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The E2 Visa Ultimate Glossary

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A
Active Participation
In the immigration context, active participation refers to the immigrant’s continuous involvement in the operations of a US business, ensuring it fulfills its economic objectives.
Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of status is the process that allows an eligible individual already in the U.S. to apply for permanent resident status without having to return to their home country.
Advance Parole
Advance Parole is a document that allows certain aliens to re-enter the US without a visa after traveling abroad. It’s typically granted to those with pending immigration applications.
Asset Purchase
In a US immigration setting, an asset purchase refers to the acquisition of a business’s assets as part of an immigrant’s investment strategy to secure certain types of visas.
B
B-1 Visa
The B-1 visa is a nonimmigrant US visa that allows visitors to enter the US for business purposes, such as attending business meetings or conferences, negotiating contracts, or exploring business opportunities.
B-2 Visa
The B-2 visa is a nonimmigrant US visa that permits foreign nationals to enter the US for tourism, vacation, or to visit family and friends. It does not allow for employment in the US.
Balance Sheet
In the context of immigration, a balance sheet may be required to demonstrate the financial health of a business an immigrant plans to invest in or establish.
Bookkeeping
Bookkeeping, in a US immigration setting, refers to the process of recording all financial transactions of a business, which is necessary to demonstrate economic activity and compliance with US laws.
Business Acquisition
Business acquisition refers to the process by which an immigrant purchases an existing US business as part of their investment strategy, often relevant in the context of investor visas.
Business Bank Account
A business bank account is an account used exclusively for business transactions. It may be required to demonstrate a business’s financial transactions and stability in immigration processes.
Business Broker
In an immigration context, a business broker helps immigrants buy or sell businesses in the US. They help negotiate deals and ensure regulatory compliance, aiding in visa acquisition processes.
Business Insurance
Business insurance, required for US businesses, provides coverage for financial losses. Immigrants starting businesses need to consider this as part of their financial and operational planning.
Business Lease
A business lease is a contract allowing immigrants to rent commercial premises for their US businesses. Compliance with lease agreements can be pertinent in visa and status determinations.
Business Licensing
In the context of US immigration, business licensing refers to obtaining the necessary permits to legally operate a business. This is crucial for immigrants setting up businesses as part of their immigration plan.
Business Plan
A business plan is often required in immigration to outline the strategy, financial projections, and operational structure of a US business that an immigrant plans to invest in or start.
Business Valuation
In an immigration context, business valuation is the process of determining the economic worth of a business that an immigrant invests in for visa purposes, such as an E2 or EB-5 visa.
C
Certificate of Good Standing
This is a document issued by a state authority confirming that a corporation or LLC is legally registered and compliant with state requirements. It may be needed in immigration proceedings.
Change of Status
Change of Status is a procedure allowing eligible nonimmigrants to change their visa category while remaining in the US, without needing to return to their home country for visa processing.
Citizenship
The legal status granted to individuals who are recognized as full members of a nation-state, entitling them to various rights and responsibilities, including the right to vote and the protection of the country’s laws.
Commercial Real Estate
Commercial Real Estate refers to properties used for business purposes. In an immigration context, it might be relevant for those investing in or leasing property for their business operations.
Consular Processing
Consular Processing is the method by which individuals apply for an immigrant visa at a US consulate or embassy in their home country, a crucial step in obtaining permanent residency.
Control and Management
In US immigration, control and management refers to the requirement for an E2 visa holder to demonstrate they will direct and develop the investment enterprise.
Corporation
A corporation is a type of business entity. Immigrants may establish or invest in a corporation as part of their strategy to secure certain types of visas like the E2 or EB-5 visas.
D
Deportation
The official removal of an individual from the United States due to violations of immigration laws or the expiration of legal authorization, involving the enforcement of a removal order issued by the government.
Direct Investment
Direct investment, in an immigration context, refers to the act of an immigrant investing a substantial amount of capital directly into a US business, often for visa qualification purposes.
Diversity Visa Lottery
Also known as the Green Card Lottery, it is an annual program that randomly selects individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States, granting them the opportunity to apply for permanent residency.
Dreamers
Informally referring to young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, often in reference to those eligible for temporary protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Dual Intent
Dual Intent allows nonimmigrants to enter the US while simultaneously intending to apply for permanent residency. H-1B and L-1 visas, for instance, permit dual intent.
