The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is one of the most sought-after US visa categories. Little wonder. The E-2 visa allows a person to own and operate a business in the largest economy in the world.
It can be renewed indefinitely provided the underlying business is in operation and still performing; Spouses can apply for work authorization outside the business; Dependent children can join you in America; You are not taxed in the same way as citizens and Green Card holders; You are free to travel to and from the United States; You can opt for an off-the-shelf franchise business or start your own.
Yet to qualify for this popular visa, you need to be a citizen of a country that holds a relevant treaty with the United States. Check out the list below to see if you are eligible.
List of E-2 Treaty Countries
Note: If your country is not on the list, Read on! We can still help.
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- New Zealand
- Republic of Congo
- Singapore Slovak Republic
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom
If your country is on the list then you can go directly to an E-2 Visa. If it is not on the list (and more than half the world’s population are citizens of countries that are not on the list), then you need to become a citizen of a country that is on the list first.
You see, unlike the EB-5 investor visa program, E-2 is determined by your country of citizenship. (While citizens of all counties are eligible for the EB-5 visa, each country is subject to an annual quota. Which EB-5 country quota you are subjected to is dependent on your country of birth rather than country of current citizenship.)
But with E-2 visa, obtaining dual citizenship or a new citizenship will make a difference to your eligibility.
So you need to become a citizen of one of the countries on the above list.
While several of these countries offer a pathway to citizenship, the timing and cost can be prohibitive. For example, you can invest your way to UK residency for £2 million. This sets you on a path to possible citizenship, that takes six years. You can reduce this time if you invest more. But even with a £10 million investment, it will still take 3 years to be eligible for citizenship.
That is quite the wait for the E-2 visa. Besides, if you ultimately looking to move to the United States and have such sums of money to invest, you might want to consider the EB-5 investor visa instead. Under this program, a family can all receive Green Cards in exchange for a $900,000 investment.
Yet there are two countries on the list that offer fast and cost-effective routes to citizenship: Turkey and Grenada. We have helped clients obtain E-2 visas via both countries. It takes a matter of months to complete the entire process.
Grenada offers citizenship in exchange for a real estate investment from $220,000 or a donation to the government of $150,000 (more depending on how many family members you are bringing). It takes less than three months to obtain the passport, you don’t need to visit during this process, and Grenada allows dual citizenship so you do not need to give up your existing citizenship (unless this is required by the other country).
Turkey offers citizenship in exchange for a $250,000 investment in Real Estate or a $500,000 in bank deposits held with a Turkish bank. The process takes only slightly longer and citizenship can be obtained in just a few months.
Both countries offer many benefits aside from the E-2 visa. Both are dynamic economies with considerable investment opportunities. Some of our clients prefer Turkey because it is an international transit hub often en route between their home country and the United States. Others prefer Grenada for its proximity to their new home in the United States.
A third option is Montenegro. It is newer and a bit more expensive that the other programs. It requires a minimum €250,000 investment in Real Estate as well as a €100,000 donation. Montenegro shares a border with the European Union and it is a candidate for membership.
Our E2 visa attorneys can talk you through the whole process. Our clients who have pursued this route have found it surprisingly simply. To discuss your circumstances with our team, please contact us to arrange a free consultation.
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