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

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


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Japanese investors can use the E-2 visa to gain entry into the United States. This visa program is reserved for countries that sustain business treaties with the U.S. Once in the U.S., the Japan national is expected to open up a business that will create jobs in the U.S.

There are some qualifying factors that must be met by all applicants. Some are easy, while others are somewhat complicated. That is why it is important to involve an immigration attorney so that they can evaluate your situation and take the appropriate measures. The visa is obtained by filing a petition at the consulate office in Japan.

You Must Direct the Operations of the Business

Most Japanese E-2 applicants make a mistake by proceeding with their visa petition without an active business in place.

The consulate office in Japan does not dictate the kinds of businesses that can be founded by E-2 petitioners. A Japanese 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 Japanese 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 an attorney to assist in preparing the paperwork. 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 consulate office in Japan states that all E-2 applicants must remain as active participants in their business in the U.S. So they can not look for work at other companies. In fact the investor is regarded as an employee of themselves.

The Japanese Petitioner Has To File An Application and Pay Visa Charges

A Japanese applicant should make sure they have a valid passport because they will need a passport to be allowed to enter the U.S. Also, the passport should remain valid up to 6 months after the expiry of the E-2 visa so that you can use it to travel back to your home country in case you do not renew your visa.

Furthermore, there has to be an empty page in your passport or you will have to apply for a new one, because the visa stamp is placed on an empty page.

All E-2 petitioners in Japan are required to pay the visa application fee prior to attending an oral interview at the consulate office in the country. This fee is not refundable.

Form Ds-160 must be filled by all Japanese E-2 applicants. Getting the form is easy, simply visit the embassy’s website and download the form.

The Business Has To Make Significant Returns

The business owned by a Japanese investor must be active because idle companies can not qualify for the E-2 visa program. It is advised that a business be first established so that the applicant can be regarded as an investor due to the fact that their project is already operational.

Contracts can be devised so that monies are held in escrow, and the purchase of the business in the U.S. is not completed until the E-2 visa is approved.

An E-2 Project Should Be Substantial

A Japanese E-2 applicant should ensure that the investment project is worth the substantial investment required.  This is because the business has to remain active even when the market takes an unexpected turn. The substantiality of a Japanese investor’s business  is determined by calculating the cash that was spent when acquiring the business against the worth of a similar business in the industry. Substantiality is not a fixed value, because it varies by the nature of the business enterprise.


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The Source of Funds Has To Be Explained By The Japanese Investor

Japanese applicants are allowed to finance their E-2 projects using loans that are borrowed from the banks. However, they can’t use the E-2 business to secure the loan. Thus an investor has to look for an alternative asset to use as collateral. A Japanese applicant can use a home or land in Japan to secure their loan.

Those who are not able to raise a substantial amount of money can partner with other interested individuals in their country so that each party owns a portion of the investment business. The other alternative is to borrow money from family and friends.

Let the Immigration Attorney Do Their Magic

A Japanese applicant should hire an immigration lawyer before making any investment in the U.S. or filing the visa application. Consulting an attorney will make it easier to progress smoothly during and after the visa application process.

An immigration lawyer can represent any Japanese 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.

2 Americans Are Required Be Employed

A minimum of 2 jobs in the company have to be filled by Americans. The two employees are supposed to employed on a fulltime basis. It is also required that they be hired within the first two years of the business being started.

The Japanese employer has to document the hiring process because their salaries should match with the standards that have been set by the U.S. department of labor.

The Family of the Investor Can Come To the U.S.

When a Japanese 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 their family are the status of the marriage and the age of the children.

The spouse has to be legally bound to the Japanese investor. If the marriage between the couple is not legally recognized, the spouse has to remain behind. The children of the Japanese 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.