E-2 Visa for Treaty Trader/Investor
The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.
The applicant cannot just be an investor, but instead, must play a key role in its operation. The treaty investor must be seeking to enter the U.S. solely to develop and direct the business that will create new American jobs. The E-2 visa is usually granted for up to 5 at a U.S. Consulate (depending on the country reciprocity schedule) or 2 years (if applied in the US as a change of status), and can be extended indefinitely, as long as the business exists and the E-2 requirements are satisfied for the same amounts of time.
Spouses and minor children can join the E2 holder in the U.S. The spouse of E2 holder will have the right to work, however the children have only the right to live and study in the U.S.
When the E-2 investor (which can be a company or an individual) is approved, the E-2 company can also bring E-2 managers or specialty occupation worker from their own country. The basic requirements for an E-2 manager visa are that both the employer and employee must be from a country, which has a treaty with the United States, and the E-2 manager must either be an executive or manager or have the skills necessary to the operation of the business.
How to Apply to an E2 VISA?
An applicant of E2 visa outside the U.S. must directly apply through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. However, applicants in the U.S. must file form I-129 Petition for Non-Immigrant Worker together with supporting documents for a change of status to the E-2 visa. No matter the process of applying for the E2 visa, each E2 package must have substantial and voluminous supporting documents proving:
- The investment must be a real operating enterprise. The investor must have already invested in the US business or is actively in the process of investing in the business. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
- The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
- The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
- The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
If you are applying through U.S. Embassy or Consulate, please bare in mind that each consulate or embassy requires their own specific way of providing the necessary documentation for the E2 visa, and some require additional evidence. Our attorneys have extensive experience in providing help to E2 visa holder from different countries, therefore, they can help you with the preparation and application process for your E2 visa through your home country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate.