The E2 Visa
The E2 visa is available to nonimmigrant individuals who wish to come to the United States to engage in international trade and are interesting in investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. This visa benefit can also extend to certain employees of his or her qualifying organization. Visa applicants must originate from a treaty country of the United States. For a list of treaty countries Click Here.
To qualify for an E2 visa, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation;
- Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
- 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.
Investment is defined as the 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.
Substantial capital is defined as:
- Vital to the total cost of either purchasing an established business or creating a new one;
- Large enough to be sure that the investment is vital to the success of the endeavor;
- Large enough to ensure that the investor will continue to develop the business. For lower cost businesses, the investment must be proportionately higher to be considered substantial.
The business in question must not be defined as marginal. A marginal business cannot support the investor and his family. In some instances, businesses can take up to five years to support the investor and his family.
How to Apply for an E2 Visa
If you meet the requirements for an E2 visa, here are the steps you need to complete for approval:
- Fill out a Form G-28. This form entitles your attorney or accredited representative to act on your behalf,
- Documentation that you are eligible to apply for a visa,
- Information about the business you intend to work with or for (name, location, type of business, business owner, etc.),
- U.S. Company Support Statement. This document is supplied by the U.S. employer and explains why your services are necessary for the business,
- Evidence that you plan to leave the United States after your E2 visa expires or is terminated.
If you are outside the United States, you should apply for your E2 visa at a consulate or embassy. It is recommended to work with a qualified immigration attorney to ensure your documents are filed correctly and expeditiously.
An E2 visa comes with certain benefits, including:
- You can work legally in the United States,
- You can freely travel in the United States,
- The visa can be renewed indefinitely in two-year increments,
- Your immediate family (spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age) can also qualify for an E2 visa. While in the United States, your children can go to school and your spouse can apply for an EAD, employment authorization document, giving them permission to work legally in the United States.