E-2 TREATY INVESTORS VISA
The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant classification which allows nationals of a Treaty country to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business, for a maximum initial stay of 2 years.
Treaty Investors and employees may be accompanied or followed by spouses and unmarried children who are under 21 years of age. Their nationalities need not be the same as the treaty trader or employee.
E-2 Visa - Qualifications of a Treaty Investor
The E-2 Investor must meet the following qualifications to qualify for the E-2 visa:
1. Treaty Country - Be a national (citizen holding a valid Passport) of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation.
2. Invested in US Enterprise - Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States.
3. Seeking to Develop the Investment Enterprise - Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
What is an 'Investment'?
is the treaty investor’s placing of capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial sense with the objective of generating a profit. The capital must be subject to partial or total loss if the investment fails. The treaty investor must show that the funds have not been obtained, directly or indirectly, from criminal activity.
What is a 'Substantial Amount of Capital'?
A Substantial Amount of Capital
is defined as follows:
- Substantial in relationship to the total cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or establishing a new one.
- Sufficient to ensure the treaty investor’s financial commitment to the successful operation of the enterprise.
- Of a magnitude to support the likelihood that the treaty investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise. The lower the cost of the enterprise, the higher, proportionately, the investment must be to be considered substantial.
What is a 'Bona Fide Enterprise'?
A bona fide enterprise
refers to a real, active and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit. It must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business within its jurisdiction.
Note that a 'Marginal Enterprise' is not allowed. A marginal enterprise is one that does not have the present or future capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the treaty investor and his or her family. An investment will not be considered Marginal if the enterprise has the capacity to generate such income within five years from the date that the treaty investor’s E-2 classification begins.
What are the Treaty Countries?
The following are a list of the U.S. Department of State's Treaty Countries (as at 2018), of which nationals of these countries are eligible for either the E-1 Treaty Trader visa or the E-2 Treaty Investor visa or both visas:
- Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France,
Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania,
Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.
E-2 Visa - Application Process
The following steps are required to apply for the E-2 Treaty Investor visa:
1. Form DS-160 - Complete Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160.
2. Photo -Upload your Photo.
3. Schedule an Interview You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live.
4. Pay Visa Application Fee
5. Form DS-156E - Complete Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E (required for all E-1 and E-2 visa appplicants).
6. Additional Documents and Forms at Interview - visa applicants must establish that the trading enterprise or investment enterprise meets the requirements of the law and complies with the many requirements for the E visa category. The consular officer may provide you with special forms to complete for this purpose.
7. Digital Fingerprint Scans - taken as part of your application process, at the Interview.
8. Spouse - Employment Authorization - Spouses who wish to work in the US may apply for the E-2 visa as dependents, and complete the form I-765 work authorization, with USCIS, after the Spouse has arrived in the US. If approved, there are no specific work restrictions regarding where they may work.