Introduction

The U.S. is a country that spells success. If you 're an investor or entrepreneur planning to seize the global market through the U.S., then you would need an E-2 visa to start with your success. It 's a non-immigrant visa that allows nationals from treaty countries to enter the U.S. to invest a substantial amount in an enterprise.

What is the E-2 Treaty Investor visa?

The E-2 Treaty Visa for Investors allows nationals from treaty countries with substantial investment to come to the U.S. to direct and develop the operations of an existing business, operate a franchise, or set up a new business. It 's a non-immigrant visa so it doesn 't confer permanent residency, but it can be extended indefinitely provided that the company continues to operate and creates employment for U.S. workers.

E2 Visa Benefits

There 's a myriad of benefits if you 're an E-2 Visa holder. You can legally work and stay in the U.S. for the enterprise which is the subject of your investment, and you can stay on a prolonged basis as long as you maintain your valid E-2 status. Moreover, you can also bring in your spouse or unmarried children under the age of 21 to live with you.

E-2 Visa Requirements

A. Origin Requirements

The United States and the Country of Origin must have a valid Treaty in place.

To be able to apply for an E-2 investor visa, your country of origin must be one of the E-2 Treaty Nations. This means that it must have a treaty of commerce or navigation or a qualifying bilateral agreement with the U.S.

You need to be a citizen of a Treaty Country.

It is required that you must be a national of the country that maintains treaties of navigation or commerce with the U.S. If you have dual citizenship, you can choose which nationality to use when applying for a visa, provided they are both E-2 treaty countries.

B. Investment Requirements

The applicant has invested or is actively in the process of making one.

The concept of investment means that it shouldn 't just sit in your business bank account but is constantly put at risk in the commercial sense. To be able to show that you have invested or are in the process of making one, the committed funds must be real and irrevocable. You must be near the start of actual business operations and not at the start of contract signing.

Your investment must be substantial.

There is no specific amount of minimum investment required to be considered a substantial investment. However, the investment must be suitable to the nature of the business you 're starting to ensure its success. This is to ensure that the investment enterprise is not just mere speculative.

The investment should be in a functioning commercial enterprise.

The enterprise must be an active, real, and operating commercial enterprise that produces goods or services for profit. The rule of thumb is that your business should require active supervision or executive oversight every day.

The enterprise must be more than marginal.

The bona fide enterprise must not be a marginal enterprise, where it does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a living for you and your family members. Moreover, it must have a significant economic contribution to the U.S.

You must have control over the funds and assume the investment risks.

It's required that you're the principal holder or in control of the funds and bear the risk of the investment. As the treaty investor, you must show that you own at least 50% of the enterprise, which means that you have the ability to develop and direct the activities of the enterprise.

Upon the termination of E2 status, you intend to leave the United States.

Since the visa confers nonimmigrant treaty investor status, it only gives a temporary period of time to live and work in the U.S. You must prove that you intend to live and work in the U.S. temporarily or only for the duration of your visa.

C. E-2 Requirements for Employees

To be able to qualify for an E-2 employee visa, all the eligibility requirements for the treaty enterprise must first be met. Moreover, the E-2 employee must also satisfy the following:

  • Share the same nationality as the treaty investor or the business.

  • Destined to work in an executive or supervisory position or possess essential skills for the operations of the enterprise.

  • Intend to leave the U.S. when their visa expires.

D. Documents Needed

To apply for the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, here are the documents that must be included:

  • DOS Form DS-160

  • DOS Form DS-156E

  • A copy of your passport with at least 6 months validity beyond the period of your stay and with at least one blank page.

  • Passport-size coloured photo showing your full face and without any head covers. You may wear a headdress if it 's required by your religion.

  • The business plan, outlining the investment scheme.

  • Your curriculum vitae

  • Evidence that you 'll be employed in a supervisory or executive position, or you possess essential skills to the operation of the business.

  • Evidence of control and possession of investment funds.

  • Evidence of remittance to the U.S.

  • Evidence of business established in the U.S.

  • Evidence of nationality of the treaty investors

  • Evidence of investment to the U.S.

  • Evidence of substantial investment

  • Evidence that the enterprise is not a marginal enterprise

  • Evidence that the enterprise is a real operating enterprise

E2 Visa Qualifications

To qualify for an E-2 Visa, it is required that you invest substantially in an existing U.S. enterprise or start a U.S. enterprise. Moreover, you must be a national of a country with a relevant treaty with the U.S. If you 're an immediate family member of an E-2 visa holder or key personnel of the treaty enterprise, then you are also qualified for an E-2 Visa.

E-2 Visa Processing Timeline

The length of the processing time depends on the consulate you 're applying to, but generally, it takes 2 weeks to 5 months. If you are currently in the US on a valid nonimmigrant status, you can file an application to change status with USCIS and request for premium processing which will cut down the processing time to 15 days. This, however, comes with a fee. Check our E2 Visa Cost guide for more information.

Upsides and Downsides of E2 Visa

Like all visas, the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa can also come with both upsides and downsides. Here 's a breakdown of them:

Upsides

You can invest any amount

The qualifications for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa don 't provide for a minimum amount of investment, however, it is required that the investment must be a substantial amount relative to the costs of operating the enterprise.

You can invest in a wide range of businesses

The E-2 Visa provides you flexibility in choosing the business type you may invest in. As long as the enterprise or startup meets the qualifying criteria, you 're free to invest in any business type you want.

You can travel in and out of the U.S.

Once you 're an E-2 Visa holder, you can travel freely in and out of the U.S. as long as it remains valid. You can also live anywhere in the U.S. with your visa.

