• Daniel Shaffer, Esq.

E2 Visas: Department of State Provides Clarification on "Real and Operating" for E2 Enterprises



The US Department of State recently provided clarification on the exact meaning of "real and operating" as used in the E2 visa regulations.


9 FAM 402.9-6 requires that an E2 business be "a real and operating commercial enterprise." Further, "[t]he enterprise must be a real and active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking, producing some service or commodity;" "[i]t cannot be a paper organization or an idle speculative investment…"


While providing important clarification about the definitions of the terms "operating" and "active," the Department of State stated that "the term 'active' at 402.9-6(C) was used to ensure that new enterprises that had not yet begun producing services or commodities, but which were actively taking steps to become operational, could also provide a basis for E visa issuance."


For all E2 visas, it is important than the investment not be a merely idle or passive investment. The enterprise must be functioning at the time of the application or on the cusp of reaching normal operating capacity. This can be proven through relevant licenses from local and state governments and/or licensing boards; contracts and receipts from sales with customers; evidence confirming ongoing and/or future work; websites, social media pages, and other marketing/promotional materials; and any other documentation that proves the business is not idle or a passive investment.


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