E-2 Visa, Treaty Investor Visa is for persons wishing to live in the U.S. and buy or invest in a U.S. company or to trade with a U.S. company. E-2 Visas (and E-status) have a distinct advantage in that you may live and remain in the U.S. for as long as necessary (perhaps indefinitely) to manage your investment and/or business, so long as it is generally successful or has a prospect for success. In short, as a holder of an E visa you may live in the United States as long as you continue to mange your related business or your investment.
How much money must I invest?
Let’s look at the alternative first. If you were looking to obtain permanent residence (a green card) directly through investment, you would generally need to invest one million dollars or more. This is substantially greater than the requirement for E-2 visas. While there is no set amount of investment, a good rule of thumb is about $125,000. But, depending on the type and complexity of the business, you may invest less and, perhaps, somewhat more—but considerably less than one million dollars. Each business and investor visa case is different and it is recommended that you consultant a US immigration lawyer to determine your eligibility.
Can family members travel to and live in the U.S. too?
Yes. If you, for example, obtain an investor visa, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, may travel to and live with you in the United States.
Can spouses of E-2 Visa holders work in the U.S.?
Yes. If you obtain an investor visa or E-1 visa your spouse may obtain employment authorization to work in America.
What is a Treaty Nation?
To obtain an E-2 Visa / investor visa or E-1 you must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation who wishes to go to the United States: to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country; or 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, may qualify for a nonimmigrant Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor visa.
Depending on which E visa you are interested in pursuing there are separate lists of treaty countries from which you must be a national. For your convenience they are listed below.
E-2 Visa Eligibility Check List
The following is a preliminary indication of your eligibility:
Requirements: E-2 Visa (Treaty Investor 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 United States ;
- The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed; and
- 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.
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