Due Diligence
In an immigration context, due diligence refers to the process of thoroughly checking the legitimacy and viability of a business an immigrant is investing in or purchasing for visa purposes.
E
E-Verify
E-Verify is an online system operated by the Department of Homeland Security that employers use to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States.
E2 Dependent Visa
E2 Dependent Visa allows the spouse and children under 21 of an E2 visa holder to accompany them to the US. Spouses can seek employment authorization, but children cannot work.
E2 Employee
An E2 Employee is a foreign national of the same nationality as the investor who is entering the US to engage in executive, supervisory, or essential skills work for the same business.
E2 Visa
The E2 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for investors from treaty countries who make a substantial investment in a US business and plan to direct and develop that business.
E2 Visa Extension
E2 Visa Extension refers to the renewal process of an E2 Visa. It typically involves demonstrating that the business remains operational and that the visa holder is actively involved in the business.
EB-5 Investor Visa
The EB-5 Investor Visa is a program for immigrants who invest $1.8 million (or $900k in targeted employment areas) in a US business that creates or preserves at least 10 full-time jobs.
EIN (Employer Identification Number)
The EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to businesses for tax purposes. Immigrant entrepreneurs must acquire an EIN for their US business.
Economic Impact
In the immigration context, the economic impact refers to the effects an immigrant’s investment or business operation has on the economy, including job creation and increased economic activity.
Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
The EAD, issued by USCIS, provides proof of a foreign national’s eligibility to work in the US. Certain visa holders and their dependents may apply for an EAD.
Escrow
In the immigration context, escrow involves a third party holding funds during the transaction process, such as when an immigrant is investing in a US business as part of a visa application.
Exit Tax
Exit tax refers to a tax paid by long-term US residents who give up their green card, or citizens who renounce their citizenship. It’s based on the individual’s net worth and unrealized gains.
Expatriation
Expatriation is the legal and voluntary act of abandoning one’s citizenship or residence in their home country, often for the purpose of becoming a citizen or permanent resident of the US.
F
F-1 Visa
The F-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for international students who are attending an academic program or English Language Program at a US college or university.
Family-Based Immigration
A category of immigration that allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for entry or permanent residency in the United States, based on qualifying relationships.
Federal Immigration Laws
The body of legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the President, governing various aspects of immigration, including visa issuance, eligibility criteria, admission processes, and enforcement measures.
Financial Projections
In the context of US immigration, financial projections are forecasts of how a business is expected to perform. These are often required in business plans for investor visa applications.
Form 1040
Form 1040 is a tax form used by U.S. citizens, residents, and certain nonresident aliens for filing an individual income tax return. It reports income, deductions, credits, and calculates the taxpayer’s tax liability.
Form 1040NR
Form 1040NR is a version of the tax return that nonresident aliens file if they engaged in trade or business in the US, received income from US sources, or represent a deceased person who would have to file.
Form 1065
Form 1065 is used by partnerships for federal tax returns. It reports income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and other information to the IRS. The income is passed through to partners.
Form 1120
Form 1120 is used by U.S. corporations for annual income tax reporting to the IRS. It includes income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and the corporation’s income tax liability.
Form 1120-F
Form 1120-F is a US income tax return for foreign corporations to report their income, gains, losses, deductions, credits, and to figure their US tax liability.
Form 1120S
Form 1120S is used by S corporations, which pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. It prevents double taxation on corporate income.
Form DS-156
Form DS-156 is a nonimmigrant visa application form administered by the U.S. Department of State. In the context of an E2 Treaty Investor Visa, it is filled out by treaty investors or their eligible employees seeking temporary admission into the U.S. The form requests various pieces of information including the applicant’s personal details, employment history, travel plans, and health status. It also asks about any potential ineligibility grounds such as criminal record, prior immigration violations, or security concerns.
Form DS-160
Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application: This form is generally required for all nonimmigrant visa applicants, including E-2 visa applicants. It asks for information about the applicant’s personal, educational, and professional background.
Form DS-260
The DS-260 form is used by foreign nationals applying for an immigrant visa from outside the U.S. The form, processed by the Department of State, is an electronic application that initiates the consular processing phase of the immigration process
Form I-129
Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker: This form is used by employers to petition for a foreign national to come to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant worker. There is a specific section for E visa classification (including E-2).
Form I-129F
The I-129F is used by U.S. citizens who want to bring their foreign fiancé(e)s to the U.S. to get married. The form starts the process for a K-1 visa, which allows the fiancé(e) to travel to the U.S. for the wedding.
