How to Get an E-2 Investor Visa to the US: Requirements & Services

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Investor Visa Key Topics

What Is an Investor Visa

Individuals who wish to work in the US by starting or investing in a US business may be eligible for an E-1 or E-2 investor visa, or an L-1 business expansion visa. While not all countries are eligible, business owners and investors from those that are may qualify if they meet several criteria. Employees as well as spouses and children of the principal visa holder may also be eligible for a visa.

Temporary Investor Visas

There are 2 types of E-visas for investors: the E-1 and the E-2 Visa. Under each one, only certain countries’ citizens are eligible to apply, and both have subtle yet important requirements that set them apart.

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Immigrant Investor Visa

The EB-5 immigrant investor visa was created by Congress to attract foreign capital to the US and create jobs for American workers in the process. The investor would then be eligible for permanent residence. To obtain the EB-5 visa, the investor must fit a few main requirements, and submit documentation to prove they are eligible.

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O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics. While it is considered a work visa, it can be applicable to investors in some of these areas, particularly business, in which one may have extraordiary skills.

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Who Can Apply for the E-2 Visa?

If you wish to work in the U.S. by starting or investing in a U.S. business, an E-2 Visa may be an option for you. E visas are U.S. work visas for people working in the U.S. in trade or in investment. E visas can only be issued to countries where there is a treaty between the foreign national’s country and the USA.

Two types of E visa applications:

  • E-1 (for traders)
  • E-2 (for investors)

How to Qualify for an E-2 Investor Visa

E-2 visas are for owners and investors in businesses in the United States. The E-2 is a temporary U.S. work visa that may be granted for “substantial” investments in the U.S. An investment must meet several criteria in order to qualify for an E-2 visa.

Employees of E-2 companies may be granted E-2 visas if they are or will be engaged in duties that are executive, managerial, or supervisory in nature. If employed in a minor capacity, the employee may be granted an E-2 visa if he or she has special qualifications that make the services to be rendered essential to the enterprise.

The spouse and children (unmarried and under 21) of E-1 or E-2 visa holders are entitled to the same E-1 or E-2 classification as the principal.

In order to qualify for the E-2 Visa as an investor, you have to:

  • Show that a "substantial" investment or funds is available and committed to the investment;
  • The investment must be for an active business as opposed to passive investment such as purchasing a home;
  • At least 50% of the business must be owned by the foreigner from a country which has a treaty with the United States;
  • The investment must create enough profit to provide a living for more than just the applicant and his/her family.

How Much Money Do I Need to Invest for an E-2 Visa?

There is no minimum amount of investment necessary to obtain an E-2 visa. The investment just has to be “substantial”. What is considered a substantial amount will depend on factors such as the type of business involved, the number of jobs created by the investor’s personal assets, etc. In most cases, the investment should be at least $100,000USD, but sometimes it may be less than this.

What if I am an employee? Can I qualify for an E-2 Visa?

To qualify for E-2 Employee classification, the employee or prospective employee of a treaty investor must:

  • Be the same nationality of the principal alien employer (who must have the nationality of the treaty country)
  • Meet the definition of "employee" under relevant law
  • Either be engaging in duties of an executive or supervisory character, or if employed in a lesser capacity, have special qualifications.

How to Qualify for an E-1 Trader Visa

E-1 visas are for individuals involved in the exchange, purchase or sale of goods/services or merchandise. Services include technology transfer, architecture and engineering services, management consulting or accounting. The trade in goods and services should be substantial in terms of value, volume or a large number of small transactions.

The trade must also meet the following criteria:

  • The trade must be principally with the treaty country.
  • More than 50% of the total volume of international trade must be between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  • The amount of trade must be sufficient to ensure a continuous flow of international trade between the U.S. and the treaty country.
  • Trade can be binding contracts that call for the future exchange of items.
  • Income derived from the value of numerous transactions that is sufficient to support the trades and his/her family is a favourable factor.

Is your Country on the E Visa List?

In order to qualify for an E visa, you have to be a national of a country that has a Treaty with the U.S. for E visas. Below is the list of countries that have an E visa treaty for both types of E visas.

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Canada
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Honduras
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Korea, Republic of
Liberia
Luxembourg
Mexico
Montenegro
Netherlands
New Zealand
North Macedonia
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Paraguay
Philippines
Serbia
Slovenia
Spain
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Togo
Turkey
United Kingdom

Countries with Treaties conferring only E-1 treaty-trader status:

Bolivia
Brunei
Denmark
Greece
Latvia

Countries with Treaties conferring only E-2 treaty-trader status:

Armenia
Bangladesh
Bulgaria
Cameroon
Congo
Czechia
Ecuador
Egypt
Grenada
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Moldova, Republic of
Mongolia
Morocco
Panama
Poland
Romania
Senegal
Slovakia
Sri Lanka
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Ukraine

Why Seeking Professional Help for an E-2 Visa is Crucial

When applying for an E visa, all the criteria must be met. With all of the paperwork and documentation required, it is easy to miss important details that can lead to a rejected application. Without any legal help, navigating through the complicated application process is frustrating and potentially fruitless. When it comes to preparing an application for investors or traders, experienced legal teams will know the best way to prepare a successful application package.

Why Hire Us to Help You With Your E-2 Visa Application?

With over 15 years of experience of working with investors and traders, we know what the U.S. immigration department requires. We have helped thousands and thousands of foreign nationals successfully enter the U.S. with E visas and we can help you too!