Which Industries Are Capturing Latin Americans’ Investment In the US?

Around 25,000 E2 visas are issued annually to Latin Americans for average investments of $200,000 in the US. Which are the sectors attracting the investment?

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February 07, 2023 | 11:22 AM

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Bloomberg Línea — Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Paraguay are the Latin American countries with a trade and navigation agreement with the United States, and which grants those countries’ citizens the possibility of applying for an E2 investment visa to start launch a business in the US.

Between 25,000 and 30,000 E2 visas per fiscal year are approved by the United States, and which implies a considerable volume of business, since if all the ventures are completed at an average investment of $200,000, according to a study by Law Offices of Carla Anzaldi study, total investments would be at least $60 billion.

“Such visas cover approximately 100,000 businesses and employ around one million US citizens,” according to the law firm.

With minimum investments of between $150,000 and $180,000, Latin Americans who choose to launch businesses in the US do so mostly in areas such as catering, technology and the services sector.

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The choice of these types of businesses, according to the study, has to do with the search for a profitability of at least $6,000 per month, and to ensure such returns, investors also look to proven businesses and therefore opt for franchises.3

The most-chosen franchises are in segments such as health, beauty, finance, gastronomy and maintenance, as well as industrial kitchen cleaning, used furniture collection, care for the elderly, and pet walking and care.

Requirements for an E-2 VISA

According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, to qualify for the E-2 visa, the following requirements must be met:

  • Be a citizen of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
  • Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide US enterprise.
  • Seek to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise, and having at least 50% of the enterprise under one’s own control.
  • The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails. The investor must demonstrate that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activities.
  • The capital investment must be sufficient to guarantee the investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
  • The lower the cost of the enterprise, the greater, proportionately, the investment, in order to be considered substantial.