E-2 Treaty Investors

E-2 (Treaty Investor) Visa

What is the E-2 visa?

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows a national of a treaty country to be admitted to the United States if he or she invests a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business.

What are the requirements for an E-2 visa?

  • You must be a national of a treaty country.
  • The money that you invest in the U.S. must be substantial, and it must be “at risk,” meaning that you could lose all of the money if the business fails.
  • The money that you invest in the business must produce more than a marginal living for you and your family.
  • You must show that you lawfully earned the money that you invested.
  • The U.S. business must be at least 50% owned by U.S. individuals who have the same nationality as the treaty country.

What strategic considerations should I keep in mind?

  • Be sure to create a good business plan to show that the investment is substantial and enough to operate the business.
  • There is no annual quota (limit) on the number of E-2 visas granted, and the government processes them relatively fast.
  • The investment amount for an E-2 visa is much lower than the investment amount for an EB-5 visa, so it can give you a chance to “test the waters” of investing in a U.S. business.
  • Treaty investors are allowed a maximum initial stay of two years. Requests for extension of stay may be granted in increments of up to two years each, with no maximum limit to the number of extensions.
  • If your country of nationality is not a treaty country, consider the L-1A option. 

Similar to the E-1 visa, the E-2 visa allows nationals of certain countries with treaties of friendship, commerce, and navigation or bilateral investment treaties with the United States to manage or direct a qualifying business in which the foreign national has invested a substantive sum of money. The E-2 visa holder is usually the company’s executive or manager who possesses specialized knowledge and skills necessary to direct the business operations and management of its assets and ventures. Control of the company’s funds rests upon the E-2 investor who ensures that the investment is significantly large enough and would entail a commercial risk on the part of the investor.

How do I qualify for this visa?

The treaty investor must be a national of a treaty country who is willing to put a substantial sum of money at risk in order to operate a business that is expected to yield more than a marginal return on investment.

How long can I stay in the US on this visa?

E-2 treaty investors are granted authorized stay up to two years at a time.

Can I apply for Green Card while on this visa? 

Yes, an E-2 investor may apply for the green card as long as the investor meets the investment required to petition for the green card.