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E2 Visas

How to get investors visa

An E2 visa is a non-immigrant visa reserved for investors from countries that have commerce and navigation treaties or bi-lateral investment treaties with the United States who have invested substantial capital in a U.S. company and who wish to come to the United States to develop and direct business operations of the enterprise.

Who is eligible for an E2 visa?

Alien investors whose home country maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation or bi-lateral investment with the United States Who have made a "substantial investment"(normally at least $25,000 or more) in a U.S. business. The business is 50 percent owned by citizens of that treaty country who intend to come to the United States to direct the operations of the enterprise in a capacity that is either executive, supervisory, or involves specialized skills. They must possess means of support independent of the enterprise.

What constitutes a "substantial investment" that would justify the grant of an E-2 visa?

While there is no particular dollar amount specified under the law, the investment must amount to more than 50 percent ownership in an enterprise that generates active income, rather than passive income, such as that derived from rental properties. In practice, some immigration lawyers believe that a minimum of $25,000 is necessary, however. In short, the investment must be substantial in relation to the total amount invested in the enterprise. E-2 visa applicants can bolster their case by demonstrating that jobs for U.S. workers would be created through the investment.

Must the alien invest his or her own money to be eligible for an E-2 visa?

They usually do. However, under some circumstances, an E-2 visa recipient may be an employee of a foreign company that qualifies as a treaty investor. But the employee must come to the United States in an executive or supervisory capacity to direct the enterprise or possess a specialized skill needed by the enterprise.

May an E-2 visa holder be accompanied to the United States by his or her spouse and children? Yes. The spouse and unmarried, minor children of an E-2 visa holder may accompany him or her to the United States on E-2 visas as well. This visa, however, does not automatically grant the spouse and children the right to work in the United States.

May an E-2 visa holder apply for permanent residency in the United States?

Yes. Like other non-immigrant visas, such as the H1-B for alien professionals, an E-2 visa entitles its holder to apply for permanent residency.

How long are E-2 visas valid?

Two years. E-2 visas are renewable for an indefinite period, as long as the visa holder continues in the same capacity and the business is actively engaged in trade or services.

Countries that Maintain Treaties of Navigation and Commerce with the United States for E-2 Visa Purposes

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.

Obtaining a non-immigrant visa can be a complicated process and may not always end with the desired result. While it is possible to obtain such visas successfully on your own, you may wish to save time and effort by hiring a qualified and experienced immigration lawyer. Our Find-a-Lawyer feature can put you in touch with an experienced attorney right now.

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