By Verdie Atienza, Senior Immigration Attorney, Head of E-2 Visa Practice, Davies & Associates
There is a wealth of information regarding the E-2 Treaty Investor visa, but not a lot of people know that the E-2 Enterprise may also file an application for a foreign national of the same nationality as the E-2 Treaty Investor to qualify for an E-2 Treaty Employee visa. The E-2 employee may be an executive or supervisory employee. The employee may also be employed in a lesser capacity provided that he or she has special qualifications.
It should be noted that the E-2 Treaty Investor need not be an individual. The E-2 Treaty Investor may also be an enterprise or organization at least 50% owned by persons in the United States who have the nationality of the treaty country.
More interestingly, these owners do not necessarily have to maintain nonimmigrant E-2 treaty investor status in the U.S. They just need to be classifiable as nonimmigrant treaty investors, if they were to seek admission to the U.S. In this regard, an E-2 enterprise may still bring E-2 treaty employees to the U.S. even if the E-2 Treaty Investor does not want to apply for the visa or if the E-2 Treaty Investor is actually an organization or an entity.
To qualify for E-2 treaty employee visa, the duties of the applicant must be executive or supervisory character, which means that he or she will have ultimate control and responsibility for the enterprise’s overall operation, or a major component of it. If the applicant is seeking to apply as someone with special qualifications, the skills and/or aptitudes must make the employee’s services essential to the efficient operation of the treaty enterprise.
There are several qualities or circumstances that could, depending on the facts, meet this requirement. These include, but are not limited to:
- The degree of proven expertise in the employee’s area of operations
- Whether others possess the employee’s specific skills
- The salary that the special qualifications can command
- Whether the skills and qualifications are readily available in the United States.
It should be noted that knowledge of a foreign language and culture does not, by itself, meet this requirement.
D&A recently obtained an E-2 Treaty Employee for a UK national to occupy a General Manager position of an E-2 company engaged in selling gold coins and bars through its user-friendly online platform. The company builds on the expertise of its highly successful affiliate in London, which operates in the same industry. The E-2 Company specializes in the sales of LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) approved gold and silver bars and coins to both national and international clients.
The E-2 investment was made by a UK entity that is owned by a UK national who does not wish to enter the US on an E-2 Treaty Investor visa.
To find out more about the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa, click here.
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