Navigate E2 Visa Process in Germany

E2 Visa Basics for GermansE2 FAQs

Our firm offers experienced non-immigrant immigration lawyers and immigrant Visa immigration lawyers in and Berlin. They are supported by US E2 visa immigration lawyers and business lawyers throughout the US. We are uniquely positioned to assist German E-2 Visa applicants and other nationals resident in Germany.

What is an E-2 Visa?

A visa is required to operate, direct, or control a business from within the United States. The E2 Investor Visa caters to German Nationals and Nationals of other E2 treaty countries.
There are two kinds of E-2 nonimmigrant visas

  • E-2 Investor Visa for Treaty Investors:

    The investment must be substantial. The investor must have control of the funds. They must be able to prove the investment was made on a bona fide basis.

  • E2 Specialized Knowledge Worker Visa

    The E2 Specialist knowledge worker visa is designed for individuals from Germany and other Treaty Investor countries. It enables them to work in a specialty role in an E2 business in the United States.
    More details on qualifying for and E-2 visa can be found on our German E2 page.

Why is the E2 Visa Application Process Unique?

The E2 visa process it's unique in that it is handled entirely by the US Department of State. This means that unlike L1 visas and EB5 visas USCIS is not involved in E2 visa adjudication. E2 applications are filed directly in the US consulate in Germany, not with USCIS.

What is the E2 Visa Application Process in Germany?

The E2 visa process in Germany is straight-forward and simple. An E2 Visa Application is filed with the US consulate. The next step is a consular interview. Issuance of an E2 visa is the first step to us immigration.

What Has to be Included in an E-2 Visa Application Package Filed in Germany? ?

The US consulates in Germany provide very precise guidance for the E2 visa applications. Applications that do not meet these strict guidelines may not be considered by the consulate. The Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) also offers guidance in the materials to be included in the application. 9 FAM 402.9-11.

Immigration attorneys familiar with E2 processing in Germany can be extremely beneficial. The exact documentation required by the consulate can differ based on individual cases and changes over time.

  • Tab 1a

  • Tab 1b

    Fill out Form DS-156E on behalf of the principal applicant. If you are represented by an attorney, attach Form G-28. Have the applicant or company representative sign both forms.

  • Tab 1c

    The Foreign Affairs Manual ("FAM") and the US consulate in Frankfurt require the E-2 visa application

    • The US business is either operation or immediately capable of beginning operations, 9 FAM 402.9-6(C);
    • That the investment is substantial,9 FAM 402.9-6(D);
    • The investment does more than allow the investor to support their family. It provides real value to the US economy 9 FAM 402.9-6(E);
    • The investor has already made a qualifying investment or is in the process of doing so 9 FAM 402.9-6(B);
    • The role to be filled by the applicant requires executive/supervisory skills 9 FAM 402.9-7(A)
    • A statement of the E2 visa applicant's intent to depart U.S. when their E status ends. Note: an E2 visa holder can later change their mind, transitioning to a Green Card is an option.
    • If the US business has previously been qualified for an E2 visa then this needs to be disclosed.
  • Tab 2a

    • Business Plan. A five year business plan is required detailing projected profit and loss. For existing businesses two years of tax returns are required.
    • A profit and loss statement for the current year. The goal is to evidence that the US E2 business will be profitable within five (5) years.
  • Tab 2b

    • Evidence that the US E2 business is owned 50% or more my German Nationals. Qualifying German Nationals cannot be US Permanent Residents. INA 101(a)(15)(E).
    • Companies traded on a stock market located in Germany are generally deemed to be of German ownership for E2 purposes. Evidence of the the listing needs to be included.
  • Tab 2c

    The company should provide details of their original E visa status. This includes the date and place they were approved. Applicants should include a statement in their application. This statement should affirm their commitment to leave the United States when their E status expires.
    • Demonstrate the applicant has invested or is in the process of investing 9 FAM 402.9-6(D) The applicant must demonstrate that the enterprise is a real and operating commercial enterprise, and not a passive investment.
  • Tab 3a

    • Documentation evidencing that the E2 investment is "substantial" 9 FAM 402.9-6(D)
  • Tab 3b

    Evidence that the business will do more than support the applicant and their family. 9 FAM 402.9-6(E) A business does not qualify for E2 purposes if it only produces enough income to support the applicant and their family.
  • Tab 4

    • The applicants resume.
    • Evidence that any essential employee has skills that are urgently needed by the business. US consular staff find an explanation of why a US Citizen or Green Card Holder cannot take the role helpful.
    • Organizational chart explaining the reporting structure at the US business.

E2 Visa FAQs

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