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E2 Treaty Investor Visa Processing in the Republic of Korea
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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:

(i) carrying out substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in technology, principally between the United States and the foreign state, or
  (ii)   developing 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 of capital.

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.

Tab A or 1 Form 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.
Tab B or 2 Two 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.
Tab C or 3 A 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.
Tab D or 4 A 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.
Tab E or 5

Cover 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.

Tab F or 6 Proof 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.
Tab G or 7

Proof of the source of funds. This may include copies of bank books, property deeds, income tax statements and/or any other relevant documentation.

Tab H or 8

Proof 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.

Tab I or 9

Proof 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 the enterprise.

Tab J or 10 Evidence 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.
Tab K or 11

Evidence 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.

Tab L or 12 Applicant’s 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.
Tab M or 13 Form 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 offices.

Contact Details of the courier services

DHL Ilyang :

  • Jinhak Hoikwan Building, #102, 201-1 Cheongjin-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
    Tel:02-720-8441 Fax:02-720-1312

  • 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 10)

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:
  1. Refusal under INA Section 214(b) for failing to meet requirements for treaty investor status.

  2. 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.

  3. Successful registration of the enterprise by approval of your E-2 case.
In case of any enquiry about your E visa processing, you may contact the embassy though mail:

Mailing address:
U.S. Embassy/CONS/PVU
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.

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