María Elia Gastélum
Dually licensed in Mexico and California, Maria helps clients with international estate and business planning.

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If you are interested in moving to the United States and do not qualify for family-based immigration opportunities, an E-2 investor's visa is generally easier to obtain than the coveted EB-5 visa. An E-2 investor's visa requires a minimum investment of $100,000, while the EB-5 visa requires an investment of $1 million or more. However, the E-2 visa process is not without risk.

Potential Risks Associated With Obtaining an E-2 Visa as Part of a "Package" Deal

At MEG International Counsel, many of our clients have questions about the "package" offers they've seen that provide help with an E-2 visa application and a pre-picked investment in the $100,000 to $200,000 range. The appeal of this approach is undeniable since they essentially promise eager clients a quick and easy path into the U.S. Unfortunately, the reality is that the immigration process is anything but quick and easy.

If you want to obtain an E-2 visa, there are three main pitfalls associated with a "package" investment deal.

  1. The investment might not be financially viable. There is no guarantee that the investment will make money. In fact, you could potentially lose your entire investment. In most cases, you're a passive investor with little control over how the investment is operated. Whether or not this is acceptable depends on your personal risk tolerance.
  2. You may not have any legal representation through the process. A company selling a "package" visa investment opportunity may have lawyers on staff, but these lawyers are most likely hired to represent the company. You need your own attorney to ensure that your interests are protected throughout the process.
  3. There could be unfavorable contractual obligations. Investment contracts are often written in language that is not easy for the layperson to understand—and the company is likely selling investments with contract terms that favor its interests over your own. It is important to know what happens if you want to exit the deal or if the investment runs into unexpected challenges. In some cases, you could have financial obligations that exceed your initial capital investment. You may also be subject to the terms of an unfavorable jurisdiction if you wish to go to court to enforce the agreement.

A Better Path Forward

If you want to enter the U.S. on an investor's visa, the best way to accomplish your goal is to take the time to find an investment that fits your unique needs and to hire an attorney who has experience working with Mexican and Latin American clients.

MEG International Counsel's experienced international business attorneys regularly work with clients who are interested in U.S.-based investments and can connect you with an immigration attorney who can handle your visa concerns. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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