All About E2 Visa for Investors

WHAT IS AN E2 VISA?

An E2 business visa allows the visa holder to move to the United States for the purpose of owning and running a business. If you are a national of an E2 Treaty Country, you can use the E2 Treaty Investor Visa program to move to the U.S. with your spouse and dependent children to invest in and direct business operations. This may be a new business you start, but it could also be an established business that you acquire or decide to franchise. Before making any decisions or plans, however, it is critical to consult an experienced E2 visa lawyer who can review your business plan, advise you on any potential issues, and help you make more informed decisions.

Some of the many advantages of the E2 category visa include:

  • Relatively low investment expectations (usually > $100,000)
  • Ability to travel freely to and from the United States
  • Unlimited renewals, potentially for the rest of an applicant’s life
  • Ability for a spouse to work in the US
  • Option to purchase a businesses or business franchise
  • Quick processing times
  • Potential tax benefits over permanent residents
  • Ability to transition to a green card at a later stage

E2 TREATY COUNTRIES

To qualify for an E2 category visa, you must be a citizen of an eligible E2 Treaty Country, listed below.

Even if you are not a citizen of one of the countries on this list, please contact Davies & Associates. Our immigration attorneys have successfully helped people from countries other than those listed obtain their E2 category visas through third-country citizenship.

Albania

Argentina

Armenia

Australia

Austria

Azerbaijan

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Belgium

Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Cameroon

Canada

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Croatia

Czechia

Denmark

Egypt

Estonia

Ethiopia

Finland

France

Georgia

Germany

Grenada

Honduras

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kosovo

Kyrgyzstan

Latvia

Liberia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Mexico

Moldova

Mongolia

Montenegro

Morocco

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Paraguay

Philippines

Poland

Republic of Congo

Romania

Serbia

Senegal

Singapore

Slovak Republic

Slovenia

South Korea

Spain

Sri Lanka

Suriname

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad & Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom

Democratic Republic of Congo

If you have any questions or your country is not listed, please Contact Us

ARE THERE OPTIONS IF MY COUNTRY IS NOT ON THE LIST?

It is still possible to obtain an E2 Treaty Visa, even if your country is not on the list above. The process involves first becoming a citizen of an E2 Treaty Country before applying under the visa E2 program.While this process involves an extra step, Davies & Associates has helped many clients obtain their E2 category visas this way.

Some of the most popular options include:
Grenadian Citizenship by Investment
Turkish Citizenship by Investment
Italian Naturalization
Israeli Naturalization

OPTIONS IF MY COUNTRY IS NOT ON THE LIST?

If you have any questions or your country is not listed, please Contact Us

E2 CATEGORY VISA CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

"I would definitely be a big advocate for the rest of my life for anyone wanting to explore the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Programme leading to the e2 Visa. The most important thing is a good team behind you. with Davies & Associates you’re in safe hands… you need someone who can give you all the support at the ground level and, again, you are well take care of by D&A” “The people are really warm, very helpful and quite open minded when it comes to business… Not to mention as a passport it’s great from a travel perspective…It’s just 4/5 hours from New York."

Click Here to Read E2 Category Visa Case Studies
Read more client testimonials here.
E2 CATEGORY VISA CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

VISA BASICS FOR THE E2 PROGRAM

For investors from qualifying treaty countries who are interested in and willing to own and run businesses, the E2 category visa provides a way to reside in the U.S.

E2 Category Visa Features

  • An E2 visa can be obtained very quickly.
  • There is no annual quota limitation E2 visas.
  • An E2 is unique in that involves one-step processing in a consulate. USCIS is not involved in the process unless you apply to change status from within the USA.
  • The spouse of holder under the E2 category can obtain status enabling them to work in the USA.
  • The minor children of an E2 holder can obtain lawful status to reside and study in the United States.
  • Investors can qualify either by starting a new business or purchasing an existing business.

If you have any questions or need more information about the VISA E2 features, please Contact Us

E2 Visa requirements

WHAT IS THE E2 INVESTMENT REQUIREMENT?

The E2 program does not specify a minimum required investment amount. Instead, the requirement is that it be “substantial” for the business, and that it be reasonable. Consulates often expect a minimum investment of at least $100,000. However, it is possible to obtain approval for E2 visas with lower amounts invested.

For example, an investment of $80,000 for a small coffee shop may be considered substantial and reasonable, while a $250,000 investment for a manufacturing plant may be considered too small based on the type and nature of the business. Investments are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

If you have any questions or need more information about the requirements for an E2 investment, please Contact Us

IS CASH THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE AN E2 INVESTMENT?

No. In fact, there are several ways you can meet the E2 investment requirement. Davies & Associates clients frequently use various types of investments, including:

  • Stocks of Inventory
  • Patents and Trademarks
  • Licenses Granted by Foreign / other Businesses
  • Tangible assets relevant to the E-w company’s operations, such as equipment , machineriery and other tangible assets that are relevant to the operations of the E2 company
  • Cash in an Escrow Account

If you have any questions or need more information about the way to get an E2 investment, please Contact Us

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR E2 BUSINESS PLANS?

A critical element of successful E2 category visa cases is having a well-drafted immigration business plan

It is important for your business plan to clearly and successfully demonstrate how your business meets the E2 program requirements. That’s why Davies & Associates MBA attorneys partner with immigration business professionals in helping clients prepare business plans designed with immigration and consulate approval in mind.

Click here to visit our Business Plan Webpage

If you have any questions or need more information about the requirements of an E2 visa, please Contact Us

HOW LONG ARE E2 CATEGORY VISAS VALID?

  • The initial period for E2 visas can be up to five years, depending on reciprocity. While the E2 category visa is valid, the visa holder is free to come and go within and outside the U.S.
  • E2 visas may be renewed indefinitely, if the needs of the underlying business are such that there continues to be a need for the visa holder to manage and direct it.

