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

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


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Panamanian nationals can enter the U.S. via nonimmigrant E-2 visas. This kind of visa allows them to live and run businesses in the United States. Panamanian nationals can participate in the E-2 visa program because their country maintains international trade agreements with the U.S. Panama investors benefit directly from the program because they are allowed to relocate with their families to the U.S. The U.S. benefits because the projects that are established by Panama investors create jobs for U.S. citizens.

The Applicant Has To Commit To Purchasing a Company

A Panamanian investor should be going to the U.S. to employ themselves by establishing a business in the United States. The Panamanian investor will be the overall director of the company. If this is not the case, E-2 visa applicant should assume an executive position because they are the principle investor.

All Panamanian investors in the US here on an E-2 visa are not allowed to pursue employment in other companies. They are expected to utilize their skills by working in their business enterprise. Every Panamanian investor should highlight their applicable skills in their petition to demonstrate that they has the sufficient skills to manage the business.

Prepare The Necessary Documents

Panamanian nationals who are applying for E-2 visas are required to fill form Ds-160. In fact the application is said to be only half complete if this form has not been filled. Getting the form is easy because simply download it 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. Panamanian applicants who have not yet met this requirement can not schedule an interview.

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

The Business Must Be Profitable

E-2 investors are required to make abundant profits. An E-2 investment visa will not be granted to a business that only generates marginal revenues.

For the profitability of a Panamanian owned project to be determined, the consulate officers look at the financial records that are enclosed in the applicant’s petition. They normally approve projects that have experienced consistency in cash flow for about 3 years. If the Panamanian investor is creating a startup company, the business plan will be evaluated on whether the projected  profits will be sustainable.

An E-2 Project Should Be Substantial

A Panamanian 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 Panaman investor 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 fixed because it varies by the nature of the business enterprise.


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

Since E-2 projects involve a large investment of money, every Panamanian investor has to declare the source of their investment funds. The consulate officers require all E-2 investors to fund their projects using traceable funds. You cannot proceed with the investment if you can’t account for the source of your money.

Money can 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 Panama 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 Panamanian investor has been engaged in any form of employment, they must produce their pay slips or income statements. You can also apply for a bank loan to finance your E-2 business project. However, you should use your other assets in Panama as collateral because you can’t secure any loan with the E-2 business.

Hire an Immigration Lawyer

Most applicants opt to file their visa applications with the assistance of an attorney. But if you are to be represented by an attorney, you need to present form G-28 which allows your attorney to participate in the application procedures on your behalf. You must provide all their contact details including their email address, phone number and address on the form.

Two Americans Must Be Employed

A Panamanian investor should ensure that there are at least 2 U.S. nationals working in the U.S. based business. This requirement applies to both acquired and startup enterprises because the project would not be beneficial if there are no jobs that result from the Panamanian ’s investment in the U.S.

The two native workers must be working for the Panamanian investor as full time employees. Furthermore, they have to be on the company’s payroll before the end of two years. If the company has already been acquired, the Panamanian investor should enclose the employees’ W-9 forms to show that they have been paying personal income tax.

The Spouse and Family of the Investor Is Welcome

Upon getting the E-2 visa, the Panama investor can arrange for the relocation of their family including their spouse and children to the U.S. The spouse and children are allowed to continue staying in the U.S. as long as the principle investor has a valid E-2 visa status.

The children have to be under the age of 21 or they will have to remain behind. Moreover, the said kids will no longer be eligible for their parent’s visa dependence once they reach the age of 21. At which point, they will have to apply for unique visas or go back to Panama.