There is no one amount that has to be invested. If you are opening a franchise restaurant such as a Subway, Papa John’s, or McDonald’s, you likely need to invest several hundred thousand dollars to cover the cost of franchise fees, restaurant build out, and supplies. If you are opening a services business such as a consulting company or software development company, you simply cannot invest hundreds of thousands of dollars outside of salaries; therefore the investment amount is much lower. We have helped services business get E-2 approvals with as little as $14,000 in overall investment.
A bona fide enterprise refers to a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.
The investment enterprise may not be marginal. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. Depending on the facts, a new enterprise might not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate such income. In such cases, however, the enterprise should have the capacity to generate such income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-2 classification begins.
If the principal alien employer is not an individual, it must be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country. These owners must be maintaining nonimmigrant treaty investor status. If the owners are not in the United States, they must be, if they were to seek admission to this country, classifiable as nonimmigrant treaty investors.