U.K. Leads Foreign Direct Investment in Texas
US Business Entrepreneur Visas, E-1 and E-2 Visas
For the past several years, Texas (particularly the Dallas Fort Worth area) has led the nation in economic growth. A main facet of Texas success is reflected in the amount of investment the state attracts from foreign nations.
Texas a Top State for E Visa Entrepreneurship
According to the Brookings Institution, U.K. investments accounted for an estimated 87,800 Texas jobs in 2011; about 19 percent of all employment with foreign companies in the state.
Today, Texas hosts more than 1,400 foreign corporations employing 5 percent of the state’s private workforce. The United Kingdom (U.K.) is the state’s largest single source of Foreign Direct Investment FDI.
Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) Visas
Treaty Trader (E-1) and Treaty Investor (E-2) visas are for citizens of countries with which the United States maintains treaties of commerce and navigation. For a list of participating countries, select Treaty Countries.
To qualify for an E Visa, you must be coming to the United States to:
- Engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country; or
- Develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which you have invested a substantial amount of capital.
For an E-1 visa, business must be principally between the United States and the treaty country.
Requirements for E-2 Visa Applicants from the UK
- E-2 visa applicants from the United Kingdom are unique in that the United States imposes specific residency requirements.
- British Citizens residing in the UK are eligible for E-2 visas. British citizens residing in other countries are not eligible for E-2 visas.
Should UK Citizens apply for E Visas in the UK or the US?
Each situation and business is unique.
At times, there can be significant advantages for UK citizens to apply for an E1 or E2 visa within the United States. This would be accomplished during a business trip to the US.
Other businesses may be better served to apply for the E1 or E2 visa in the UK.
Please contact VERDIN Law to discuss your specific business situation.
U.K. Foreign Direct Investments in Texas
About 22 percent of Texas’ foreign direct investment projects come from U.K. firms. At present, more than 204 U.K. companies have nearly 484 operations in the state.
According to the Brookings Institution, U.K. investments accounted for an estimated 87,800 Texas jobs in 2011, or about 19 percent of all employment with foreign companies in the state.
Top Five Industries for U.K. Greenfield FDI in Texas
Texas Trade and Foreign Direct Investments.
- IT and Electronics
- Professional Services
- Industrial Goods
- Transportation Equipment
Note: Greenfield projects involve the construction or expansion of facilities in Texas.
Source: Texas Office of the Governor
E-1 Treaty Trader Visa Example
A UK based jewelry design and manufacturing company has been trading its merchandise to the United States for the last several years. Over 50% of their international trade takes place exclusively between the United States and the United Kingdom. Over the last year their trade has grown significantly; and now they wish to move sales staff permanently to the United States to help increase their trade. The UK jewelry business may benefit from an E-1 treaty trader visa.
E-2 Treaty Investor Visas Example
A successful British real estate investor recently purchased a 75% stake in a real estate management company located in Dallas for $400,000. The business operates at a profit and has over 20 employees, most of whom are American citizens. If all the conditions for the visa are met, the investor could obtain an E-2 treaty investor visa to oversee the real estate management company in the United States. In addition the investor is able to send the company operations manager to the United States to manage the company.
VERDIN E Visa Business Solutions
VERDIN’s business and investor group provides help to clients wanting to establish and/or expand their business operations in the United States. We have helped clients in multiple industries to include: international trade, real estate, restaurants and hospitality, technology, beauty and fashion, retail and services.
VERDIN represents clients in business planning and E visa matters involving real estate ventures, technology start-ups, business acquisitions, or new business formations. See E2 Investment Visa Potential Booming in Frisco TX Area.
Our team is especially focused on forming a strategic relationship with our clients to aid them to succeed in the early planning stages. Many of our clients retain us at early stage planning to maximize opportunities for success.
General Qualifications for a Treaty Investor (E-2) Visa
From USCIS, E-2 Treaty Investors
- The investor, either a person, partnership or corporate entity, must have the citizenship of a treaty country.
- If a business, at least 50 percent of the business must be owned by persons with the treaty country’s nationality.
- The investment must be substantial, with investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
- The investment must be a real operating enterprise, an active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking. A paper organization, speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
- It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States.
- You must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
- You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise. If you are not the principal investor, you must be considered an essential employee, employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.
General Qualifications of a Treaty Trader (E-1) Visa
From USCIS, E-1 Treaty Traders
The E-1 non-immigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States solely to engage in international trade on his or her own behalf.
Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification. (For dependent family members, see “Family of E-1 Treaty Traders and Employees” below.)
To qualify for E-1 classification, the treaty trader must:
- Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
- Carry on substantial trade
- Carry on principal trade between the United States and the treaty country which qualified the treaty trader for E-1 classification.
Trade is the existing international exchange of items of trade for consideration between the United States and the treaty country. Items of trade include but are not limited to:
- International banking
- Technology and its transfer
- Some news-gathering activities.
Substantial trade generally refers to the continuous flow of sizable international trade items, involving numerous transactions over time. There is no minimum requirement regarding the monetary value or volume of each transaction. While monetary value of transactions is an important factor in considering substantiality, greater weight is given to more numerous exchanges of greater value. See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(10) for further details.
Principal trade between the United States and the treaty country exists when over 50% of the total volume of international trade is between the U.S. and the trader’s treaty country. See 8 CFR 214.2(e)(11).
E1 Visa, E2 Visa or Immigration Questions? Please Contact VERDIN Law
Isaul Verdin has extensive experience advising multinational companies and entrepreneurs on complex US immigration matters involving investments.
Mr. Verdin focuses on advising companies on structuring entities, acquisitions, and strategic expansion to satisfy US immigration E-1, E2, L1A, L1B, or EB-1 objectives in a variety of fields. These business opportunities include real estate, aviation, technology, manufacturing, retail, luxury goods, and professional services. Additionally, he litigates deportation defense matters throughout the US.
VERDIN boasts a combined 70 years of experience in immigration law. Since its inception, VERDIN has gained a reputation for prevailing in even the most complicated immigration matters.
“As a Board Certified, Immigration Lawyer (Texas Board of Legal Specialization) with over 17 years of experience, my passion is immigration law. We will listen to your concerns, answer all your questions, and expertly guide you through your immigration process.” ~ Isaul Verdin, Founder and Managing Attorney
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