E-2 Visas – Invest in The USA With Confidence

US E-2 business investor visa
E2 visa for US business investors

Who Can Apply For An E2 Treaty Visa

To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:

  • Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
  • Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States
  • Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.  This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or some other corporate device.

What An E2 Visa Holder Can Do

There are a number of privileges that you can enjoy on E-2 Treaty Investor Visa which include:

  • Ability to travel freely in/out of the United States
  • Work legally in the U.S. with the company
  • Remain in the country on a prolonged based with extensions available to you
  • Have workers accompany you under your E-2 status
  • Have dependents or relatives accompany you while working in the U.S.
  • Spouses and children (unmarried under 21 years of age) may receive derivative E visas in order to accompany the principal visa holder. The spouse of an E visa holder may apply to DHS for employment authorization. Dependent children of an E visa holder are not authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Dependents are able to attend school in the U.S., as well as colleges and universities without needing an F1 visa.
  • Spouse and dependents can also apply for EADs (employment authorization documents) to be permitted to work in the U.S.

The Capital Investment Required

An investment is the treaty investor’s placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails. The treaty investor must show that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity.

substantial amount of capital is:

  • Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one
  • Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise
  • Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.

The investment enterprise may not be marginal. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family.

Depending on the facts, a new enterprise might not be considered marginal even if it lacks the current capacity to generate such income. In such cases, however, the enterprise should have the capacity to generate such income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-2 classification begins.

E-2 processing time typically takes between 2-4 weeks from the time of filing. Some US Embassies may have a longer processing time. Know that additional time may be required depending on the specifics of your case. Our E-2 lawyers will be able to more accurately explain your processing time.

The Disadvantages

Each visa has its pros and cons. Depending on your situation, the E-2 visa may not be right for your case. Here are some common reasons why the E-2 visa may not be appropriate or desirable:

  • Limited to nationals of countries with investment treaties (see list above)
  • Must work for the specific business that the E-2 visa is tied to
  • Approved in increments of two years so depending on the time length you require, the application process may be complex

If you cannot live with these limitations the EB-5 Visa may be worth exploring as an alternative.

Length of Visa

Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-2 nonimmigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.

An E-2 nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. Please note that while your E-2 visa may be issued for 3 months or up to 5 years (depending upon the reciprocity laws which exist with your country of nationality), your period of authorized stay in the United States is determined by your I-94 which is issued at the time you enter the US with an E-2 visa.

Book Your Consultation

Complete our online enquiry form and one of our senior managers will arrange a confidential consultation to discuss your requirements and potential options.

At Haskew Law, our UK based team of US immigration lawyers are highly acclaimed and experience in all aspects of the E2 Visa process. Our thesis, however, is to keep things as simple as possible. We believe it is important our clients are comfortable and remain in control of their US emigration plans and business investment throughout the process. We protect our clients best interests at all times while delivering outstanding results.

We look forward to hearing from you.