SUCCESSFUL E-2 Case
Applicant: Mr. Chen*
Nationality: Taiwan (Republic of China)
Industry: Property Management
Position: President and Owner/ Principal Investor
Year Incorporated: 2009
Number of Employees: 2 including Mr. Chen
Number of Dependents: 1
Investment Amount: More than $600,000 in real estate
There were only 2 employees including Mr. Chen (small real estate management property)
The investment was used to buy real property
Property management income was low
The other 40% of the company was owned by a family member
Mr. Chen came to Tsang and Associates in hopes that we could assist him in developing his E-2 Treaty Investor Visa application. As the President and Owner of the company, he hoped to incorporate his extensive knowledge of the property management and real estate sector in Southern California to implement the company’s business plan and long-term goals. Without this opportunity, his company would fail to capitalize on the growing property management industry and be hindered in their attempt to carve out a dominant presence in the Southern California property management industry. However, he did not have much experience in business and did not have many liquid funds despite his family’s wealth. It was difficult to show that he owned a real company since it was small and Mr. Chen only wanted to buy property. He wasn’t sure how he would be able to be approved for his E-2 visa in these circumstances and did not have much hope.
Desperately needing help, Tsang and Associates helped him file his application on June 4, 2014 and received E-2 approval one day later.
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. Chen first retained us at Tsang and Associates, we strongly believed that he qualified. First we noted that he, as a Taiwanese national, indeed fulfilled the nationality requirement. In addition, we showed through the Articles of Incorporation and stock transaction documents, that Mr. Chen was the owner of 60% of the company and thus with the combined ownership meets the requirement of foreign ownership.
Real and Operating Enterprise
Initially we believed that it would be difficult to prove that Mr. Chen’s business was a real and active commercial enterprise due to the fact there was only one other employee. In order to satisfy this requirement, we referenced various bank statements, purchase and sales invoices as well as contracts with active customers in order to demonstrate that the business was real and active, despite its low employee count on the surface.
Substantial and Irrevocable Investment
In addition, we were required to prove that the investment made by Mr. Chen was substantial and irrevocable due to USCIS fears that the investment is simply just a “risky undertaking”. In order to do so, we showed that Mr. Chen had made a combined and substantial capital investment of more than $600,000 into the company since its incorporation in 2009. Using his financial statements, we demonstrated that these funds came out of Mr. Chen’s own personal funds and profit gained from the company’s success was also reinvested into the company over the years; this indicated Mr. Chen’s commitment to the undertaking. Even though the money was used to buy real property, we demonstrated that the continual recycling of investment proved the substantial and irrevocable nature of the investment. We utilized the proportionality test used by USCIS to determine that the amount invested is an amount normally considered “necessary” to establish an enterprise despite the property purchase.
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 this in two ways by helping Mr. Chen to develop a sound business plan for his company. We first demonstrated that Mr. Chen assured a good return on investment by hiring a Certified Public Accountant to perform a careful analysis of the business prospects. We proved with the company’s bank statements that as revenue and profits are constantly being recycled into the Company, solid financial position has been achieved. Even though the company revenue was low, we stressed that it had the necessary financial resources for all of its expenses and was in position to experience substantial future growth. More importantly, as we helped Mr. Chen develop a business plan, we proved that significant economic contributions would be made in creating an additional five jobs by 2018 as the business continues to grow alongside the growing industry.
Ability to Develop and Direct the Business Enterprise
Another key point we had to show was that Mr. Chen 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. We first demonstrated that Mr. Chen was indeed qualified based on his credentials and past experiences. We highlighted Mr. Chen’s ability to speak English, Chinese, and Taiwanese in building up customer relations and we stressed that much of Mr. Chen’s professional life had been devoted to the property management and investment sectors, further proving the need for someone of Mr. Chen’s caliber. Through the business plan we developed detailing Mr. Chen’s duties, we showed that Mr. Chen’s duties would entail identifying additional sources of income and revenue, expanding its scope of operations in order to maximize return on investments, and increase productivity. We showed that Mr. Chen was the linchpin of his company, a vital component to the growth of his company in the United States.
Intent to Depart
Lastly, we needed to prove that Mr. Chen did not have any intention to overstay his visa. We demonstrated that he and his family had significant social and financial ties to Taiwan including a large number of shares in a Taiwanese company. We proved with financial statements that Mr. Chen maintains ample cash and assets at various financial institutions; we also used his registration of real estate and property to show his connections there as well.
Following the submission of our petition, there was one final step. We needed to prepare Mr. Chen for his upcoming interview with the immigration officer. Initially, he was very distressed, fearful that the interview wouldn’t go well. Mr. Chen was worried because his investment was used to buy real property and also because the property management company income was very low. Nevertheless, we helped him to build confidence by presenting him with questions that we anticipated, through our years of experience, the immigration officer would ask. We were able to meet with him to do numerous hours of interview practice and detailing answers. Afterwards, he was very comfortable with the upcoming interview. When the interview was over, Mr. Chen was very grateful that he felt extremely well prepared and that he was able to pass without any difficulties.
The petition was approved after one day. The entire family came to the U.S. to start work and were excited to continue real estate investment.