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E-2 Visa Guide

The E-2 visa allows foreign entrepreneurs to reside in the United States. The individual must invest a significant amount of capital in a new or existing business in the United States. Today we will discuss who can apply for this visa and the requirements for the E-2 visa.


What is the E-2 visa?

The E-2 visa is a non-immigrant temporary visa that allows foreign entrepreneurs to live in the United States. The individual must invest a significant amount of capital in a new or existing business in the United States.


Who can apply for the E-2 visa?

To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:

  • 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 the treaty 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 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.  


How can I obtain the E-2 visa?

To be eligible for the E-2 visa, the investor must make a substantial investment in a business and be a citizen of one of the countries with which the United States has a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation.


Which countries maintain a Treaty of Commerce and Navigation with the United states?

The countries are: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Taiwan), Colombia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.


How much capital do I have to invest? 

The actual amount required will be determined by the type of business chosen by the investor. To have a good E-2 visa case, the applicant should be prepared to invest at least $100,000 US dollars in the enterprise. Investments of less than $100,000 may be eligible for some low-cost start-up businesses. 


How long can I stay in the U.S.?

Investors and employees will be limited to a two-year initial stay. Requests for extensions to remain in, or changes in status to, E-2 classification may be granted in two-year increments. The number of extensions is unlimited.


Can I bring my family on an E-2 visa?

Yes, you can! Spouses and minor children under the age of 21 who want to accompany or follow an E-1 or E-2 visa holder may apply for derivative E-1 or E-2 visas. They are not required to be of the same nationality as the E-1 or E-2 visa holder. Please see 9 FAM 402.9-9 for more information.


How long is the E-2 application process?

The processing time varies by Consulate, from about two weeks or to four months.


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All information on this website is provided solely for general informational purposes. The materials available do not constitute legal advice on any subject. It is always best to seek professional legal advice from an attorney.

The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information and content available on this website is for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal information. Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. Use of, and access to, this website or any of the links or resources contained within the website or post does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader, user, browser, website authors, and contributors.


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