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E-2 Treaty Investor Visa's
An individual may be eligible for an E-2 visa if they invest a significant amount of money in a new or existing business in the United States. Applicants must be from a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States or a country designated by Congress as eligible for participation in the E-2 nonimmigrant visa program. For a list of treaty countries, visit the Department of State website.
Initial period of stay in the United States: Up to 2 years. May extend or renew the period of stay in 2 year increments.
Am I eligible to apply for an E2 Visa?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions below, you may qualify for the E2 Visa.
Requirements and Evidence
Below are the key requirements you must fulfill to apply for an E-2 Visa and forms of evidence that will need submitting to meet the requirement.
Requirement 1 - As a treaty investor, you must be coming to the United States to invest in a new or existing enterprise.
USCIS defines an E-2 investment as the investor’s placing of capital, including funds and other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. Your investment may be for the purpose of establishing a new business venture, or purchasing a pre-existing business. In either scenario, you must demonstrate that the capital you are investing is substantial.
Requirement 2 - Your investment must be in a bona fide enterprise and may not be 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.
How do I demonstrate that my business is bona fide?
Some of the evidence you may submit to demonstrate that your business is bona fide includes:
How do I demonstrate that my business is not marginal?
Requirement 3 - You must be in possession of the funds you will invest and the funds must be committed to your business.
You must prove that the capital you invest is permanently committed to the enterprise and subject to partial or total loss should the business fail. The funds invested must be your own. Additionally, the invested funds must be significant in relation to the total cost of either buying an established enterprise or creating the type of business you are considering.
How do I demonstrate that my investment is substantial and irrevocably committed?
Requirement 4 - You must be able to provide the source of your funding.
The capital used for investing in your business must come from a legitimate path. You must provide proof that the funds were not obtained through criminal means.
How do I demonstrate the source of my capital?
Requirement 5 - You must be coming to the United States to develop and direct the enterprise.
You must show that you will develop and direct the investment enterprise by demonstrating ownership of at least 50 percent of the enterprise, or by possessing operational control through a managerial position or other corporate devices.
How do I demonstrate that I have the capacity to develop and direct my business?
Examples of evidence in proving your capacity to develop and direct your business venture includes:
I’m ready to apply, what’s next?
Once you have determined that the E-2 visa classification is the best pathway for you and you are ready to apply, you can find the full application process and legal requirements outlined on USCIS’s website.
1) The spouses of E-2 nonimmigrants are authorized to engage in employment upon application to USCIS and receipt of an employment authorization document (EAD).
2) When submitting evidence to USCIS, it is important to fully and clearly explain how the submitted evidence establishes eligibility for petition approval. The more clearly the petitioner can articulate eligibility, the more efficiently and consistently USCIS can review and process the petition and determine eligibility for the benefit sought.