An E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa reserved for investors from
countries that have commerce and navigation treaties or bi-lateral investment
treaties with the United States who have invested substantial capital in
a U.S. company and who wish to come to the United States to develop and
direct business operations of the enterprise.
Is Eligible For An E2 Visa
investors whose home country maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation
or bi-lateral investment with the United States
made a "substantial investment"(normally at least $25,000 or more) in a
is 50 percent owned by citizens of that treaty country
to come to the United States to direct the operations of the enterprise
in a capacity that is either executive, supervisory, or involves specialized
means of support independent of the enterprise.
What constitutes a "substantial investment"
that would justify the grant of an E-2 visa?
While there is no particular dollar amount specified under
the law, the investment must amount to more than 50 percent ownership in
an enterprise that generates active income, rather than passive income,
such as that derived from rental properties. In practice, some immigration
lawyers believe that a minimum of $25,000 is necessary, however. In short,
the investment must be substantial in relation to the total amount invested
in the enterprise.
E-2 visa applicants can bolster their case by demonstrating
that jobs for U.S. workers would be created through the investment.
Must the alien invest his or her
own money to be eligible for an E-2 visa?
They usually do. However, under some circumstances, an E-2
visa recipient may be an employee of a foreign company that qualifies as
a treaty investor. But the employee must come to the United States in an
executive or supervisory capacity to direct the enterprise or possess a
specialized skill needed by the enterprise.
May an E-2 visa holder be accompanied
to the United States by his or her spouse and children?
Yes. The spouse and unmarried, minor children of an E-2 visa
holder may accompany him or her to the United States on E-2 visas as well.
This visa, however, does not automatically grant the spouse and children
the right to work in the United States.
May an E-2 visa holder apply for
permanent residency in the United States?
Yes. Like other non-immigrant visas, such as the H1-B for
alien professionals, an E-2 visa entitles its holder to apply for permanent
Long Are E-2 Visas Valid?
E-2 visas are renewable for an indefinite period, as long as the visa holder
continues in the same capacity and the business is actively engaged in trade
Countries that Maintain Treaties of Navigation and Commerce
with the United States for E-2 Visa Purposes
Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium,
Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia,
Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan,
Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco,
Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland,
Republic of Congo, Romania, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka,
Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia,
Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.
Obtaining a non-immigrant visa can be a complicated process
and may not always end with the desired result. While it is possible to
obtain such visas successfully on your own, you may wish to save time and
effort by hiring a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer. Our Find-a-Lawyer
feature can put you in touch with an experienced attorney right now.
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