E-2 Visa: France to U.S.A.

E-2 Visa: France to U.S.A.


France has been engaging with the U.S. in business treaties and so its nationals are qualified to apply for E-2 visas. The visas are issued by the consulate office in France and so all applicants are required to file their petitions from their home country because you can not apply to be enrolled in this program when you are in a foreign country.

Getting the E-2 visa in France should be easy provided that the applicant has fulfilled all the requirements. Most applicants fail to get the visa because they are not well informed about the entire process. Some even experience a worse fate, when they are not able to get a refund of the money they have invested. Such problems can be avoided by involving an immigration attorney because even if you do not get the visa, the lawyer can help you get your escrow funds safely returned.

Hire an Immigration Lawyer

A French applicant should hire an immigration lawyer before making any investment in the U.S. or filing the visa petition. Consulting a lawyer from the first step will make it easier to progress smoothly during and after the application process. An immigration lawyer ensures that your interests as an investor are safeguarded right from the beginning by including clauses that would see you get your money back in case the E-2 visa application is not successful.

Besides that, an immigration lawyer can represent any French E-2 visa applicant as long as the candidate has filled form G-28. The form contains the lawyer’s contact details so that they may communicate with the embassy on your behalf.

The French Petitioner Has To Fill Forms and Pay Visa Charges

French nationals who are applying for E-2 visas are required to fill form Ds-160. In fact the application is said to be half complete if this form has not been filled. Getting the form is easy because one does not have to travel to the consulate office, the form can be downloaded and printed from the embassy’s website.

There is a visa application fee that has to be paid by all applicants. Once you have paid the fee, you should forward your receipt to the consulate officers so that they can book you an interview. French applicants who are yet to honor this requirement can not attend an interview.

Every E-2 petitioner has to prove that they are citizens of France. Aliens have to go back to their respective countries and file their petitions from there. An applicant has to produce a passport that has been issued by France’s department of immigration. Besides that, the passport should not be full because the visa stamp can only be placed on an empty page.

You Are To Be Your Own Boss

A French investor should be going to the U.S. to employ themselves by establishing a business in the country. This means that the French investor will be the overall director of the company. If this is not the case, they should assume an executive position because they are the principle investor.

All French investors in the US here on an E-2 visa are not allowed to pursue employment in other companies. This is because they are expected to utilize their skills by working in their enterprises. As a matter of fact, every French investor should highlight their skills in their CV because an E-2 petitioner should run a business that corresponds to their skills.

First Find the Business of Your Interest

Most French E-2 applicants make a mistake by proceeding with their visa petition without an active business in place. Applying for the visa without an investment project is a waste of time because you can not prove that the funds are under your authority if you have not spent a single cent towards establishing the business.

The consulate office in France does not dictate the kinds of businesses that can be founded by E-2 petitioners. A French applicant can own a business in the U.S. by acquiring it. To acquire an E-2 eligible enterprise, you must purchase at least 50% ownership of the business.

If a French investor is interested in creating a startup company, they do not have to wait until the business is completely rolled out. In fact they should get the leases for the facilities that they will be using before filing the E-2 visa application. By doing so, they can attach the lease agreement documents in their petition to prove that funds are being directed towards the start of the business enterprise.

The Enterprise Has To Be Profitable

The business that will be operated by a French investor has to generate considerable income. It is therefore recommended that you analyze the profits that are made by the company that you are about to acquire because your visa petition will not be granted if the project is not profitable. The income from an E-2 project is said to be considerable if there is a surplus of money that remains after the principle investor has paid their bills and of their dependents.

The consulate officials actually go through the financial records before concluding on its profitability. This means that it’s necessary to enclose financial statements from your business.

French investors who are opening startup companies will be evaluated on the projected profitability of their enterprises. Since startup businesses use business plans to file their petitions, the plan has to elaborate on how the French investor will make sustainable income for the next five years.

The French Investor Has To Commit Substantial Value

Every French applicant is supposed to dedicate a substantial amount of money towards the business project in the U.S. For your project to be considered worthy, its value has to be at least $100,000. If it is an acquired business, the consulate officers use the amount that was paid by the French investor to the previous investor. If it is a startup business, the consulate officers will use the costs estimations contained in the business plan.


The Source of Funds Has To Be Explained By the French Investor

Since E-2 projects involve a large investment of money, every French investor has to declare the source of their investment funds. The consulate officers require all E-2 investors to fund their projects using genuine funds. You will not be allowed to proceed with the investment if you can not account for the source of your money.

Money can actually be obtained from friends and family members in form of gifts. You are also allowed to dispose any of your assets that are situated in France to get the necessary funds. But you have to produce the transfer documents and receipts that may have been issued following the sale of your properties and assets.

If a French investor has been engaged in any form of employment, they must avail their pay slips or income statements. It is also okay to apply for a bank loan to finance your E-2 business project. However, you should use your other assets in France as collateral because you are not allowed to secure any loan with the E-2 business.

Two Americans Have To Be Employed

The French investor has to allocate two job openings to American citizens. This is because E-2 investors are allowed to establish businesses in the country so that they can create employment opportunities. Employing at least 2 Americans contributes towards the growth of the U.S. economy because it expands the government’s revenue base.

When the two Americans are hired, they are supposed to work on a fulltime basis. If the French investor is building a startup business, the two workers have to be hired not later than after 2 years from business inception.

Spouse and Children Can Come To U.S.

When a French investor succeeds in getting the E-2 visa, they are allowed to come with their spouse and children. The only issues that can separate the principle investor from his family are the status of the marriage and the age of the children.

The spouse has to be legally bound to the French investor.  But if the marriage between the couple is not legally recognized, the spouse has to remain behind. The children of the French investor have to be aged below 21 years or they will not be able to move to the U.S. On the other hand, the same children will have to apply for different visas when they turn 21 years of age. This is because they are now seen as adults in the eyes of the law, and must qualify for their own independent visas.