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|E2 Treaty Investor Visa Processing in the U.K.
The E-2 Treaty Investor visa allows nationals from countries that have
treaties of commerce and navigation or bilateral agreements in effect with the
U.S., to enter the U.S. for the purpose of directing and developing the operations
of an enterprise they have invested in, or are in the process of investing a
substantial amount of capital.
Applicants for Treaty Investor (E-2) status must first seek registration of
the enterprise with the Treaty Visa Office of the U.S. Embassy in London. To
register an enterprise, the applicant must establish that the trading or investment
enterprise meets requirement of the law. Once the enterprise is successfully
registered, E visa applicants will be required to appear in person before a
consular officer for a personal interview.
In this article we cover the basic steps involved in applying for an E2 Treaty
Investor visa at the U.S. embassy in London, U.K.
Requirement of UK residency for British applicants
The controlling treaty between the U.S. and the United Kingdom requires that
E visa investors be "inhabitants" of British territory in Europe.
According to the treaty, this term means "one who resides actually and permanently
in a given place, and has his domicile there". Therefore, a British applicant
must prove domicile in the United Kingdom. This requirement may be fulfilled
by demonstrating payment of tax assessment imposed by local or national authorities,
ownership of a primary residence in the treaty country or by the submission of
similar documents tending to show the applicant resides permanently in the treaty
Registering your enterprise with the Treaty Visa Office
U.S. Embassy, London requires that E-2 applications must be submitted in a binder
divided into sections clearly separated by lettered or numbered tabs and include
a table of contents. Documents should be highlighted as necessary to emphasize
pertinent information. Assertions made in the cover letter must be substantiated
through the submission of documentary evidence to support those assertions.
Format of E-2 applications
The embassy requires the documents to be submitted in a specific format as set
A or 1
photocopy of the principal applicant's passport. This tab should also
include photocopies of any U.S. visas held by the applicant, regardless
of its validity.
B or 2
Contact information must include an e-mail address.
C or 3
letter describing the enterprise, and the beneficiary, addressing
all requirements for E visa eligibility.
D or 4
of Application Contents.
E or 5
demonstrating that the requisite treaty exists.
E(i) or 5(a)
demonstrating that the individual and the enterprise possess the nationality
of the treaty country. Documents may include passports and corporate
instruments identifying of owners of ultimate parent company.
F or 6
applicants who are nationals of the United Kingdom, demonstrate the
applicant permanently resides in the United Kingdom. This requirement
may be fulfilled by demonstrating payment of tax assessment imposed
by local or national authorities, ownership of a primary residence
in the treaty country or by the submission of similar documents tending
to show the applicant resides permanently in the treaty country.
G or 7
demonstrating that the applicant has invested or is in the process
of investing. Funds must be shown to have exchanged hands directly
between the buyer and the seller or a duly appointed agent.
H or 8
demonstrating that the enterprise is a real and operating commercial
enterprise. This element may be demonstrated by the submission of
items, such as annual reports, catalogs, sales literature, news
articles, business invoices with corresponding bank accounts showing
payment, receipts for the purchases of business equipment or inventory,
and other documents tending to show the enterprise is producing
some service or commodity.
I or 9
that the applicant's investment is substantial and proportionate
to the value of the enterprise. New businesses must identify start-up
costs and demonstrate costs identified are the reasonable and actual
costs necessary to establish a similarly situated business to the
point of being operational.
J or 10
demonstrating that the investment is more than a marginal one solely
for earning a living. In this tab, include complete copies of all
schedules of the enterprise's U.S. corporate income tax returns. Start-ups
may include a detailed business plan showing the financial projections
and personnel plan of the entity. Include documents to show that the
business will be profitable and will generate employment in the U.S.
K or 11
that the applicant is in a position to "develop and direct"
L or 12
demonstrating that the applicant, if an employee, is destined to an
executive or supervisory position or possesses skills essential to
the firm's operations in the United States.
M or 13
the applicant intends to depart the United States when the E-2 status
terminates. Evidence may include documents relating to properties
owned in the U.K., existing business in U.K. etc.
N or 14
G-28 "Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative".
Submitting an E-2 Application
The application should be clearly marked FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE TREATY VISA
OFFICER and mailed to the Treaty Visa Office, 5 Upper Grosvenor Street, London,
W1A 2JB; Tel: 020-7894-0544
Processing of the Application
Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. Adjudication
of an E visa application is complex and time-consuming; therefore, adjudication
can take eight to ten weeks. Within eight weeks to ten weeks, you will receive
notification by mail of the outcome of the adjudication and instructions regarding
the next steps to take. If additional material is requested or submitted after
the initial review, the new material will be logged in for adjudication at the
time it is received and reviewed with all other cases in sequence.
Adjudication of the case may result in any of the following:
Applying for visa after registration of the enterprise
- Refusal under INA Section 214(b) for failing to meet requirements for
treaty investor status.
- Refusal under INA Section 221(g) for providing insufficient information
to make a final determination in the case. In this case you may submit additional
information to address the insufficiency identified in the refusal.
registration of the enterprise. On registration, the enterprise receives
an identifying registration number.
On registration of the company for Treaty Trader/Investor status with the Treaty
Visa Office, investors and employees may apply for E visas.
E employee visas are available to managers, executives, or individuals with highly
specialized skills which are not generally available in the U.S. workforce which
make their presence essential to the efficient operation of the enterprise. Ordinary
skilled or unskilled manual workers, clerical workers, or middle/lower-level management
personnel do not qualify for employee visas.
Applicants aged 14 to 79 are required to schedule an appointment for an interview
with a consular officer. Appointments may only be scheduled by e-mailing the Treaty
Visa Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All E visa applicants, including children, are required to complete the visa application
form DS-156, pay a visa application fee, present a passport and provide one passport
type photograph which meets State Department Regulations. In addition, males aged
16 to 45 are required to complete the supplemental nonimmigrant visa application
Family Members: Spouses and Children
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality,
who wish to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the United States for
the duration of his/her stay require derivative E visas. If the dependants are
applying separately from the principal, a copy of the marriage certificate and/or
birth certificate(s) for each child will be required. Spouses of E visa holders
may seek employment authorization in the U.S. on derivative E visas by applying
for an Employment
Many Consular Posts often change policies and visa processing procedures making
it difficult to be aware of the latest policies. Prospective investors and E-visa
applicants should always review regulatory requirements and seek professional
advice from an immigration law attorney before submitting an application, if they
feel that will help them organize their application and their business activities.
We at VisaPro have successfully helped our clients at all stages in the process.
We advise our readers to contact
us to determine your eligibility for an E-2 visa. Our attorneys will answer
all your preliminary queries and devise the most suitable strategy for the successful
processing of your E-2 visa application. Our ability to deliver fast, easy and
economical service has helped VisaPro build a well-earned
reputation of trust and efficiency within the business immigration community.
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