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This I another one of those questions where the answer depends on the visa to be obtained and on the circumstances of the startup – there’s simply no way to give an exact figure without. For E-2 and L-1A new office visas, USCIS will typically want to see sufficient capitalization to run the business as described to them, at least for the better part of the first year. The investment will often be slightly higher for E-2 purposes given the “substantiality” requirement, and the sponsored E-2 beneficiary’s status as the source of those funds as well as the degree to which they are actually “at risk” in the business becomes critical in this context. For H-1Bs and O-1s, amount investment by the sponsored foreign national simply isn’t relevant (although in the H-1B context, significant investment may run afoul of the “control” issue for purposes of establishing the employer-employee relationship, depending upon how this is structured).