If you have any questions or need more information about the validity of an E2 visa, please Contact Us

HOW TO CHOOSE AN E2 IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY

The immigration lawyer you choose can make a difference in your E2 application efforts. Best practices for selecting an immigration attorney are to choose a firm that:

  • Narrowly specializes in E2 and visa applications.
  • Handles multiple new E2 matters each month.
  • Has no or a very limited denial history.
  • Has strong academic credentials and an excellent training history.
  • Has never been the subject of a formal client complaint or official reprimand.
  • Is a member of a team of two or more lawyers who will work on your case. Avoid solo practitioners as your case will suffer if that lawyer becomes unwell or unable to work on your file."
  • Will be available for you after he or she has been hired.
  • Will not turn your case over to a paralegal.
  • Has recent experience in assisting E2 visa applicants from your country.
  • Is a member of key professional immigration law organizations.
  • Can provide you with relevant references.
  • Provides you with 24/7 access to your entire file.

Learn more about selecting an immigration lawyer can be found by clicking here.

If you have any questions or need more information on how to choose an E2 immigration attonery, please Contact Us

COMPARING E1, E2, L1 AND EB5 VISAS

L1 Visas E1 Visas E2 Visas EB5 Visas
Available to any country’s nationals? Nationals of treaty trader countries only Nationals of treaty trader countries only
Requires at least one year working for a related company abroad
May dependent spouse work in the U.S.?
Renewable in perpetuity (assuming continued qualification)
Business plan is a key element for a successful application
Is there a minimum investment requirement? Sufficient to operate valid foreign business and US office or business entity No theoretical minimum there must be enough investment to create a real, viable, business Sufficient to fund business enterprise, generally around USD 100,000.00 although less is possible Either USD 900,000.00 or USD 1,800,000.00
Leads to immigrant visa status?
Can lead to green card through the EB5, EB1C and other programs

Transition to green card status through EB5, EB1(c) or other immigrant visa programs possible

Transition to green card status through EB5, EB1(c) or other immigrant visa programs possible

visa initially issued for a conditional two year period.

Note: It is possible to move to a green card from an E2 or E1 visa to a green card IS possible through BOTH the EB1(c) and EB5 programs.

If you have any questions or need more information about visa's comparison, please Contact Us

CAN MY FAMILY MOVE WITH ME ON AN E2 VISA?

The spouse of the E2 Visa holder can move to the United States with the primary applicant. The spouse can apply for work authorization to work for any US employer. This offers considerably more employment flexibility than the H-1B visa because it is not tied to any specific employer and can be renewed indefinitely (whereas H-1B is limited to a maximum of 6 years). Dependent children under the age of 21 can also accompany the parents to the United States.

If you have any questions or need more information, please Contact Us

CAN I CONVERT MY E2 VISA TO A GREEN CARD?

Yes. Our firm assists E2 clients with adjusting from their E visa status to that of “Green Card” holder, or Permanent Resident in the United States. While no US non-immigrant visa automatically leads to a Green Card some of the common options include:

E2 and EB5 Investor Visa Program

The same investment used to secure and E2 visa can also be used for the EB5 investor visa program.

Many clients combine the E2 and EB5 Immigrant Investor Program. This strategy enables an E2 investor to move to the US immediately on their E2 visa but to have the option of leveraging their US business to obtain a “green card” over the longer-term.

Direct EB5:

If your E2 business becomes large enough and employs enough people, it may be eligible for a Direct EB5 visa. The minimum investment amount is $900,000 and the required number of jobs is ten. You must carefully consider the location of your business because only investments in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) are eligible for the lower $900,000 investment amount. Outside of these areas, the requirement capital doubles to $1.8 million.

Regional Center EB5:

Tying your E2 business to the requirements of the EB5 program can be commercially restrictive. For example, it can be a challenge to maintain headcount to meet the EB5 rules. Failure to do so can put your Green Card at risk. As a result, many people who pursue a Green Card from E2 through EB5 prefer to invest with a Regional Center instead.

E2 and EB1(c) for the International Manager or Executive

A common misunderstanding is that the EB1(c) program for multinational managers and executives is only available to L1 visa holders. This is false.

Transitioning from an E2 visa to an EB1c visa through a Green Card can be done. There must be a business in your home country with a qualifying relationship to your US E2 Business. You must have worked at the overseas company for at least one of the three years immediately prior to moving to the United States on your E2 Visa. You must also demonstrate an “intent to depart” when you apply for your E2 Visa, which can conflict with plans to obtain a Green Card under EB1c. It is vital you discuss your options with an immigration attorney at the beginning of the process.

If you have any questions or need more information about E2 Visa to green card, please Contact Us

FINDING AN E2 BUSINESS

The E2 Visa can be used to start up your own business or acquire an existing business or franchise. It is vital to choose a business that is compliant with the E2 Visa rules. Our team of corporate lawyers work closely with E2 immigration team to advise clients on finding a business opportunity that meets the regulations. If you do not yet have a business in mind, contact our team who can explain the parameters and ensure your search is heading in the correct direction.

Watch our video on E2 Visa franchises

FINDING AN E2 BUSINESS

If you have any questions or need more information about E2 business to green card, please Contact Us

HOW CAN WE HELP?

Davies & Associates is a specialized immigration law firm. A substantial part of our practice focuses on assisting business owners and investors with E1, E2, L-1 and EB-5 visas. Through our international presence we have specialist knowledge of the specific procedures in multiple embassies and consulates around-the-world. While there can never be any guarantees, in fifteen years we have yet to have any E2 visa application we have prepared denied when our clients have followed our recommendations.

Please feel free to contact our E-visa team with any additional questions you may have.