Investor Visa (E-2)

Applications should be submitted in one hard-back loose leaf binder. Binders should be clearly divided into tabs A through G, as per below. If you use plastic sheaths to protect documents, please do not put more than one piece of paper inside each one. Do not include multiple copies of any document.

The tabs listed below represent the minimum requirements. Additional documentation may be requested.

If you do not follow the submissions guidelines, your application will be returned.

Please note that documents marked with * must be submitted in English or be accompanied by an official English translation.

Tab A: Table of Contents

A table of contents*

A cover letter* describing, in layman terms, the enterprise, its operations and the beneficiary. This letter must address all nine of the requirements for E-2 visa eligibility. These are described in depth in U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual (9 FAM 402.9-4 and 402.9-6). The requirements that an investment be in process, that an enterprise be real and operating and that an investment be substantial should be covered in the greatest detail. The cover letter must also provide an overview of the enterprise’s operations and structure and explain how the business operates in the United States, as well as the hours of operation of the business and the location where the applicant will physically perform the work. Please do not include lengthy citations from the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) or the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

If the applicant is not applying as the principal investor, but rather as an executive, supervisor or essential employee, the cover letter should also address the following: an explanation of the employee’s role in the E-2 Visa company, including job title and duties; the applicant’s executive or supervisory responsibilities, or, if not a supervisor, his/her specialist role; the level of education and knowledge required by the employee’s position; his/her employment experience, high level training or special qualifications; and, if applying as an essential employee, an explanation as to why a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident cannot fill the position, a statement as to the expected duration for which the employee will be essential and any other evidence/analysis necessary to demonstrate qualification under 9 FAM 402.9-7.

Tab B: Forms

Confirmation sheet of the DS-160. Applicants are required to complete the online electronic visa application form DS-160 and submit with their application the confirmation sheet.  Contact information provided must include an e-mail address.

A correctly filled out, signed DS-156E.*

A letter of agreement* between the investor and legal representative (Form G-28 if the representative is an attorney) signed by both parties and including a contact email address and phone number.

For each applicant, a passport-size photo. Photo requirements are available here.

NOTE: On the DS-156E applicants must list each country in which they possess citizenship in box number 8. This information may be hand written in if insufficient space is available.

Tab C: Applicant Information

A color photocopy of the bio data page of the principal applicant’s passport.

A copy of any changes or extensions of status granted by USCIS (Form I-797).

A resume* or curriculum vitae* of the principal applicant.

Signed statement of intent to depart the US upon termination of status.*

Dependents: A copy of civil documents establishing the relationship between the principal applicant and any dependents (spouse or child under age 21), e.g. government-issued birth and/or marriage certificates.

Tab D: Ownership

Articles of Incorporation (for corporations)* or Organization* (for LLC’s) for US business as well as certificates of filing or formation*

Share certificates and/or operating agreement* (as applicable) to verify ownership.

If you have a large company with several owners or subsidiaries or if the chain of ownership includes intermediary entities, please also submit the following: an organizational chart* of the full ownership structure; legal evidence of instances of ownership within that chain; and color photocopies of the bio data pages of the passports of the owners of the ultimate parent company.

If available, a copy of the enterprise’s most recent annual report.

If the investor is a public company with many shareholders, none of whom owns more than 50%, please also include a sample of recently published stock quotations.

In cases of affiliation with/ownership by a Surinamese company, registration documentation for the Surinamese company from Suriname’s Chamber of Commerce (KKF).

Tab E: Investment

A complete money trail of the funds invested, including:

Documentation of the original source of the funds (sale of property, inheritance, loans, earnings, sale of business, etc.)

Movement of these funds to a U.S. account;

Use of these funds for qualifying business expenses. Please include invoices, cancelled checks, and bank statements showing matching debits (highlighted).

If you are buying an existing business, please provide all of the following that apply in your case:

A signed, dated, valid purchase agreement

A binding escrow agreement (see 9 FAM 402.9-6(B), para. e, for guidelines) that explicitly says where the money goes if the visa is issued, what happens when it does not, and is signed and dated by all parties. Please cross-reference exactly any relevant purchase agreement.

Signed, dated, valid lease for business premises, including evidence of payments.

Evidence of any other funds spent to acquire and set up the business

If you are establishing a start-up, please provide all of the following that apply:

Signed, dated, valid lease for business premises, including evidence of payments;

Evidence of equipment and/or inventory purchases.

If you are purchasing a franchise, please provide:

A signed and dated franchise agreement;

Evidence of payment of the franchise fee.

Investment spreadsheet. Evidence of investment is required, e.g., copies of debits from bank accounts, checks, invoices.

Tab F: Real and Operating

Relevant local, state and/or federal licenses.

Monthly bank statements for current calendar year.

Tab G: Marginality

US tax returns for business for the past three years (unless it’s a brand new start-up business). Taxes must include all statements and schedules. These must be copies of the signed and dated forms actually submitted to the IRS.  In cases where filing extensions have been requested, provide the most recent returns actually filed, along with a written explanation for the request of extension and the date by which filing is expected.

All W-2s and/or 1099s for the last two tax years.  If these documents are not available, please submit the 4 most recent EQFTRs.

Profit and loss statements* for the current and previous calendar years.

Start-up business should also provide:

A business plan* that analyzes the local market and competition and gives a 5-year projection of profit and loss. Projections must be backed up by external sources.

A breakdown* of start-up costs necessary for the business to become operational.

All references to monetary amounts in the DS-156E, cover letter, financial statements and business plan should clearly indicate whether they are in US Dollars (USD) or Suriname Dollars (SRD), not simply ‘$.’

Additional documents may be requested on a case-by-case basis.