What Is An E-2 Visa?
An E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows certain nationals from countries with a qualifying treaty or international agreement with the U.S. to be admitted into the United States. However, E-2 visa applicants must invest “substantial capital” in an American business. The goal of the E-2 visa is to create jobs for American workers. The investor may be opening a new business or buying a business in the U.S.
In many cases, employees and families of E-2 visa holders may also be eligible for E-2 nonimmigrant classification. Contact us today to speak with an experienced Atlanta business immigration about the details of your case.
Qualifications For An E-2 Visa
To qualify for an E-2 investor visa, individuals must meet the following qualifications, but not limited to:
- Be a national of a country that the U.S. actively maintains a qualifying treaty of
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- Have a substantial investment in a U.S. enterprise
- Be in the process of investing capital into a U.S. business, or
- Be an employee of an E-2 treaty investor
- Intent to enter the U.S. for the sole purpose of developing and directing the business invested in (i.e., have 50% or more ownership or operational control of the company)
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E-2 Visa Investor Requirements
Generally, investors are encouraged to apply for an E-2 visa if they are investing $100,000 or more into a business. However, in some cases, USCIS may allow lower capital requirements depending on the type of business.
Generally, USCIS defines a “substantial amount of capital” as:
- A considerable amount of capital in relation to the overall costs of buying or starting a new business.
- An amount that shows the investor’s “financial commitment” to the business.
- Financial support of a size that increases the treaty visa holder’s likelihood of active participation in the business’s development.
It’s important to note that “marginal enterprises” are not considered for E-2 treaty investor status. The business must have a current or future ability (within five years) to generate ample income for the investor and their family (if applicable).
FAQs About E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
Can an E-2 Visa Lead to a Green Card?
The E-2 visa allows investors to live, work, and grow a business in the U.S. However, it is a non-immigrant visa classification and the visa applicant does not plan to make the U.S. their permanent home. That means that E-2 visa holders can’t go directly to a green card (i.e., legal permanent residence).
If permanent residency is your goal, it’s recommended that you apply for another immigrant classification (i.e., EB-5 visa, marriage-based visa, etc.).
Contact Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC, today to discuss your eligibility and options for permanent residence in the U.S.
An E-2 treaty investor visa can be applied for from within the United States if the applicant has legal status such as an F-1 student visa, from another country or from their home country. The applicant does not have to currently reside in a treaty country as long as their citizenship is from a treaty country.
Advantages of an E-2 Visa
Although an E-2 visa doesn’t allow for permanent residency, there are countless other benefits to holding an E-2 treaty investor visa in the U.S. They include but are not limited to:
- The ability to stay in the U.S. indefinitely (pending an extension approval every two years).
- E-2 visa holders can travel in and out of the U.S. as much as they would like.
- Children (under 21) of E-2 visa holders can attend any accredited institution of higher education in the U.S.
- Spouses of E-2 visa holders can apply for a temporary work permit or an employment authorization document (EAD).
- There are no minimum investment requirements. However, investors must invest “substantial” capital to qualify.
Length of Stay
An E-2 visa is valid for 5 years but qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. E-2 visa holders can request for an extension or change of status in increments of up to two years each. There is no limit to the number of extensions an E-2 non-immigrant visa holder may be granted. All E-2 non-immigrants must “maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.”
An E-2 non-immigrant who travels outside the United States may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Officer.
Family of E-2 Investors
Spouses and children under the age of 21 can accompany an E-2 visa holder to the United States and are classified as E-2 non-immigrant dependents. Dependents of treaty investor visa holders will be granted the same length of stay as the visa holder,
and spouses can legally work under an E-2S visa. Spouses are not required to file for an EAD, but can file an I-765 to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to remove any employment restrictions. Dependent children of E-2 visa holders can attend U.S. schools, colleges and universities, and do not have to apply for a separate student visa.
E-2 Treaty Countries
E-2 applicants must be a national of a qualifying treaty county. Our Atlanta business immigration lawyers support E-2 visa applicants from the following countries.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- China (Taiwan)
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Slovak Republic
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom
Contact Our E-2 Visa Business Immigration Lawyers Today
Obtaining an E-2 treaty investor visa can be complicated and frustrating, and requires significant documentation. Applications can be denied due to misunderstood requirements, missing paperwork and missed deadlines.
Working with an experienced Atlanta business immigration attorney can help to ensure a smoother process from start to finish. Contact Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC, to discuss your E-2 visa needs and get started on your application.
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