E2 Visa – Treaty Investors
Do I qualify for an E2 visa?
The requirements for an E-2 Visa:
- You must be a citizen of a country that has an investor treaty with the united States (see list below);
- You must be coming to work in the United States for a company you own or one that is at least 50% owned by you or by other nationals of your home country;
- The investor must come to manage or oversee the investment;
- Your investment must be substantial;
- The U.S. business must be a bonafide, for-profit business; and
- You must intend to leave the U.S. when your business is completed.
What does it mean that the investment must be substantial?
The term substantial has not been defined by law to be a specific dollar amount. What is considered to be substantial depends on the type of business. The lower the cost of the business, the higher the percentage of funds will be required in order to qualify.
Investment amounts below $100,000, no matter what the size or purpose of the business are likely to be scrutinized more closely by visa officers. While not impossible to be approved, the risk of denial increases when investments are below this amount.
What does it mean that the enterprise must be bonafide and not marginal?
A bona fide enterprise is one that is a real, active commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. The enterprise cannot be an idle investment held for potential appreciation in value, such as undeveloped land or stocks held by an investor who has no intent to direct the enterprise.
A marginal enterprise is one that will not generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for you and your family or to make a significant economic contribution.
Can I bring my wife or husband and children on my E-2 visa?
Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 can also get E2 visas by providing proof of their family relationship to you.
Can my wife or husband and children work while here with me on an E-2 visa?
Your spouse will be able to apply for a work permit but not your children. Your children may only study.
What happens when my children turn 21?
Dependent children lose their E visa status when they turn 21 years of age. At that time they need to find another status.
How long can I stay on an E-2 visa?
You will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each.
How many times can I extend my E-2 visa?
There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions you may be granted. E2 visas may be extended as long as the E visa enterprise is operating, however, you must maintain an intention to depart the United States when your status expires or is terminated.
How do I extend my E-2 visa?
You may file Form I-129 with USCIS.
Can I travel on an E-2 visa?
You may travel abroad and you will be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States. In such a case, there is no need to file Form I-129.
Can I get a green card through an E-2 visa?
No, an E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa and will not lead to a green card. However, since an E-2 visa can be renewed indefinitely, as long as the applicant has maintained the terms and conditions of the E2 nonimmigrant classification; it is the closest thing one can get to a green card.
How is the E-2 visa different from other non-immigrant visas?
The E2 visa differs from other types of non-immigrant visas whereby, the E visa applicant need not demonstrate that they have ties in their home country to which they intend to return.
The E-2 visa applicant merely has to indicate that they will eventually return to their home country upon termination of their status.
Countries that have treaties with the United States:
Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Congo, Romania, Senegal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.