Legislative constructs in the United States immigration system allow for certain types of foreign nationals who meet specified qualifications to be given immigration visas that allow these individuals to enter the United States in order to engage in the activities the visa classification is crafted to facilitate. The E-2 visa classification allows foreign national treaty investors who qualify to enter the US in order to invest substantial amounts of capital in a US business. Qualifying employees of treaty investors or organizations that qualify may also be eligible for the E-2 classification in certain situations. A Los Angeles immigration lawyer that specializes in assisting clients acquire E-2 visas is an invaluable advantage to have at one’s disposal, and through our firm it can be. We currently offer free consultations to prospective and potential clients seeking treaty investor status through the E-2 classification. Contact our office and schedule a no-cost, no-obligation appointment with an immigration attorney that can evaluate your situation and give you a better idea of where you stand.
Foreign nationals may petition for an E-2 visa whether they are inside the United States or abroad, though the application processes differ slightly depending on the circumstances. Employees of treaty investors and qualifying organizations may also be eligible for the E-2 visa should they fulfill all other requisite criteria whether they are in the US or in a foreign nation when they petition or are the beneficiary of a petition. Los Angeles immigration lawyers in our firm specialize in E-2 visas and eagerly assist our clients with petitions to be classified as a treaty investor.
A treaty investor must meet several qualifications in order to be eligible for an E-2 visa. A treaty investor must:
- Be a national of a treaty country
- Treaty countries are those nations which have a treaty of commerce and navigation with the United States. Contact our office to learn if your country of nationality has treaty country status, and to explore your immigration options if it is not
- Have invested a substantial amount of capital in an enterprise in the US. A substantial amount of capital, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services, is:
- Ample when considered in relation to the total cost of the purchase of establishment of a comparable enterprise
- Large enough that the treaty investor’s financial dedication to the success of the operation is assured
- Large enough that the successful development of the enterprise is made likely by it
- When the relative cost of the enterprise is low, regulations dictate that the investment must be proportionately higher to be considered substantial
- Be entering the United States to manage and foster the growth of the investment enterprise
- USCIS considers this to be fulfilled when at least 50% of the enterprise is owned by the treaty investor or he/she has operational control through a corporate position of authority
Investments must not be marginal. A marginal investment cannot generate more income than the minimal cost of living for the treaty investor and his/her family either when the petition is filed or five years from that date. One of our Los Angeles immigration attorneys that specialize in E-2 visas can assist you in drafting your petition to demonstrate that the fulfillment of this requirement is achieved, as all of our immigration lawyers on staff are experts in immigration law.
In order to qualify for the E-2 classification, the employee of a treaty investor must:
- Be of the same nationality as his/her employer
- Be an employee according to the governing legislation
- Be employed as an executive or supervisor or higher position
- If employed in another position, it must be because of special qualifications
Treaty investors and their employees may be permitted maximum initial stays of two years. The total period of stay currently has no limit, though extensions may only be granted in up to two-year increments.
Spouses and children (unmarried and under 21) of treaty investors and employees of treaty investors may also come to the US under an E-2 visa, and usually for the same period of time as the primary visa holder. Requests for extensions of stay must be made separately, as extensions to the primary E-2 do not extend to dependent visas.
Contact one of our immigration attorneys and schedule your free consultation to discuss your options when petitioning for an E-2 visa.
Treaty Investor E-2 visa is for a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation who is coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested, or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (E2 investor visa), under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. For a list of participating countries see below.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- China (Taiwan)
- Congo (Brazzaville)
- Congo (Kinshasa)
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Korea (South)
- Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FRY)
- Slovak Republic
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom
Investor requirement for E-2 Visa
Treaty investor applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for a treaty investor E-2 visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether a E2 visa treaty investor applicant qualifies for a visa.
- The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country.
- The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
- The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
- The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
- The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
- The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.
E-2 Investor Visa Documents
Each applicant for a treaty investor E-2 visa must submit these forms and documentation, as explained below.
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application;
- Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, completed and signed, if you are an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee.
- A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the U.S.
- One (1) 2×2 photograph.
Period of Stay under E-2 Investor Visa
Qualified treaty investors and employees will be allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each. There is no maximum limit to the number of extensions an E-2 visa nonimmigrant may be granted. All E-2 visa non-immigrants, however, must maintain an intention to depart the United States when their status expires or is terminated.
An E-2 visa holder nonimmigrant who travels abroad may generally be granted an automatic two-year period of readmission when returning to the United States.
Family Members of E-2 Investor Visa Holder
Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, may receive derivative E visas in order to accompany the principal visa holder. The spouse of an E visa holder may apply to DHS for employment authorization. Dependent children of an E visa holder are not authorized to work in the U.S.
Mr. Galstyan, an experienced immigration attorney, has successfully handled countless E2 visa cases. Our firm has the ability and experience to help you in getting your E-2 visa. Please contact our office for your free, no obligation consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer.