The E-2 “Treaty Investor” Visa is a non-immigrant visa which enables individuals who have significant funds to invest to come into the U.S. for the purposes of setting up a business, practice, or office. The individual must be a citizen of a E Visa Treaty Country.
The E-2 Visa may also be extended to additional personnel who will occupy supervisory or executive positions, are considered essential to the running of the business, or meet the legal definition of “employee.” Such personnel must be citizens of the same country as the primary applicant.
The E-2 can be granted for an initial 2 years, with unlimited 2-year extensions, as long as the business remains viable.
Why an E-2 Visa Lawyer
- Preparation and submission of application packet in accordance with the specific E-2 country requirements, including forms, business plans, and evidence of eligibility.
- Detailed attorney cover letter outlining the legal requirements, the Applicant’s Background, and how the applicant meets all the requirements using their qualifications.
- Strategic advice from beginning to end on how to meet the requirements and attorney provides assistance and oversees every single piece of evidence.
Requirements for E-2 Visa Application
To apply for the E-2, you as the individual investor must demonstrate:
- Your purpose for entering the U.S. is to run or develop the enterprise. This can be shown by having a minimum 50% stake in the business or a significant managerial or leadership position that gives you operational control.
- Demonstrate that the investment qualifies as substantial, not marginal, involves risk of loss of capital, and that the business operates on its own premises.
Benefits of E-2 Investor Visa
- Establish a business in the United States and work;
- Can renew the visa every two years indefinitely;
- Petition for people from your country to come for the company as employees;
- Can get visas for dependents (spouse and children under 21); and
- Do not have to invest a significant amount of money compared to the EB-5 Visa.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- The investment must be substantial and sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise.
- The investment funds or assets committed and irrevocable.
- The investment may not be viewed as marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to you and family or it must have significant economic impact in the U.S..
- The investment must involve a risk of loss of capital.
- The funds must not have been generated through illegal means.
- The investment can be put into either a new company or an existing company, but cannot be used to create a job solely for the individual investor.
- The business must also have its own dedicated premises – it cannot be run from the investor’s home.
If the applicant is currently in the United States in a lawful nonimmigrant status:
- File Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, to change to an E-2 status.
- A qualifying employer may also file Form I-129 on their behalf as well if they are an employee of a trader or investor.
A request for an E-2 classification may not be made on Form I-129 if you are physically outside the United States. Applicant must complete online Visa application, then schedule an appointment for their visa interview, generally at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country in which they live.
The E-2 Visa may also cover the applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The applicant’s spouse may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in order to work in the U.S..
All persons covered by E2 visas are permitted to travel in and out of the U.S., and the primary visa holder will automatically be granted a two-year extension upon re-entry to the country.
Family members may also travel in and out of the U.S. but their Visas will not automatically extend upon re-entry to the U.S.. They must file form I-539, Application to Extend or Change Non-Immigrant Status.
E-2 Visa holders (including family and additional personnel) may stay in the U.S. for an initial 2 years, with the option to apply for unlimited 2-year extensions.
The business must remain viable, and employees will have to demonstrate proof of continuing employment upon application for extension.
However, all E-2 Visa holders must maintain the intention to leave the U.S. when their status changes or the business is no longer viable.
E-2 Visa holders can apply for a Green Card and permanent residence if they are eligible for EB-1 or EB-5 employment visas, or through sponsorship by either a family member or U.S. employer.
- EB-1 Visas are for those with extraordinary ability in their field, outstanding researchers and professors, and multinational executives and managers. You do not need a employer or offer of employment to be eligible for an EB-1.
- EB-5 Visas are for those who make an investment of $1.8 million (or $900,000 in select cases) in a business that will directly create a minimum of 10 new U.S. jobs within 5 years.
Contact us to learn more.