How to Get an E2 Visa with Real Estate

– Hi everyone, this is
U.S. immigration lawyer, Michael Ashoori, and in today's video, I'm gonna go over a topic
that I get asked about a lot. And what I'm gonna talk
about is the E2 visa and how real estate investments
can work for an E2 visa. A lot of people wanna know if they can purchase real estate to qualify for an E2 visa, or if they can use a
real estate investment as part of their E2 visa investment. So we're gonna talk all
about that in today's video. So make sure to stick around. (bright music) Hi everyone, my name is Michael Ashoori, and I'm a U.S. immigration lawyer based in Los Angeles, California. At my law firm, we work with clients from all 50 states and worldwide, and we regularly post videos to make sure that you're up to date with
the latest immigration news and to just provide you with helpful immigration information.

So if you're not yet a subscriber
to our YouTube channel, make sure to hit that
Subscribe button right away. So, as I mentioned, in today's video, we're gonna talk about the E2 visa, and we're gonna specifically talk about how real estate works in
the context of an E2 visa. Again, I regularly get
questions from people that are considering buying a house and using that as the
basis of their E2 business, or buying an apartment complex,
or similar things like that. So I wanna clear the air
regarding real estate and how it works with the E2 visa. So let's get started as
a very quick overview. The E2 visa is a
non-immigrant investor visa, and basically the way
the E2 visa works is that it allows somebody to
invest in a business, they can either start a brand new business or they can purchase an existing business. And based on making that investment, they can live in the United States and they can operate their business. So now that we have that
general understanding, I wanna talk about one of the
most important requirements of the E2 visa.

And this requirement is that
the business that you invest in must be an active for-profit business. Now there's a difference
between an active business and a passive business. An active business is,
for example, a restaurant, or a store that sells
some sort of a product, or a business that provides
some sort of a service, like a cleaning service
or a tutoring service. These are all examples
of active businesses. Now let's contrast an active business from a passive business. A passive business is
something, for example like purchasing a home and renting that home out to a tenant, or purchasing some other
type of real estate, like a retail store and renting
that store out to a tenant that will operate their
business out of that store. These types of real estate investments where somebody just purchases
a property of some kind and leases it out are classified
as passive investments. And because, as we mentioned,
the E2 visa requires that your business must be an active business, these types of investments do
not qualify for an E2 visa.

So now that we understand
that big picture concept, I wanna answer this
very important question. How can somebody have an E2 business that involves real estate? Because again, we have a lot of clients that are very interested in
doing an E2 visa business that involves real estate. So there's a couple of different options that I wanna discuss. The first option is a
property management company. So property management
companies assist property owners with leasing or with getting tenants to lease their available units, to deal with tenants that
have issues with their leases, for example, to assist tenants with dealing with various issues that they might be encountering such as the air conditioning
not working or plumbing issues.

These are things that property management
companies deal with. So one option of having an E2 business that involves real estate is doing some sort of a
property management company. Now, again, in order to
qualify for an E2 visa, as a property management
company, it has to be very clear that your business is a
property management company. So you have to have a business
plan that makes it very clear that your company as a
property management company and your expenditures
have to be made similar to what other property management
companies spend money on. For example, desks, computers, telephones, and other types of expenditures that might be typical of a
property management company. A lease agreement, for example, leasing out a premises
that you're gonna operate your property management company out of. So again, one option to
qualify for an E2 visa in a business that involves real estate is by doing property management.

You can either start a brand
new property management company or you could potentially
go the franchise route and invest in some sort
of a franchise opportunity that deals with property management. So that's option number one. Now another option that I wanna discuss is if you're going to be doing some sort of an active
real estate venture. And what I mean by this is, imagine a company that's devoted
to flipping homes, right? So they purchase homes,
fix them and sell them, or they have some sort of
another model in real estate that's very active. And again, I'm not
talking about a situation where somebody purchases
a home once a year, invests some money in it to
fix it up and then sells it.

I'm talking about something
where you can envision, almost like an assembly line, where you have a team in place where you have people scouting
out investment opportunities, and you're regularly acquiring properties, and you potentially could
have an in-house department that consists of contractors
and other service providers that remodel these properties
that you're purchasing. And then, you have agents that list them and you basically have
this assembly line model of this active business that's involved in improving and selling real estate.

Now you can see that this resembles more of an active business. Again, we're contrasting this from another type of a
real estate investment where somebody's just thinking
about purchasing a home and renting it out, or purchasing some sort of a
building and renting it out. In the example that I'm mentioning, we're seeing a much
different type of business, a much more active business. If your potential real estate business resembles the more active type, then it may potentially qualify. So what have we covered
so far in this video? We did a big picture overview
on what the E2 visa is, we talked about how passive investments in real estate do not
qualify for E2 visas, and we talked about a
couple of different options to be able to have real estate
involved in your business in a manner that's compliant
with the E2 requirements.

The first example that we talked about was a property management company, and the second example
that we talked about is an active real estate operation which we contrasted from
a more passive operation. So I hope you guys found
this video very helpful. Again, this is something that we get questions about all the time so I hope this helps to provide you with some valuable information. If you know anybody that could benefit from this information, please feel free to share
this video with them. As always, we wanna
empower you with knowledge. So the more people that
can watch this video, that can benefit from this
information, the better. As always, thank you so much
for tuning into this video and I will see you on the next one..

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