Form I-130
This form is used by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to establish the existence of a qualifying relationship with certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the U.S. It’s often the first step in family-based immigration.
Form I-131
The I-131 form is filed by individuals who need a variety of travel documents. These include reentry permits (for permanent residents planning a long absence), refugee travel documents, and advance parole documents (for people adjusting status).
Form I-140
The I-140 is filed by employers who want to petition for foreign nationals to work permanently in the U.S. It’s often used in employment-based immigration to request a prospective worker’s classification as a preference worker.
Form I-485
This form is used by foreign nationals already in the U.S. who want to apply for lawful permanent resident status, also known as a green card. The application process involves determining eligibility, filing the form, and attending an interview.
Form I-526
The I-526 form is used by alien entrepreneurs who wish to immigrate to the U.S. They use this form to demonstrate that they are in the process of investing, or are actively in the process of investing, a required amount of capital in a new commercial enterprise.
Form I-539
Form I-539 is used by nonimmigrants to apply for a change of status or an extension of stay in the US. Multiple family members may be included on a single form.
Form I-765
Form I-765 is an application for Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which, if granted, allows the applicant to legally work in the US.
Form I-765
This form is used to request an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit. The EAD is a legal document proving that the holder is allowed to work in the U.S. It’s often used by people adjusting status, asylum seekers, and students.
Form I-864
The I-864 Affidavit of Support form is a legally enforceable contract where a sponsor commits to providing financial support to the immigrant. The purpose is to prove to the government that the immigrant won’t become a public charge.
Form I-9
The I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the US. All US employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire.
Form I-90
The I-90 form is filed by permanent residents who need to replace or renew their green cards. This could be due to the card’s expiration, loss, damage, incorrect information, or if the resident has become a commuter.
Form I-94
Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, is issued to nonimmigrant visitors upon entry to the United States, documenting their lawful admission and authorized period of stay. It is an essential document for immigration purposes.
Form N-400
The N-400 form is used by permanent residents (green card holders) who want to apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting certain eligibility requirements. The form initiates the naturalization process, which includes a background check, interview, and citizenship test.
Form W-7
Form W-7 is used to apply for an IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), a tax processing number for those ineligible for a Social Security number.
Franchise
In the immigration context, buying a franchise is a common way for immigrants to qualify for business and investment visas, such as the E2 or EB-5 visas.
G
Green Card
A Green Card, or Permanent Resident Card, allows foreign nationals to live and work permanently in the US. It can be obtained through family, employment, refugee status, or other categories.
Green Card Lottery
See Diversity Visa Lottery.
H
H-1B Visa
The H-1B Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations requiring theoretical or technical expertise.
H-2A Visa
A temporary nonimmigrant visa category that allows foreign agricultural workers to enter the United States for a limited period to engage in seasonal or temporary agricultural employment.
H-2B Visa
A temporary nonimmigrant visa category that permits employers to hire foreign workers for temporary, non-agricultural jobs in the United States when there is a shortage of available U.S. workers.
I
Immigrant Visa
An Immigrant Visa is a document issued by a US Consular officer abroad that allows a foreign national to apply for admission to the US as a permanent resident.
Immigration Attorney
An immigration attorney specializes in immigration law and can assist clients in visa applications, green card applications, naturalization, and deportation issues.
Immigration Consultation
Immigration consultation involves providing advice and guidance on complex immigration matters, including visas, green card applications, naturalization, and deportation defense.
Immigration Law
Immigration law governs the legal status of people, in terms of citizenship and residency, and determines who may enter and remain in the US and under what conditions.
Immigration Policy
The set of rules, laws, and regulations established by the government to govern the entry, stay, and removal of individuals in relation to immigration to the United States.
Immigration Reform
The process of making changes to the existing immigration system, often aiming to address issues such as border security, visa processes, pathways to legal status, and enforcement policies.
Immigration Status
Immigration status refers to the legal status conferred on a foreign citizen by immigration laws. This status can range from temporary visitor to permanent resident.
Inadmissibility
Inadmissibility refers to reasons a foreign citizen might be barred from entering the US, such as health-related grounds, criminal history, security reasons, or likelihood of becoming a public charge.
Inadmissible
Refers to individuals who are deemed ineligible to enter or stay in the United States based on various factors, including criminal history, health concerns, security risks, or immigration violations.
Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
The ITIN is a tax processing number issued by the IRS to individuals who are required to have a US taxpayer identification number but who do not have, and are not eligible to obtain, a Social Security number.
Intellectual Property
Intellectual Property includes patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. In immigration, this can be relevant for certain business operations or qualifying for certain visa categories.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is the US federal agency responsible for the collection of taxes and enforcement of tax laws. Most tax-related issues faced by immigrants in the US are handled by the IRS.
Investment Capital
In US immigration, investment capital refers to the money foreign investors invest into a US business to fulfill the requirements for investor visas such as the E2 or EB-5 visas.
Investor’s Nationality
In the context of immigration, investor’s nationality matters as some visas, like the E2, are available only to nationals of countries that maintain treaties of commerce and navigation with the US.
J
Job Creation
Job creation is a key requirement for certain investment visas like the EB-5, which mandates the creation or preservation of at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying US workers.
K
L
L-1 Visa
The L-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa allowing foreign companies to transfer executives, managers, or employees with specialized knowledge to an affiliated US company.
Legal Dreamers
These individuals, commonly referred to as legal Dreamers or documented Dreamers, are children of nonimmigrant (i.e., temporary) workers who face the prospect of aging out of lawful status or may have already done so.
Limited Liability Company (LLC)
An LLC is a type of business entity offering limited liability to its owners. In immigration, it may be formed as part of investment strategy for certain visas.
M
Marginal Enterprise
A term used in E2 visa applications, referring to a business that does not have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and their family.
N
Naturalization
The legal process through which a foreign-born individual becomes a citizen of the United States, usually involving fulfilling specific requirements, such as residency, language proficiency, and passing a citizenship exam.
Nonimmigrant Visa
A Nonimmigrant Visa allows foreign nationals to enter the US temporarily for a specific purpose such as tourism, business, study, or temporary work.
Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID)
A NOID is a letter sent by USCIS indicating that it has evidence rendering an applicant ineligible for the benefit sought. The applicant is given the chance to rebut the evidence.
O
O-1 Visa
The O-1 Visa is for individuals with extraordinary abilities or achievements in sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or in motion picture or television industry, recognized nationally or internationally.
Overstay
Overstay refers to the act of remaining in the U.S. beyond the period authorized by the Department of Homeland Security. This act can lead to deportation and future inadmissibility.
P
Partnership
A partnership is a business structure where two or more people share ownership. In immigration, it could be a strategy to meet investment or business operation requirements for certain visas.
Pathway to Citizenship
A designated process or set of requirements that allow individuals to transition from their current immigration status to obtaining full citizenship in the United States, typically involving steps like residency, documentation, and naturalization.
Period of Stay
The period of stay refers to the authorized length of time a nonimmigrant may stay in the US, as determined by a Customs and Border Protection officer at the point of entry.
Profit and Loss Statement
In immigration, a Profit and Loss Statement may be used to demonstrate the financial health of a business an immigrant is investing in or establishing.
Proportionality Test
In the context of E2 visas, the Proportionality Test is a comparison between the amount of funds invested and the cost of the business to determine if the investment is substantial.
Q
Qualified Immigrants
Qualified Immigrants are those who meet specific requirements set by U.S. immigration law. This could include family relationships, employment skills, refugee status, or diversity lottery eligibility.
Quota
A quota in U.S. immigration context refers to the limit on the number of immigrants that can be admitted from a particular country or region annually, to ensure diversity of admissions.
R
Re-entry Permit
A Re-entry Permit is a travel document that allows a lawful permanent resident or conditional permanent resident to re-enter the US without obtaining a returning resident visa.
Request for Evidence (RFE)
An RFE is issued by USCIS when it requires more evidence to decide on an application. Applicants must respond with the required information within the prescribed period.
S
S-Corp
An S-Corp, short for Subchapter S Corporation, is a type of business entity in the United States that provides limited liability to its shareholders while allowing pass-through taxation, similar to partnerships.
Social Security Number (SSN)
A SSN is a unique nine-digit number assigned to US citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents. It’s required for a variety of purposes, including employment and tax reporting.
Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is a business owned by a single person. In immigration, this type of business might be used to meet requirements for visas like the E2 or EB-5.
Source of Funds
For certain visa types, like the E2 and EB-5, immigrants must demonstrate that the funds being used for investment are legally owned and lawfully obtained.
Specialty Occupation
A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with a bachelor’s degree or higher. It is a key requirement for H-1B visas.
