both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong’s positions as managers and executives. We then provided their office agreements and marketing and sales information to further prove that the company was indeed a “real operating enterprise and not a fictitious organization.”

Substantial, Irrevocable Investment

Next, we were required to prove that the investment made by Mr. Wong was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking”. In order to do so, we showed through bank wire statements that indeed both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong both invested $100,000 into the company. We utilized the federal regulation proportionality test in explaining that as 50% owners of the company, an investment of $100,000 would be enough to qualify as being substantial in nature. In order to further the irrevocability of the investments, we indicated that the funds committed by the applicants have already been used to secure lease agreements, purchase supplies used for office and workspace requirements, and day to day expenses in anticipation of the company’s launch date. We demonstrated that the funds invested have already been utilized for company advancement, and now there was no turning back.

More than Marginal Investment

Furthermore, we had to show that the investments made would be “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. In tackling this requirement, we had a two pronged response. First of all, we hired a Certified Public Accountant to provide financial statements indicating that the investments made are indeed projected to reflect a profitable and lucrative business opportunity; the investment amounts would be exceeded within the first three years of operation and the company would only grow even more. We also showed with the business plan that we helped create that each of these investments would directly create 10 jobs within the next five years. We thus established that the investments were indeed “more than marginal”.

Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise

We also had to prove that Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong were 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. As such we detailed both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong’s background and proposed duties in the United States.
For Mr. Hang, we broke down his resume and stressed that he had a specialty in Dental Laboratory Technology, also showing that he had extensive professional training and work experience in the health field. We established that Mr. Hang was indeed qualified for his role as CEO based on his direct experience with the endeavor and specialization. We explained his prospective duties to be performed in the United States which included being responsible for day to day management decisions, ensuring that proper processes and systems were in place, planning and directing dental services, and engaging in the continuous development of new products.

Likewise, we also detailed Mr. Wong’s background and resume. We had to prove that even though he was not of the dental profession, he had skills that were integral to develop and direct the company. There were fears that USCIS officers may believe that he was simply using Mr. Hang, his relative, as a means to enter the United States. In order to defeat these fears, we emphasized that he had great experience in journalism and covering medicine and science. We also highlighted his experiences in tourism and the education field which have led to multiple awards and extensive practice in marketing and economic development, working closely with the residents of a given community and local authorities to build up the best strategies and networking. We noted that these diverse experiences in addition to his highly valued skills and attributes were indeed vital to the success in his role as Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Human Resources. We further explained Mr. Wong’s proposed duties which included overseeing all the financial aspects of the company’s operations, controlling purchases and inventory, directing the information and technology aspects of the company, and directing and training the staff to ensure that the business would run smoothly.

Intent to Depart

Lastly, we demonstrated that both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong had no intention of overstaying their E-2 visas, evidenced by their extensive social and financial ties abroad; we proved this by providing their household registration and personal bank account information, indicating their connections to Taiwan even while they are in the United States.

Interview Preparation

In addition to submitting the petition on their behalf, we helped to prepare both Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong for their E-2 interviews. When we first started, Mr. Hang and Mr. Wong seemed to be unsure of the interview, worried and concerned. They were extremely worried that the immigration officer would simply believe that Mr. Wong was using Mr. Hang in order to enter the United States given that Mr. Wong did not have a dental background in addition to the fact that they were related. However, we devoted hours of our time in helping both of them go through practice interviews and instructed them on how to provide the most detailed and effective responses to a wide variety of potential questions. After an extraordinary amount of practice, they felt much more confident in their ability to adequately answer any question asked by the Taiwanese immigration officers. On the day of the interview, they were both relieved that the interviews ran smoothly and that they had been prepped for the same questions by our attorney, allowing them to answer without fears and worries.

Outcome

We filed both of their petitions on January 22, 2013 and they received their visas on February 5, 2013.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity.