Auto Investor Ari Heikkinen and Wife Kaarina Received E-2 Visas

By Oakhurst Legal Group

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Sherrod Seward Helps Couple Secure Investor Visas

The United States offers a list of visas available to people worldwide to account for the different talents, situations, and aspirations prospective immigrants have. For immigrants who seek entry to the country to invest substantially in American businesses, E-2 visas are available.

Sherrod Seward, the Managing Member of Oakhurst Immigration Law, successfully petitioned for E-2 investor visas for Finland national Ari Heikkinen and his spouse, Kaarina Heikkinen.

The E-2 Investor Visa Eligibility Requirements

E-2 visas allow foreign investors involved in managing the business they’ve invested in an opportunity to relocate to the United States to oversee operations. The United States maintains that treaty investors applying for an E-2 visa must:

  • Be a citizen of a country that holds a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States
  • Invest a substantial amount in an American bona fide enterprise
  • Be seeking entrance to the country to develop and lead the company in which they invested

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services clarifies some important definitions to avoid confusion:

  • Investing involves placing money or assets at risk in an attempt to grow a profit
  • Developing and directing the business involves at least 50% ownership, managerial control, or some other display of influence within the company
  • Substantial investments are judged in relation to the cost of purchasing or establishing a company, show the financial commitment of the foreigner to the success of the business, and point to a likelihood that the applicant will be involved in the development and direction of the business
  • Bonafide enterprises, or eligible sources to invest in, must be real and actively operating to produce goods or services for profit within the legal requirements of business regulations in the state they are located

It can be a grueling process to prove that your investment qualifies for an American visa. Luckily, Oakhurst Immigration Law attorneys are fluent in the process and know how to efficiently maneuver through to receive E-2 visas for our clients.

Ari and Kaarina’s Case

Mr. Seward was able to confirm that Ari and Kaarina, both Finland nationals, were eligible for the E-2 Classification for Treaty Investors since they have invested more than the required minimum amount in the company they started in the United States. We are proud to announce that Ari received approval for the E-2 investor visa after only two weeks of regular processing at the USCIS California Service Center.

Ari has been involved in the restoration and renovation of classical vehicles and motorcycles for over two decades. He also has extensive experience in specialized projects and as a machine tool maker. He has successfully registered Dream Works Restorations LLC, a limited liability company, in the State of North Carolina.

The capital contributions that Ari transferred to Dream Works is substantial and proportionate to the amount typically required to establish a new or buy an existing business of similar size and engage in a similar line of business. Ari’s capital contributions total $203,000 and Dream Works has projections of $210,000 in annual sales based on committed business and reasonable estimation of new business.

Ownership and Capacity to Direct and Develop the Investment

The firm was able to demonstrate that Ari and Kaarina are the sole owners of Dream Works and have the ability to develop and direct it without any interference. We were also able to establish that they intend to direct and develop their new investment to grow Dream Works, expand their market share, and capture new demographics as the metropolitan area surrounding Jacksonville, North Carolina develops and attracts new residents that like classic vehicles.

Ari’s business is situated strategically – in the metro Jacksonville and close to the military base – and is the only body shop in the area specializing in classic restorations. Ari’s intention is to expand his operations and introduce more services to the market by employing local talent or contracting out business to other specialty shops in the area. Doing so will not only provide an additional benefit to the Dream Works clients and increase sales, but also further promote the existence of restoration skills between the United States and Finland.

By hiring additional employees over the next five years, Dream Works will service more clients in a more expeditious manner and have a positive impact on the local economy of the Jacksonville area. The additional jobs will mean more payroll taxes to all levels of government and increased spending in the local community. The firm was able to highlight all these benefits and show the USCIS why Ari’s business in the chosen location was important.

Expertise of Ari Heikkinen

We were also able to highlight Ari’s expertise in the field as he has been involved in restoration and service for over two decades. It has evolved from a handicraft into a business after Ari received formal education and specialized project experience. His expertise is the result of his educational training in machine installation and vehicle extension from vocational school and his over ten years of training as a machine tool maker with Takoma Gears.

Legality of the Source of Funds

The firm was also successful in establishing that Ari was capable of making the required investment in Dream Works. He had already transferred and shipped a significant amount of equipment and vehicles to Jacksonville. All the funds used throughout the process of setting up the business, registering it, making purchases, etc. come from his personal savings accumulated from years of employment at Takoma Gears and from the sale of property owned by Kaarina. We were able to provide documentation as evidence with the petition, and successfully obtain E-2 visas for the Heikkinens.

Call Oakhurst Immigration Law at 704-243-8178 or contact us online for more information about obtaining E-2 visas for treaty investors.