Spouse and Dependents
In immigration, spouses and dependents of visa holders are often eligible for derivative visas. They may be able to live in the US and, in some cases, work or attend school.
State Registration
In the context of US immigration, state registration refers to the process of registering a new business entity with the state, a requirement for some investment and business operation visas.
Stock Purchase
Stock purchase in immigration often relates to buying existing business’ shares to qualify for certain visas, such as the E2 or EB-5 investor visas.
Substantial Investment
In immigration, a substantial investment is an amount sufficient to ensure the investor’s commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise. It is a requirement for E2 visas.
Substantiality Test
Substantiality Test is used in E2 visa applications to determine whether the investment is substantial. It involves a comparison of the total investment against the cost of the business.
T
Tax Compliance
In an immigration context, tax compliance means that immigrants are meeting their tax obligations as required by US laws, which is important for maintaining certain immigration statuses.
Tax Treaty
A tax treaty is an agreement between two countries to resolve issues of double taxation. Tax treaties may impact how immigrants to the US are taxed on income earned abroad or in the US.
Taxation
Taxation refers to the requirement to pay taxes to the government. Immigrants in the US must often pay taxes on income earned in the US and sometimes on income earned abroad.
Trade Name
In the context of US immigration, a trade name is the name a business uses for trading commercial products or services, which may be required information when applying for business-related visas.
Travel Document
A Travel Document, in the context of immigration, refers to a document such as a passport or re-entry permit that allows an individual to travel internationally and return to the US.
Treaty Country
A Treaty Country has a bilateral investment treaty or treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. This status can impact the availability of certain visas, like the E1 and E2 visas.
Treaty Investor
A Treaty Investor is a national of a treaty country, in possession of a valid E2 Visa, who has made a substantial investment in a business in the US.
Treaty Trader (E1 visa)
The E1 visa is granted to nationals of a treaty country to enter the US for the purpose of conducting substantial international trade between the US and their home country.
U
U.S. Business
A US Business is an entity that conducts commercial activities in the US. Owning a US business can be a pathway to immigration for investors and entrepreneurs.
U.S. Consulate
A US Consulate is a diplomatic mission in a foreign country where officers represent the US government. They perform many functions including processing visa applications.
USCIS
USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) is the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States, handling applications for immigration benefits like visas and citizenship.
Undocumented Immigrant
An individual residing in the United States without legal authorization or proper documentation, often due to entering the country unlawfully or overstaying a visa.
V
Visa Application
A visa application is a request submitted to a US Consulate or USCIS for authorization to enter, leave, or stay in the US for a period of time.
Visa Denial
Visa Denial occurs when a consular officer or USCIS denies an individual’s application for a visa. Reasons can include failure to meet application requirements, inadmissibility, or lack of supporting documentation.
Visa Interview
A Visa Interview is a standard part of processing an application for a visa. The applicant meets with a consular officer who determines whether the applicant is qualified for the visa.
Visa Overstay
The act of remaining in the United States beyond the authorized period stated on a visa, violating immigration regulations and potentially subjecting the individual to legal consequences.
Visa Processing Time
Visa Processing Time refers to the amount of time it takes for a visa application to be processed and a decision made. This time varies based on visa type and specific circumstances.
Visa Renewal
Visa Renewal is the process of extending the validity of a visa beyond its original period of stay. Not all visa types are eligible for renewal.
Visa Validity
Visa Validity refers to the period during which a visa is good for traveling into the US. It does not determine the length of stay once admitted into the US.
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program allows nationals from certain countries to travel to the US for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.
W
Work Permit
A Work Permit, or Employment Authorization Document (EAD), is a document issued by USCIS that provides its holder a legal right to work in the US.
X
Y
Year of Entry
Year of Entry refers to the specific year when an immigrant first entered the U.S. It is often used in tracking immigration trends and determining eligibility for certain immigration benefits.
Yearly Caps
Yearly Caps refers to the maximum number of visas that the U.S. government can issue in a specific category or to nationals of certain countries in a given fiscal year.
Years of Residence
Years of Residence is the period an immigrant has physically lived continuously in the U.S. This is crucial for determining eligibility for naturalization or certain immigration benefits.
Z
Zero Tolerance
Zero Tolerance in US immigration refers to a policy that aims to prosecute all illegal border crossings, leading to widespread detention and family separations. It’s been a subject of significant controversy.
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