E-2 Investor Visa / E-1 Treaty Trader Visa

Apply for a work visa based on a substantial investment or significant bi-lateral trade with the United States.

The E-Visa category is a non-immigrant visa category that allows individuals from certain treaty countries to invest in and manage a business in the United States. It is designed to promote foreign investment and enhance economic relations between the U.S. and treaty countries.To qualify for an E-2 visa, the applicant must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. Additionally, the applicant must make a substantial investment in a U.S.-based enterprise and be actively involved in the management of the business.

The investment made by the applicant must be substantial, which means it must be a significant amount of capital that is at risk in the commercial sense. There is no fixed minimum investment amount specified by the U.S. government, but it should be proportional to the type of business being established or acquired. Generally, investments below $100,000 are unlikely to be considered substantial.

The applicant must also demonstrate that the investment has created job opportunities for U.S. workers or provide a significant economic impact in the United States. The business should not be established solely for the purpose of providing income for the investor and their family; it should have the potential for growth and job creation.

The E-2 visa allows the applicant and their dependents (spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21) to live and work in the United States for the duration of the visa. The initial validity of the visa can vary depending on the treaty country, but it is usually granted for a period of two to five years. The visa can be renewed indefinitely as long as the applicant continues to meet the eligibility requirements.

It's important to note that the E-2 visa does not provide a direct path to U.S. permanent residency or citizenship. However, there is no limit on the number of times the visa can be renewed, and many E-2 visa holders choose to maintain their status long-term.

Spouses of E-visa holders may work in the United States.

Treaty Investor (E-2) requirements

  • The investor has already invested, or is actively engaged in the process of investing in the United States operation. The investor must have placed funds or assets at risk, or committed to placing them at risk, in the hope of generating a return. Loans secured by the assets of the US operation or company cannot count toward the amount of the actual investment. The investor must be in the position to develop and direct the operation of the enterprise.
  • The United States company or operation must also have treaty country nationality. The nationality of a firm is determined by the nationality of the individuals who own at least 50% of the firm, regardless of its place of incorporation. This is the case for both the E-1 and the E-2 visa.
  • The United States operation or company is, or will be, a real, operating commercial enterprise producing some service or commodity.
  • The investment must be substantial. When there is an existing enterprise, “substantial” normally means the investment must be more than half the value of the enterprise. When the enterprise is being established, “substantial” normally means the amount considered necessary to establish a viable enterprise of the nature contemplated.
  • The investment is more than a marginal one solely to earn a living for self and family.

Treaty Trader (E-1) requirements

  • The United States company or operation is engaged in substantial trade. “Trade” means an actual exchange of goods or moneys. “Substantial” depends on the type of operation and the volume and amount of transactions. Trade in services such as banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, and communications can also qualify.
  • The trade conducted by the United States company or operation is principally between the United States and the treaty country.

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