Small Restaurant Investment to Obtain E-2 Visa

Small Restaurant Investment to Obtain E-2 Visa

Applicant: Ms. Wang

Country/Region: Taiwan, China

Industry: 1,200 sq. ft. Chinese restaurant

Job Title: CEO, Business Owner

Year established: 2017

Number of employees: 0

Number of dependents: 2 children under 10 years old, 1 child was born in the United States

Investment amount: USD $70,000

Difficulties/particularities of this case:

• The situation is urgent, the applicant needs to successfully obtain the E-2 visa within 2 months, and return to the United States to reunite with the child
• The applicant only has approximately US$70,000, and the funds have already been invested in a small Chinese restaurant
• Applicants do not have the educational background and experience of business owners or managers, and their identities are mainly stock investors and housewives
• Applicant’s source of funds is unknown (most borrowed from family members)
• I used a tourist visa to give birth to a child in the United States before, and was questioned at the customs. The intention of immigration was obvious.

It is very difficult to successfully apply for an E-2 visa for an individual with only an investment of US$70,000 and an obvious immigrant intention within two months. Ms. Wang has consulted many lawyers in Taiwan and the United States, and knows that she is a difficult case. Ms. Wang also knew she needed to find a lawyer who was good at this type of case, but she didn’t know where to start. When someone recommended Tsang & Associates to her, she was still frustrated because she was very worried that her seven-year-old son in the United States might live without his mother for several years. Worried, Ms. Wang asked us to help her. Although there are many difficulties in this case, the legal team of Tsang & Associates said that they will do their best to help Ms. Wang.

Seeing that many friends’ E-2 applications were rejected, Ms. Wang understood that there are many obstacles and requirements on the road to obtaining an E-2 visa. Considering that Ms. Wang’s investment is only $70,000, we inspired her to turn the semblance of running a small Chinese restaurant into one where she can do more economically to make a significant contribution to America, highlighting her personal strengths and illustrating His son’s U.S. citizenship. Finally, we conducted several mock interviews with Ms. Wang to ensure that she could pass the visa interview smoothly. Tsang & Associates hard work and attention to detail finally helped Ms. Wang successfully obtain the E-2 treaty investment visa and re-enter the United States.


In order to be successful in your E-2 visa application, according to USCIS regulations, you must meet the following requirements:
1) Treaty investors must acquire the nationality of the treaty country
2) The invested company must be a real American company with actual operating conditions, and cannot be a “leather company”
3) The amount of funds invested in the enterprise is relatively large and irrevocable
4) The investment must not be classified as a marginal investment
5) Investors must have the ability to develop and manage the company
6) The investor must intend to leave the country after the end of the E-2 visa

Proof of real and operating business

It is difficult to describe Ms. Wang’s small Chinese restaurant as a real and operating business. Although she only offered a small investment to a small Chinese restaurant, Ms. Wang had to prove that she planned to open a new and upgraded Chinese restaurant with opportunities for growth and expansion. In the absence of a business license, no previous financial information, no proof of success, and no employees, we have fully demonstrated and explained how to show that the restaurant has the potential to grow into a large and medium-sized enterprise. In addition, she also assisted her in collecting and sorting out multiple documents provided by the former owner, thus proving that Ms. Wang will take over the restaurant smoothly. Additionally, we provide guidance on a 5-year business plan that includes a new marketing approach.

Substantial and irrevocable investment amount

In fact, Ms. Wang’s source of funds is very single and unfounded. As a housewife, she has no proof of previous income and savings from wage income, and she lacks the necessary tax returns and no steady source of income. Faced with the challenge of investing only $70,000, our team came up with a creative solution that was critical to Ms. Wang’s ability to obtain a visa. Our team needs to prove that Ms. Wang’s entire deposit can guarantee the initial operation of the restaurant, and prove that she will not use the funds for personal living expenses in the United States. Our team had to prove that she would use the investment funds as security for the real estate on which the restaurant was located, as well as to purchase items needed for a store overhaul and rebranding. Our team ultimately certifies that all of this funding has been used to reopen the restaurant, which speaks volumes for her success as the owner and manager of the restaurant.

above marginal investment

In addition, we need to prove that Ms. Wang’s investment is “higher than the marginal investment”. According to federal regulations, an investment is considered more than marginal if it provides income that exceeds the financial needs of the individual and the family or if it provides an investment that will make a significant economic contribution in the future. We guided Ms. Wang through financial projections and encouraged her to demonstrate her ability to expand the restaurant’s presence and hire twice as many U.S. citizens in the next few years. This proves that her investment is actually profitable. Through store expansion, Ms. Wang is able to employ twice as many employees, which in turn proves that her company is actually “beyond the marginal investment”.

Ability to develop and manage businesses

With no tertiary degree and no prior business management experience, one of the tough challenges for Ms Wang as a full-time housewife was proving she was more than just “an ordinary skilled or unskilled worker”. Although she has no management experience in the food service industry, we pointed out that she runs a small bookstore in Taiwan, so she has the necessary skills to successfully manage staff, financial matters and budgets, and develop a business’ market strategy. Our team has proven that Ms. Wang has enough experience to be the CEO of the entity she takes over.

Willingness to leave

One of the basic elements of the E-2 visa is the applicant’s intention to return home after the visa period expires. A major issue facing Ms. Wang is the U.S. citizenship of her eldest son. However, after counseling by Joseph’s lawyer team, the applicant gained confidence in her explanations during the interview stage of the application. Moreover, the applicant’s husband stayed in Taiwan alone to take care of his sick parents, and explained that the applicant had long-term personal insurance and retirement investment in Taiwan, thus indicating that she would leave the United States when the visa expired.

interview preparation

After the application was completed, we helped Ms. Wang fully prepare for the interview, including mock interviews and a series of practice questions. Ms. Wang gave birth to a child in the United States before, how to explain and give a brief answer to guide. Ms. Wang devoted herself to understanding how to answer various questions appropriately. After many mock interviews, Ms. Wang confidently answered various questions during the AIT interview and passed the interview easily.


We made an appointment for Ms. Wang’s E-2 visa interview with AIT (American Institute in Taiwan) on April 6, and she passed the interview smoothly on the day of the interview. One week later, she received her E-2 visa to go to the United States.

Lawyer Joseph Tsang commented:

The E-2 Treaty Investors visa is issued to citizens of countries/regions that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the United States. At present, only the Taiwan region has this type of visa. The following are the basic requirements for E-2:

• The investor, whether an individual, partnership or corporate enterprise, must have the nationality of the treaty country.In the case of a business, at least 50 percent of the business is owned by persons of the nationality of the treaty country;

• The investment must be substantial and the funds must be “irrevocably” committed to delivery.The investment must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the business;

• The investment must be in a real operating business. Speculative or idle investments are not eligible. Uncommitted money in a bank account, or simply holding title to undeveloped land, is not considered an investment;

• Investments must not be unprofitable.The business must demonstrate that its financial returns clearly exceed the investor’s need for a living, or the business must have the ability to make a significant economic contribution now or in the future;

• The investor must have control of the funds and the investment must be risky in a commercial sense. An investment is not an investment for purposes of immigration law if there is some or all loss of the funds against the reversal of the fortunes of the business. Loans secured by invested business assets are not eligible;

• The investor must be coming to the United States to develop or direct the business. If the investor is not the principal investor, he must be employed in an executive, managerial, or highly skilled position. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers are not eligible.

• At the end of E-2 status, the investor must intend to leave the United States. That is, “double intent” is not allowed.

If you have needs or questions about the E-2 visa, please contact us.

*To protect customer privacy, customer names are pseudonyms.

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