E2 Visa for USA - Help

Old Feb 10th 2017, 7:51 pm
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Red face E2 Visa for USA - Help

Hello, so I am new to this forum & very glad I have found it as I have so many questions

First of I am looking into getting an E2 business visa to relocate my business to Florida.

I have been quoted £6200 legal fees from lawyers, which is ridiculous! So I have decided I want to try and tackle the application myself.

1st question - has anyone done this themselves? Could anyone provide any tips?

2nd question

This is the tricky part

My business is already trading - its an ecommerce womens fashion store, all the stock has been bought & website and its currently trading here in the UK. I wish to move this all to the USA - the lawyer I spoke to says i would need to move all the stock and domain etc to the USA before I apply for the VISA - however my problem is, if I do this, we wont be able to trade / operate the website during this time?

Is there a workaround here? Like I say all money has been invested and business is now operational - it can be moved as soon as visa is approved, but not before as it means the business will not be "operational"

3rd question - the lawyer I spoke with says I need to secure a business premises before I apply for the visa.

HOWEVER our idea was to (once visa approved) rent a house & work out of the spare room, until we build the business up. Is this something that can be done? if so how would I work this into the visa application?

4th question - bank accounts, tax etc
Again lawyer said we need all of this pre applying for visa
HOWEVER - cant register for tax without a social security number - cant register for social security without a visa? Bank account - again I need a visa for it?

Any advice???

Final question -

Structure of the application

I have spoken to the USA Embassy in London & they have said when I apply,

"formatting standards for processing. The documents required to apply and qualify for status as a NIV E-2 treaty visa investor are listed on our website. Applicants are advised to retain the services of a qualified legal professional who specializes in US immigration law for assistance. The website instructions stipulates the exact documents which are required and the material must be organized in the exact order listed under the Sections A-G"

Has anyone had experience of this? and any advice?

Again thanks for any advice and help anyone can provide

All my money has been invested into the business + what money I have now is for the relocation / flights etc - so I am loathed to spend it on lawyers, as basically it will eat into the majority of what I have left (ie I am now skint!)

Thansk
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Why are you wishing to relocate a solely online e-commerce business to the USA?
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:04 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

£6,200 of lawyers fees sounds pretty cheap, I am surprised it isn't more. Then you'll need a business plan and budget, so accountant fees would be on top.

Honestly this sounds like a business you would like to move to the US, rather than one that needs to be in the US, so IMO is likely to be an uphill struggle for a visa, not to mention that "subsistence businesses" are specifically prohibited. So your plan to keep the stock in a house and work from there sounds like a tiny business and IMO not likely to be approved for an E-2. I am not even certain that the visa would allow that (I know an L-1 visa requires you to have suitable business premises), but I know that you will have issues with the local council and/or your landlord and/or insurers if you try to run a retail business out of a residential home.

A common rule of thumb for an E-2 is for you to invest $200k in the business, with money for housing, a car, and to cover the period of while the business is starting to generate profits on top of that. If you aren't talking about $400k altogether then you've got a pretty bare-bones business.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 10th 2017 at 8:07 pm.
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

I would not want to do a 1st application based on the business model you have suggested myself for an E2! How many staff will you employ , what does your business plan look like etc?

I would advise doing as advised and renting an office for the least amount of time...you will need a lease and be able to show payments.

You should be able to get an EIN number for the business once the LLC is set up.
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Thanks for the replies

The business would do much better in the USA than in the UK ; bigger market, quicker access and more access to brands and trade shows, bloggers, PR etc , there is a lot more potential over there for it.

The business as it stands now is worth £100,000 - the domain can be transferred to the USA

Its just the stock issue - as we need it here to trade with

We know where we want to stay , we only wanted to operate from home for the 1st 2-3 months allowing us to suss out places to work from. Is this something that would be a possibility?

I have a 5 year business plan, projections etc all made up

I have £10,000 in the bank for the relocation
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:15 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

The business over 5 years aims to employ 10 people
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

If stock were your only issue, and I am not sure that it is, then I would recommend buying additional stock to hold in the US and sell while your UK stock is being shipped over.

You're aware that you'll have to pay import duties on the stock you import to the US, I presume.
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Hate to say it but unless you have a credit history here then the money you have in the bank ain't gonna cut it!

Medical fees, huge deposits as no credit history for rent, car insurance and utilities, all the business costs you have in setting up here
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:21 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Originally Posted by susy1206 View Post
The business would do much better in the USA than in the UK ; bigger market, quicker access and more access to brands and trade shows, bloggers, PR etc , there is a lot more potential over there for it.
As an online business isn't the US market already accessible?

For trade shows i'm fairly sure you can attend these on the VWP.
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

I'm no expert but it seems to me that attempting to do this on such a shoestring may not be a wise idea.

Or rather, it's very high risk without some funds, for problems and factors outside of your control.
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Originally Posted by susy1206 View Post
The business over 5 years aims to employ 10 people
Why do you feel that Florida is the appropriate venue for your business?
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Originally Posted by susy1206 View Post
The business would do much better in the USA than in the UK ; bigger market, quicker access and more access to brands and trade shows, bloggers, PR etc , there is a lot more potential over there for it.
But it's all on line, so makes no difference where the physical business is located, unless you're thinking of opening an actual retail store. As for trade shows, meeting with potential vendors or clients, promoting the business, that can all be done on a short VWP visit.

We know where we want to stay , we only wanted to operate from home for the 1st 2-3 months allowing us to suss out places to work from. Is this something that would be a possibility?
The VWP allows you to come over for up to 90 days at a time to suss out places to work from.

I have £10,000 in the bank for the relocation
I'm not a business owner or E-2 visa holder, but that doesn't sound like enough to me. Add one more zero and then maybe.

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Old Feb 10th 2017, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
The VWP allows you to come over for up to 90 days at a time to suss out places to work from.

Rene
But they can't operate their online biz while in the US on the VWP can they Rene?
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Old Feb 10th 2017, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
But they can't operate their online biz while in the US on the VWP can they Rene?
No, they cannot. They can just come to either visit a trade show or run a booth at a trade show, that sort of thing. Meet with potential clients or vendors...etc. But not operate the online biz because that's their regular work back home.

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Old Feb 10th 2017, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: E2 Visa for USA - Help

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
Why do you feel that Florida is the appropriate venue for your business?
Ten people is going to be a minimum of $500,000 of payroll costs. Does your business plan really anticipate sufficient sales to support that sort of overhead? You'd have to be talking $5+million of gross sales to generate enough revenue to cover that, plus other overheads.
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