E2 Visa Requirements

There are many E2 visa requirements that all potential foreign workers need to be aware of. This is critical information if you want to conduct business in the United States.

Information About the E2 Investor Visa Program       

E2 or Treaty investor visa is a non-immigrants visa for foreign entrepreneurs and investors for those countries who have a Treaty of Trade and Commerce with. It is primarily an investor visa without any quotas or caps each year.

This visa differs from a green card, in that the visa holder can enter the United States as a temporary cardholder. While they are here, the holder of the visa must only work for the employer or business that is the active E2 sponsor of the visa.

A spouse of the holder of the visa can apply for a work permit after he or she arrives in the United States. The investors that are creating a business and wanting to apply for the E2 visa need to come to the United States as a business visitor prior to submitting a visa application.

Who Typically Uses the E2 Investor Visa?          

Those who want to use the visa are those who wish to purchase a franchise or start a U.S. based business or plant to get into real estate. They are also people who want to retire in the United States.

General Qualifications for an E-2(Treaty Investor) Visa

Those applying for an E2 visa must have $100,000  to $200,000 to invest in a business. There are some exceptions that are allowed by the USCIS.

The following proof is required as proof that they are investing in a legal endeavor:

  • Assignment or notice of getting an Employer Identification Number from the IRS.
  • All tax returns
  • All financial statements
  • Payroll summaries and quarterly wage reports
  • Organizational chart for the business
  • Licenses to do business
  • Utility bills
  • Contracts
  • Lease agreements

There may be additional documentation required, which will be dependent on the individual applying and the type of business that will be started.

The person applying for the visa has to come to the United States with 50 percent ownership in a business or as a developer. The investment has to be large enough to become lucrative in the U.S. The person applying will need to invest in a true business that offers tangible items or services.

The investment should be capable of generating enough revenue with a noticeable impact on the economy, rather than just improving the lifestyle of the applicant and his or her family.

Finally, the applicant will need to prove that he or she will leave the country once the business has concluded. The investor is required to place their money in a bank or a closing agent with release to the seller of the business after the visa approval.

How Can An Employee Qualify?  

The employee of an investor has to be of the same citizenship and meet the legal definition of an employee. The employee will need to have some form of supervisory role in executive management. A standard laborer or unskilled employee will not qualify.

Is A Business Plan Required?        

A business plan will not be required. However, it is ideal to submit one along with all visa requirements.

Period of Stay          

At first, the E2 visa can last up to five years. This will depend on the country of origin. However, it can be extended for two years at a time for an unlimited amount of time. This is the case only if the business is successful.

After the visa holder and his or her family comes to the U.S., they are allowed to stay for two years. They are also allowed to travel both inside and out of the country. Dependents are not granted the same automatic two-year extension as the visa holder. For this reason, dependents need to keep an eye on how long they can stay so that they may apply for an extension if necessary.

You're Interested in an E-2 Visa: What's Next?           

Anyone who is interested in getting an E2 visa should contact an immigration attorney. You will go over your eligibility analysis as well as get help with the application.

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