Successful E-2 Case

  • Nationality: Taiwan
  • Business: Freight Transportation Services
  • Position: Chief Financial Officer
  • Year Incorporated: 2009
  • Number of Employees: 26 including Ms. Tang
  • Number of Dependents: 1
  • Investment Amount: More than $150,080.50
  • Challenges:
    • Ms. Tang only owned 50% of the company while the other 50% was owned by her brother
    • Revenue projections were low in the immediate future
    • Money invested was used to repay loans
    • Ms. Tang had no background in trucking or transportation logistics

Ms. Tang* came to Tsang and Associates in hopes that we would help her file an application as an E-2 Treaty Investor in order to obtain a visa to work as the Chief Financial Officer in the United States transportation company. Her brother had a company in the U.S. and wanted his sister to come and to apply her accounting financial knowledge and expertise.  Doing so would allow the company to actualize its long-term goals. If she could not come to the U.S., the company would experience stagnant growth, be unable to effectively minimize the costs, and fail to achieve its financial objectives. As such, Ms. Tang sought our assistance at Tsang and Associates to help her form a complete and thorough petition. We filed the petition on February 8, 2016 and received approval the same day.

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

National of Treaty Country

When Ms. Tang retained us at Tsang and Associates, we were confident that her petition would be approved. First, as Taiwan was a treaty country, it was clear that Ms. Tang, a Taiwanese citizen, indeed fulfilled that requirement. In further expanding this, we noted through the share certificates, articles of incorporation, and operating agreement of the company, that Ms. Tang had a 50% ownership interest while the other 50% of the company was owned by her brother, another Taiwanese national. We established therefore that the company was completely under the ownership of Taiwanese nationals and thus meets the foreign ownership requirement.

Real and Operating Enterprise

An additional requirement we had to show was that the company was a real operating enterprise. By providing various documentary evidence such as company bank statements, photographs of the location, business license, along with various contracts with clients, we demonstrated that the company was indeed doing business. We also highlighted that since its incorporation in 2009, the company has experienced significant growth, even doubling its net income the past two years. We thus established that the company was not a “fictitious paper organization” nor an “idle passive speculative investment merely held for potential appreciation and value”.

Substantial and Irrevocable Investment

Further, we had to show that the investment made by Ms. Tang was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking”. This was challenging because the money that Ms. Tang invested was used to repay loans rather than just for company advancement. In order to combat this, we broke down Ms. Tang’s investment which totaled $150,080.50. We showed through bank statements and the purchase agreement that Ms. Tang did indeed invest the sum and more through the purchase of administrative supplies, lease payments, and marketing expenses. We cited the USCIS proportionality test, indicating that Ms. Tang’s investment of greater than $150,000 while owning 50% interest in the company via a legally binding purchase agreement indeed qualified as a substantial investment. We thus proved that the business was not “speculative, but is, or soon will be a successful enterprise as the result of the exercise of sound business and financial judgment”.

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 fulfilled both of these considerations. First we showed using the Company Business Plan that revenues were projected to be extremely healthy within the next few years, demonstrating that the income provided would indeed be more than marginal. Adding on, we noted in the personnel plan section of the Business plan, that with Ms. Tang’s investment, there would be a newly created 7 full-time and contracted jobs for U.S. Citizens or permanent residents and even more in the future. This clearly indicated that significant economic contributions would be made with the creation of new jobs, ensuring that Ms. Tang’s investment would be considered more than marginal.

Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise

We further needed to prove to USCIS satisfaction that Ms. Tang was coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise, meaning that she would have to have a controlling interest in the company; she could not just be an ordinary skilled or unskilled worker. We felt that it was clear that Ms. Tang met these qualifications despite the fact that she did not have a background in trucking or in transportation logistics. We portrayed this by first detailing Ms. Tang’s extensive experiences and knowledge in finances, qualifying her to become the Chief Financial Officer of the company. We proved that her duties, which included managing the budgets, overseeing all financial aspects of the company, implementing effective cost saving methods, and finalizing major company decisions were indeed intertwined with developing and directing the company. We highlighted that Ms. Tang’s skill set was vital to the success of the company in the U.S. was thus reasonable to conclude that Ms. Tang would be developing and directing operations for the company under the USCIS definitions.

Intent to Depart

The last key we had to prove was that Ms. Tang did not have any intention to overstay his visa. In order to tackle this, we established that she had extensive social and financial ties abroad in Taiwan, through her marriage certificate, divorce certificate, and personal bank statements. We also noted that she had significant property interests abroad as well, as evidenced by property ownership documents in Taiwan.

Interview Preparation

Upon submitting and finishing the paperwork for the case, we then assisted Ms. Tang in her interview process. When first confronted with the prospects of the interview, Ms. Tang was extremely concerned. She wasn’t sure if she would be able to adequately answer the immigration officer’s questions. She feared that the fact that her revenue projections were low in the immediate future and because she had no background in trucking or transportation logistics would be cause for her denial. As such, we devoted many hours helping her to feel comfortable about the interview by undergoing practice interviews and formulating the best responses to certain anticipated questions. By the end of it, Ms. Tang was confident in her ability to answer the officer’s questions. She went through the interview and was extremely thankful that it ran smoothly and she passed.

Outcome

Our client’s E-2 visa was approved on the same day with no request for evidence.

*Name changed to protect client identity.