You can bring your spouse, children or essential employees

If you 're planning to bring your dependents with you to the U.S., they can also apply for an E-2 visa as well. You can also bring employees who work in a supervisory position or possess an essential skill for the operation of the enterprise.

You can apply for an E-2 visa even if you have a previously denied U.S. visa

Even if you have a previously denied U.S. visa, you can still apply for an E-2 visa as long as you qualify for its requirements.

Downsides

You lose your E-2 Visa Status when your business ceases

Since your visa status relies on the investment enterprise, you 'd lose your visa status as a treaty investor once the business ceases operations.

You can 't work in the U.S. while your E-2 visa is being processed

To be able to work or stay in the U.S., you should have first obtained your E-2 visa. Previously, family members would need an Employment Authorization Document for them to work in the U.S., but this doesn 't apply anymore.

You can be denied renewal if your business is struggling or barely successful

While there 's no limit to visa extensions, it can still be denied if your business is struggling or barely successful. And even if your 2-year visa has not yet expired, you must leave the U.S. once your business fails.

You can only obtain the visa if you 're from an E-2 treaty country

Only nationals or citizens from E-2 treaty countries are eligible to apply for the E-2 Visa. If you 're from a country that has no existing treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S., then you 'd have to resort to other visas to work and invest in the country.

You can only stay temporarily

While the E-2 visa can be extended indefinitely, it doesn 't directly lead to permanent residence, and so you 'd have to explore other visa options if your goal is to obtain a Green Card.

E2 Visa Requirements FAQs

While there 's no minimum amount of investment required to be able to qualify for an E-2 visa, the investment capital must be substantial enough relative to the operations of the enterprise.

The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa given to nationals of countries that have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. to invest a substantial amount in an existing U.S. business or in a new one. This means that the visa is only valid for a temporary period and doesn't confer permanent residency or citizenship to the applicant.

The E-2 visa allows an initial stay of 2 years but can be extended indefinitely in increments of 2 years as long as the E-2 status remains valid.

Yes, spouses (including same-sex couples) and unmarried children under the age of 21 can apply to join you. Their nationalities don 't need to be the same as the investor.

Yes, provided that the employee is of the same nationality as the primary employer, meets the definition of an employee under the relevant law, and is either in a supervisory or executive position or possesses essential skills relevant to the operations of the enterprise.

Since the E-2 visa confers non-immigrant status, it's not possible to obtain a green card directly from it. You may apply for a green card through other paths like the EB-5 immigrant investor program, which requires at least $800,000 of investment.

You may also apply for the EB-5 visa, which is a visa that gives you the right to obtain a green card or an E-1 Visa which confers the same non-immigrant classification but applies to carrying substantial trade.

Yes, once your business fails or ceases operations, you can become ineligible for the E-2 Visa. Since your application depends upon the enterprise 's existence, once it fails, you can become subsequently disqualified.

Yes, you may file for a change of status to E-2 as long as you 're eligible and you meet the requirements. You would just need to fill in Form I-129 and send it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and provide documents confirming your citizenship and investment.

No, you can only work in the U.S. only once your visa has been approved and you have obtained work authorization.

If your business is still operating, is not violating any rules or laws, and is still eligible based on the E-2 requirements, you can apply for the renewal of your visa by submitting Form DS-160 along with relevant documents.

Yes, even if you 've been denied from a previous U.S. visa application, this doesn 't automatically disqualify you for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa.

If there 's still something on your mind regarding the E-2 Treaty Investor visa, you can visit here for more questions, or contact our expert E2 visa attorneys today.

Why Davies & Associates Provides The Best E2 Visa Requirements Processing

There 's a lot to prepare, process and pay when you 're applying for an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa. Here at Davies & Associates, you don 't have to worry about anything as we make the process easier for you and help increase the chances of you getting approved.

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Eranjan Venura Parua
Eranjan Venura Parua
3 weeks ago

"After finding D&A through an internet search in 2020, my wife and I had several free consultations with David Cantor. Despite our initial attempt at filing for our E2 visa independently ending in failure, we decided to hire D&A for their expertise and support. Over the course of four long years, Verdie and Cristina were incredibly patient as we took our time to prepare for the E2 submission. Verdie became our E2 Attorney in 2021, and from the start, Verdie and Cristina's patience was evident. Despite our intermittent engagement over the years, they always treated us with the utmost attention. Working with Verdie and the D&A team was a pleasure; their professionalism and support were unwavering. Verdie's calm demeanor and succinct communication style made navigating the process much smoother, even during complex discussions. I wholeheartedly recommend Verdie and D&A - Davies & Associates, to anyone seeking an immigration law firm who can efficiently handle their case with precision and without unnecessary fanfare. Their ability to get things done speaks volumes about their dedication to their clients' success."

Jeremy Abernathy
Jeremy Abernathy
3 months ago

I had the pleasure of working with Verdie and Nessa to obtain my E2 Visa. Their in-depth knowledge and experience allowed me to be fully prepared in my application and they were able to answer all questions leading up to the Visa interview.

Saeed Muhammad
Saeed Muhammad
3 months ago

Verdie was an amazing attorney, providing exceptional client care throughout the process. He had a great depth of knowledge in all areas on business visas in the US.

hoshino ryuichi
hoshino ryuichi
7 months ago

Thanks to them for handling my E2 visa very professionally. I had a study visa from F1 and changed it to E2. I encountered many problems during the application process. Verdie and Etta were very patient in helping me and it took a long time. I highly recommend this place.

Satyabrat Chowdhury
Satyabrat Chowdhury
6 months ago

I had a great experience with Davies & Associates. They are very thorough in the approach and their have experts in this field who know the domain very well.I would certainly be leaning onto them for any future needs as well.

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