How to Obtain an E-2 Visa for a Portuguese Investor?

To obtain an E-2 visa as a Portuguese investor, you first travel to the U.S. under ESTA or the Visa Waiver Program, then conduct market research and seek legal and financial advice. Following this, you register your business, obtain a FEIN, and open a corporate bank account, before identifying and transferring capital funds for investment. Finally, you apply for the E-2 visa through the U.S. Consulate in Lisbon. Benefits of the visa include a five-year duration, Social Security Numbers, employment authorization for spouses, educational benefits for children, access to U.S. capital markets, and the ability to sponsor Portuguese employees. Business models range from real estate to tourism and consultancy, offering Portuguese investors the opportunity to develop businesses in the U.S. and immerse themselves in American life.

How to Obtain an E-2 Visa for a Portuguese Investor?

Are you a Portuguese citizen interested in starting or buying a franchise or existing business in the United States? As a national of Portugal starting in April 2024, you can now seek an E-2 visa to live in the U.S. and develop your business. So, how do you obtain the E-2 visa?
Read the following steps for guidance:

  1. Travel to the U.S. on ESTA, or the Visa Waiver Program, for up to 90 days;
  2. Research the market to determine the most appropriate business model for your case;
  3. Meet with lawyers and accountants to discuss immigration, tax, and business laws and strategy;
  4. Register your business in the state where you want to primarily operate and live;
  5. File for federal employer identification number (“FEIN”) through the Internal Revenue Service;
  6. Open a corporate bank account through a traditional bank or financial institution;
  7. Identify the source of investment;
  8. Transfer capital funds to the corporate account;
  9. Determine how to deploy your capital to demonstrate that capital funds are “at risk”; and,
  10. Apply for the E-2 visa through the U.S. Consulate in Lisbon, Portugal.

If the U.S. Consulate approves the E-2 visa for the Portuguese investor, then the Consulate will issue a five-year visa. So, what are the benefits? The benefits include:

  • 5-year visa, which can be renewed indefinitely;
  • A U.S. Social Security Number for the investor and his or her spouse;
  • Employment authorization for the investor’s spouse (this means that the spouse can work for any U.S. employer);
  • Children under 21 years of age can maintain E-2 dependent status and attend school without having to pay international student rates;
  • Access to U.S. Capital Markets; and
  • Ability to sponsor Portuguese employees to help expand the U.S. based enterprise.

Examples of business models include the following:

  • Real Estate companies where the newly formed company buys, remodels and/or rents properties;
  • Tourism companies where the newly formed company promotes unique travel experiences to Portugal; and,
  • Consultancy companies where the newly formed company provides strategic and operational expertise to solve problems for American companies.

Overall, the E-2 visa will allow Portuguese investors the ability to develop and direct businesses in the United States. This opportunity will allow the investor the opportunity to diversify their global investments, and experience life in America – the land of dreams and opportunity.

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