[toggle title=”What is the E-2 Treaty Investor visa? “]
The E-2 is a visa which allows a national of a treaty country – one with which the USA has established a treaty of commerce and navigation – to establish a business in the USA and reside there in order to develop it, through investing a substantial amount of capital.
An up-to-date list of treaty countries can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3726.html
[toggle title=”How much capital do I need to invest into my business for the E-2 visa? “]
There is no set amount to qualify as substantial business investment for E-2 purposes. Our experience suggests an investment of at least $100,000, however smaller investments can qualify.
[toggle title=”When must I invest this capital by? “]
70% of the investment capital must be invested within the first year of the business’ establishment, and the remaining 30% must be invested shortly
[toggle title=”What are the benefits of this visa? “]
E-2 allows you to work legally within the enterprise you have invested into in the US
Stay in the US with indefinite two year extensions as long as you maintain business performance
The ability to travel freely in and out of the United States
With this category, an individual can to move to the USA along with their spouse and unmarried children under 21
Your spouse may apply for authorisation to work in the USA.
[toggle title=”Who is this visa for? “]
The E-2 is for nationals of a US treaty country, who intend to establish a business with the United States and be serving the business in a capacity which is supervisory or executive in nature. A successful applicant will inject a substantial amount of capital into their enterprise in the USA, and will seek to move there with the sole intention of developing it.
[toggle title=”What are the limitations of this visa?”]
The E-2 classification is only available to nationals of countries with which the US retains a treaty of commerce and navigation
E-2 holders are restricted to working for the enterprise they have invested into for the purposes of the visa sponsorship
The visa is only re-approved two years at a time.
[toggle title=”Is the E-2 visa a route to a green card? “]
The E-2 visa does not provide a route to a green card: E-2 status must be renewed every two years, and a successful renewal will be based upon the activities and growth of the business. If the business is not performing to plan, the holder may not receive a visa extension.
[toggle title=”What differentiates the E-2 from other visa categories?”]
The E-2 category is a non-immigrant visa and is not a route to permanent residency or a green card.
[toggle title=”What are the application costs for an E-2 visa? “]
The USCIS application processing fee is fixed at $825. There is also an expedited route available which costs $1225.
[toggle title=”Can I travel to the USA during my application for an E-2 visa? “]
You may travel to the USA during your E-2 application for vacation purposes. If you travel to the US for business during your E-2 application, you must be careful not to engage in any employment based activity, and are limited to activities stipulated by the B-1 visa:
Attending or holding business meetings
Attending exhibitions or conventions
Negotiating and signing contracts.
[toggle title=”How do I qualify for E-2? “]
A successful E-2 applicant will need to satisfy the following requirements:
They must be a national of a Treaty country
They must be acting under a supervisory or executive capacity whilst undertaking business in the USA
Applications require a detailed five year business plan complete with forecasts and strategies for growth
An applicant must have invested, or be in the process of investing a significant amount of capital into an existent and operating US enterprise, and be entering the US based on these terms.
[toggle title=”Who can move with me to the USA?”]
An E-2 visa holder may move to the US with their spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21. Dependents may reside there along with the applicant for as long as the E-2 status is valid.
[toggle title=”Are any nationalities excluded? “]
The E-2 visa is only for those who are nationals of US treaty countries – those with which the USA maintain a relationship of commerce and navigation. An up-to-date list of treaty countries can be found here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3726.html
[toggle title=”Can my spouse seek permission to work in the US through this visa?”]
A spouse of an E-2 holder may apply for authorisation to work whilst in the United States.
[toggle title=”What business choices do I have? “]
The E-2 visa allows you to develop any kind of enterprise in the USA, on the basis that it will provide employment for US nationals. You are able to open a new operation, or alternatively to buy an existing US business.
[toggle title=”What are the steps involved in the application process?”]
Step 1 – Gather a list of documents to be submitted
Step 2 – Prepare the E-2 application and submit to the USCIS
Step 3 – Attend an interview conducted by a US immigration official in your home country
Typically applications will take no less than three months to be processed by USCIS. For an E-2 application, you may also opt for the expedited route which will take fifteen days.
Step 4 – E-2 visa application is accepted or denied, and residency cards are issued.
[toggle title=”When can I move to the USA? “]
You can move to the USA with an E-2 visa as soon as you have received your conditional visa.
[toggle title=”Do I have to attend an interview during the application process? “]
Yes. As a part of the L-1A application process, you will be contacted to attend an interview by a US immigration official within your home country.
[toggle title=”For how long is my E-2 visa valid? “]
The E2 visa is valid for an initial 2 years. After this period, the activities of the business will be reviewed and if the conditions of the visa are being continually met, status can be extended in additional two year stages.
[toggle title=”How often does my E-2 visa have to be renewed? “]
An E-2 visa must be renewed every two years.
[toggle title=”What are the terms for renewal? “]
The renewal of an E-2 visa will be based upon the business meeting or exceeding the targets set out in the five year business plan submitted to USCIS at the beginning of the E-2 application.
The business must be able to demonstrate steps towards growth, and employing US nationals.
[toggle title=”What happens if the E-2 conditions have not been met? “]
An E-2 visa may be renewed on the basis that the business’s performance has matched or exceeded the targets set out in the business plan. The business must be able to demonstrate growth, and must employ US nationals.
[toggle title=”Where am I able to live in the US?”]
You are able to both live and set up a business anywhere in the USA.
[toggle title=”How much time must I spend in the US to fulfil the E-2 visa requirements? “]
If the L-1A holder is away from the USA for less than six months per year, there will rarely be an issue: for extensive periods of time spent outside of the US, your residency may be called into question, however it is down to the discretion of the USCIS to review your terms of residency.
[toggle title=”Are there any routes to securing a green card through E-2?”]
An E-2 itself is not a route to securing a green card. An E-2 applicant may change their status to an EB-5 through an investment of $500,000 into their business, which is a direct route to gaining permanent US residency for themselves and immediate family.