1. What is E-2 treaty investor visa?
The E-2 treaty investor visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign entrepreneurs from treaty nations to enter into the U.S. and carry out investment and trade activities.
Note: Investment activities include purchase of a new business. The investment must be significantly proportional to the total investment, that is, usually more than half the total value of the enterprise or, if a new business, an amount normally considered necessary to establish the business.
2. How do I qualify for E-2 visa?
To qualify for E-2 visa:
- You must be the national of the country that has an investor treaty with the U.S.
- You must be serving your company in a capacity that is supervisory or executive in nature or involves skills essential to the operation of the business (key employee); or you are a 50 per cent owner of the company
- Nationals of the treaty country own at least 50 per cent of the stock of the U.S. company i.e. the firm has the nationality of the treaty country
- You are investing or your company has invested substantial amount that is at risk, meaning subject to potential loss if the business does not succeed, in a bona fide enterprise in the U.S.
- The U.S. business will involve in active trade or rendering of services
- You intend to depart at the conclusion of your duties in the U.S.
3. What is a 'substantial investment'?
There is no set amount in the Regulations as what qualifies as substantial.An investment of at least $200,000 is considered substantial by most. However, it is not fixed and an Invest of much less can qualify, depending on the nature of the business. Ideally $200,000 would be the most appropriate figure.
Note 1: These figures are not the regulations of the USCIS, but they reflect our experience in these cases over the years.
Note 2: If the investment becomes equal or greater than $500,000, you may petition for permanent immigration status if you meet the required criteria.
4. What privileges do I enjoy on E-2 visa?
On E-2 visa, you may:
- Work legally in the company that is the investment vehicle in the U.S.
- Travel freely in and out of the U.S.
- Stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as you maintain E-2 qualifications
- Bring your dependents or accompanying relatives and your spouse may also work while in the U.S.
5. What are the limitations of E-2 visa?
- E-2 visas are available only to nationals of countries having investment treaties with the U.S.
- You are restricted to work only for the specific employer or self-owned business that acted as your E-2 visa sponsor
- E-2 visas are approved for two years at a time which makes the application/extension process cumbersome