E-2 Treaty Investor visas are authorized to aliens entitled to
enter the United States on the basis of treaties of commerce, navigation or bilateral
agreements between the United States and the foreign state of which they are a
national for the purpose of:
carrying out substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in
technology, principally between the United States and the foreign state,
and directing the operations of an invested enterprise or of an enterprise
in which he/she is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount
In this article we cover the basic steps involved in applying for an E-2 Treaty
Investor visa at the U.S. embassy at Seoul in The Republic of Korea, which is
a treaty country.
Submitting the E-2 visa application
Before submitting the application for an E-2 visa, a processing fee of US$100
is to be paid at any Shinhan Bank branch within Korea and not at the embassy.
The processing fee is payable only in Korean Won and is non-refundable. All applicants,
including children listed in a parent's passport, must pay the processing fee
and receive the receipt of the same from the bank. This fee receipt should be
submitted with each application.
Required Format for E-2 visa applications
U.S. Embassy, Korea requires that E-2 applications be submitted in a binder
divided into sections clearly separated by lettered or numbered tabs. A cover
letter from your attorney or representative may be included outside the binder.
A or 1
DS-156, nonimmigrant visa application, one 5X5 cm photograph with
a white background and Form DS-157. The Shinhan Bank
receipt for the application fee should be stapled to the second page
of the DS-156 application form.
B or 2
completed copies of Form DS-156E. Contact information
must include an e-mail address and fax number. Please ensure that
the form is filled out in its entirety.
C or 3
photocopy of the entire passport of each applicant. Please include
copies of all prior US visas and approved change of status notices
(Form I-797). Please bring your original passport and any old passports
containing U.S. visas with you at the time of the interview.
D or 4
record of the immigration arrivals and departures of the applicant
and the family members; and,
If applying as part of a family, a copy of the Family Census Registry.
E or 5
letter describing the enterprise, and the beneficiary, addressing
all requirements for E visa eligibility. If the company has previously
qualified for E-2 visa status, include the date and location of
the initial qualification. The letter may also include a paragraph
concerning the applicant’s unequivocal intent to depart US
when E-2 status ends.
F or 6
of treaty country ownership and controlling interest in the enterprise.
Articles of Incorporation, Secretary of State certificates, Minutes
of Board of Directors’ meetings showing who the officers are
and the distribution of capital and other documents of this nature
may be included.
G or 7
of the source of funds. This may include copies of bank books, property
deeds, income tax statements and/or any other relevant documentation.
H or 8
that funds have been invested or that the investor is actively in
the process of investing. You need to provide proof of actual purchases
and/or signed contracts and leases related to the enterprise, not
just wire transfers to a US account.
I or 9
that the enterprise is currently running or will open its doors
imminently. This element may be demonstrated by submission of client
lists, letters from clients attesting to their involvement with
the enterprise, signed contracts with clients, and photographs of
J or 10
that investment is substantial. New businesses must identify start-up
costs and demonstrate costs identified are reasonable and actual costs
necessary to establish a similarly situated business to the point
of being operational.
K or 11
that enterprise is more than marginal. Under this tab you may include
proof of external sources of income that will be used to support
the applicant and his/her family in the U.S. 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.
L or 12
resume and, if an essential employee, evidence that employee has essential
skills that the enterprise urgently needs, as well as the projected
duration of this essentiality. You should include relevant diplomas,
job training certificates or letters from previous employers in this
section. Include an organizational chart, particularly for managers
or executives. You may also wish to explain why the enterprise was
unable to find a qualified US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident
to fill the position.
M or 13
G-28 "Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative"
(as appropriate), including contact e-mail address and phone number.
Mailing the application to the Embassy
E visa applicants and their family members must submit their applications through
an Embassy-approved courier company (DHL Ilyang and Hanjin) within Korea or
FedEx outside of Korea. The couriers will be responsible for delivering your
passport and application to the Embassy and then returning them to your home
or office. For convenience purposes, each passport must have a separate courier
slip attached. The delivery status of the passport can be tracked on-line. Forms
DS-156 & DS-157 are available free of charge at selected courier service
Contact Details of the courier services
DHL Ilyang :
- Jinhak Hoikwan Building, #102, 201-1 Cheongjin-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
- 230 Cheongjin-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
- Bumheung Foundation Building, 229-1 Cheongjin-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
- Korean Air Building B01, 7F, Seosomun-Dong, Choong-Gu, Seoul
TEL:1588-0011 Fax:02-778-1463 (City Hall Station, Green Line, Line 2, Exit
Processing of the Application
Adjudication of an E visa application is complex and time-consuming; therefore,
can take four to eight weeks.
Adjudication of the case may result in any of the following:
In case of any enquiry about your E visa processing, you may contact the embassy
- Refusal under INA Section 214(b) for failing to meet requirements for treaty
- 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.
- Successful registration of the enterprise by approval of your E-2 case.
ATTN: Gold Team
32 Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-710, Rep. of Korea
Approval of the application and Personal Interview
On approval of your E-2 case, the embassy will invite you via e-mail or phone
for your interview. Children over 13 years are required to accompany their parents
to the Embassy for an interview; however, those under the age of 13 must be physically
present in Korea on the date of their family's scheduled appointment.
E visa applicants will be finger scanned at the time of their interview. If your
left or right index finger is injured (i.e. cut, stitched, bandaged, etc.), you
will need to schedule your interview for some time after your finger has healed.
Family Members: Spouse and Children
The spouse and unmarried children (under 21 years of age) are eligible for dependent
E visas in order to accompany the principal applicant. They are not required to
have the same nationality as the principal applicant to obtain an E visa. A separate
DS-156 application form must be completed and separate photo provided for each
eligible family member. Proof of the family members’ relationship to the
principal applicant, such as a copy of your marriage certificate and/or a copy
of your children’s birth certificate(s) needs to be included. Spouses of
E visa holders may seek employment authorization in the U.S. on derivative E visas
by applying for an Employment Authorization Document.
The constant change in the policies and visa processing procedures by consular
posts makes 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. We,
at VisaPro, advise our readers to consult a VisaPro Attorney to
know the latest policies and procedures being followed by any Consular Post and
assist them through their E-visa procedure.
VisaPro has successfully helped
its clients at all stages in the process. We advise our readers to contact
VisaPro 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.