Then the better option is the L-1A
, not the E-2. In both cases, the law does not state what the minimal amount is. It just says substantial investment. The average investment for an E-1 and E-2 that has a good chance of success is $200,000 or more. The average investment that has a good chance of success for an L-1A is $100,000 or more. The more the investment, the stronger the case. The less the investment, the weaker the case. Attorneys don't like to lose and have upset clients so they don't like taking on clients with small investments that have a high chance of failure. So that's where you get those averages from. The law doesn't talk about that, but attorneys do. Also, imagine that you have $50,000 invested in something and you are denied. Then you have to sell the business or take a loss, etc. So few attorneys take cases with small amounts under those I stated.
Can an investment be made with less and still be successful? Yes, but as I said, the chances of denial are high. So how can one make a smalled investment? Well, let me give in an example. In order to set up a restaurant in New York, because the cost of living is so high, salaries are high, etc., a $200,000 investment probably would not work and the business would most likely fail and as such, a visa would probably be denied.
But if you opened a restaurtant in a small town in let's say Kansas with a $50,000 investment, that might work because salaries are low and cost of living is low, etc.
So I hope you see the differences. Anyway, the investment, whatever it may be, has to be invested and at risk. It cannot be sitting in a bank account (at least not most of it, it is ok to have some as operating funds), and cannot be used to buy a house or buy and sell real estate. It must be an active investment like a restaurant, laundry mat, computer store, whatever is an active investment where you would be involved in the day to day operations. For an L-1A, the business does not have to be the same as the business outside of the U.S. So if you had a restaurant outside, you could have a laundry mat inside the U.S.
As far as what the investment should be in, commercial real estate, products, inventory, suppies, etc. So this becomes difficult if all you have is a few computers, a server and maybe a small office. Your going to have to think bigger, unfortunately. Here are some links below to the L-1A and E-1 and E-2:
The L-1A is better because the investment requirement is less and because it is easy to get a green card
later through that category.
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