E2 Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

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:

  1. You must be the national of the country that has an investor treaty with the U.S.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. The U.S. business will involve in active trade or rendering of services
  6. You intend to depart at the conclusion of your duties in the U.S.
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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:

  1. Work legally in the company that is the investment vehicle in the U.S.
  2. Travel freely in and out of the U.S.
  3. Stay on a prolonged basis with unlimited two year extensions as long as you maintain E-2 qualifications
  4. 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?

  1. E-2 visas are available only to nationals of countries having investment treaties with the U.S.
  2. You are restricted to work only for the specific employer or self-owned business that acted as your E-2 visa sponsor
  3. E-2 visas are approved for two years at a time which makes the application/extension process cumbersome