E-2 Visa: The Foreign Investor’s Entry Permit
What Is an E-2 Visa?
The E-2 visa classification allows qualified, treaty country-based foreign nationals, who have a controlling investment in a US to temporarily stay in the US in order to conduct their business. The E-2 visa may also be used for qualifying employees of treaty investors or organizations who are coming to work for that employer in the US, in certain situations.
Eligibility Requirements for an E-2 Visa
To be eligible for the E-2 Visa, individuals must meet the following requirements:
- Be a national of a treaty country (Those nations which have a treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation with the United States.)
- Have invested a substantial amount of capital in an enterprise based in the US.
- Be entering the United States to manage and foster the growth of the investment enterprise
- The investment must be an operational enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Having a sizable account of uncommitted funds with a U.S. bank is not considered an investment.
- The investor must have control of the funds, with the investment considered to be ‘at risk’ for the investor. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise do not count towards E-2 eligibility.
What Qualifies as Substantial Capital for the E-2 Visa?
According to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, a substantial amount of capital is defined as:
- An investment comparable to the total cost of the purchase of establishment of a related enterprise
- Large enough that to ensure that the investor is dedicated to the financial success of the operation
- Large enough that the investment will likely fund the successful development of the enterprise.
- When the relative cost of the enterprise is low, regulations dictate that the investment must be proportionately higher to be considered substantial (USCIS considers this to be at least 50% ownership or operational control of the business)
- Large enough to generate significantly more income than the minimum standard of living for the investor and their family, or the investment must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
What Are the Treaty Nations For an E-2 Visa?
An E-2 visa-eligible treaty nation (one that has a treaty of friendship, navigation or commerce with the United States) includes the following countries:
How Can My Employees Get an E-2 Visa?
An employee of a foreign treaty investor may also be eligible for an E-2 visa provided the following conditions are met:
- Be of the same nationality as his/her employer
- Be an employee of a qualified investor according to the governing legislation
- Be employed as an executive or supervisor or higher position. Ordinary skilled and unskilled laborers are not eligible for the E-2 visa
Note: Employees may only work in the approved job throughout the duration of their E-2 visa
What Documents Will I Need For an E-2 Visa?
The following forms must be submitted by the applicant in order to be considered for an E-2 treaty investor visa:
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application;
- Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, completed and signed (Executives/Managers/Essential Employees only.)
- A passport valid for travel to the U.S. that will not expire for at least six months beyond the investor’s intended period of stay in the U.S.
- One (1) 2×2 photograph.
Important Facts About the E-2 Visa
How Long is the E-2 Visa Valid?
- The maximum initial stay on an E-2 visa is two years, however requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no limit to the amount of extensions an investor may receive, however all E-2 visa non-immigrants must maintain the intention to depart the United States following the expiration or termination of their visa.
Does the E-2 Visa Include Family Members?
- Yes, spouses and unmarried dependents under 21 years of age, of any nationality, may receive derivative E visas in order to accompany the investor to the US. The spouse of an E visa holder may apply for employment authorization under DHS, however dependent children of an E visa holder are not authorized to work in the U.S
How Do I Get an E-2 Visa with Galstyan Law?
Mr. Galstyan, and our experienced team of immigration attorneys have successfully handled countless E-2 visa cases, and stand ready to help you petition for your E-2 visa. Our expertise will help you streamline the immigration process and get you to work here in the United States. Please contact our office, at 800-939-8004 or e-mail Galstyan Law for your free, no obligation consultation with our Los Angeles immigration lawyers.