I am asked this question regularly during conferences that I give in France or during the first interviews with my future clients preparing their expatriation via an E2 visa, they should invest to get in the US. It’s also a recurring question on the forums I’m talking about. So, as many say right now, there is no answer. At least, there is not an answer but answers adapted to each case, because, as the saying goes, each case is unique.
Is there a minimum amount for an E2 visa?
If you mean a minimum amount in the law governing the E2 visa, the answer is still no … The law provides that the amount must be substantial. Even the definition of this word is discussed. Personally, I take it in the sense of “proportionate to the project”. Creating a car garage from scratch does not require the same investment in cash as setting up a consulting firm. In this last case, it is often difficult to determine what the money will be spent because it is often enough for some professionals of a computer to work. It will, therefore, require an amount that is realistic in the face of the project.
To go back to the minimum amount, I personally worked on files of $ 50,000, $ 52,000, $ 59,000 and all three was accepted for a period of 5 years. I heard about $ 30,000 but I did not work on it, so I can not confirm. However, the lower the amount, the riskier it will be to get the visa and for the rest, ie your life here.
The amount invested will depend on your future income.
With respect to the budget, in the context of taking over business via an E2 visa, I often indicate that the price of a business is generally between 2 and 4 times the annual income generated for the owner. Basically, if you want to earn $ 60,000 a year, the redemption amount to consider is between $ 120,000 and $ 240,000. It is the same in the context of creation but it is also necessary to foresee the period of launch of the company before it reaches its cruising speed. Of course, this ratio is indicative, it varies according to the activities and other parameters internal to the company (location, state of the equipment …). To think of releasing $ 70,000 a year by investing $ 50,000 at first seems very difficult, even utopian. I did not say “impossible”, but I have never seen it before.
$ 70,000 a year in Orlando and $ 70,000 a year in San Francisco, it’s not the same life
As we have seen above that the amount of the investment will depend on your future income, it must also be specified that the localization. This will also have a very strong impact on your quality of life. I love California for example … for the holidays, but live very little for me, or it would be necessary that the income follows, which is not obvious. Personally, I think I have a good life because our income is comfortable … for Orlando! With the same income in San Francisco for example, our life would be more complicated, or it would be necessary to work twice more, which seems difficult to me (those who know me well will understand).
In short, your future quality of life in the US depends on how much you can invest and where you invest them. This is one of the reasons why we chose Orlando instead of Miami when we decided to make the leap in 2010 and applied for and obtained our visa.
For example, for $ 1,300 a month, you will find a townhome (townhouse) rental in a subdivision with common pool in Orlando. Count $ 5,000 minimum (but $ 6,000) for the same thing in San Francisco.
Another important point. If you need to compare the cost of living between France and the United States, consider comparing similar things: when you announce a salary of $ 4,000 a month here, health insurance, retirement, unemployment not foreseen. It’s up to you to make your reservations and prepare yourself.
Plan a budget for the unexpected, there is always!
I have spoken so far about the budget invested in the project but, I conjure you, do not forget to provide also broad enough in terms of a personal budget to come and settle. You are starting from scratch in a country where you are unknown. You will be welcome, Americans are friendly with foreigners, but do not expect a gift when it comes to financial issues: no guarantees, no references … so no credit. It will take so make deposit deposits everywhere: rent, phone, water, electricity. You will often be considered a young driver by car insurance, even at age 50! Auto … you have to buy one or two. It will be necessary to furnish oneself … In short, it is necessary to have reserves to begin because all but to find itself short of cash here: a month of rent of delay and you are outside.
So plan your budget “arrival” and think of surprises because there may be. As such, take health insurance as soon as possible. Take a possible contract in France that covers you the time to be insured here. I just had the case of a young couple, in good shape, never sick until then and after a week in Florida, sir had to be hospitalized urgently for a renal colic crisis. Some exams later and anti pain to stun a horse comes the bill: 13 000 $ (we can really call it the pain in this case). Fortunately, they had insurance taken before their departure, otherwise, their dream would take a hit!