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The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is part of the family of US visas available to citizens or nationals of 30+ countries that have trade treaties with the United States.

Individuals with significant funds to invest can come to the U.S with an E-2 visa to set up a business, practice, or office.

Although the E-2 visa does not provide residency (not a Green Card), one of the significant advantages is the ability to extend the E-2 visa indefinitely or for as long as the business concerned is viable.

 

Investment Requirements for E-2 Visa

Although the law does not specify a minimum amount to apply for an E-2 visa, we recommend the E-2 route to people with a minimum of $100,000 – $200,000 USD to invest. In exceptional cases, USCIS will consider applications with amounts as low as $50,000 USD.

Investors can borrow money for the E-2 visa, but cannot secure the loan with the companies’ assets, or USCIS will determine that the lender is the actual investor.

A key component to securing an E-2 visa is a business plan complying with the specific law on the matter.

 

Developing a Business Immigration Plan

The individual investor must demonstrate that their sole purpose for entering the U.S. is to run or develop an enterprise.

Evidence showing the investor’s business development intentions can be owning a minimum of 50% of the business or occupying a significant managerial or leadership position that gives them operational control.

Showing the risk of capital loss is necessary to qualify as an “investment.” The investor must also show that the funds have not been generated through illegal means, either directly or indirectly.

 

Any investment must not be viewed as marginal, meaning that it must have a good chance of generating sufficient income to provide for the visa holder and any family within five years of entering the U.S.

In addition, the business must have a dedicated premise. E-2 companies cannot operate from the investor’s home.

Both new and existing companies can qualify for E-2 investments. Individual investors can’t use assets for the sole purpose of creating a job for themselves. Our experience with these applications suggests that the business must employ at least three to five other people.

Eligible for permanent residency?

If you have at least $500,000USD to invest, you may qualify for an EB-5 green card.

 

E-2 Employee Requirements

The E-2 visa may extend to other personnel provided they meet the following conditions:

  • Occupy supervisory or executive positions.
  • Are Essential to the running of the business.
  • Meet the legal definition of “employee.”
  • Come from the same country as the E-2 applicant.

Family of E-2 Visa Holders

The E-2 visa may also cover the applicant’s spouse and other immediate family members (i.e., unmarried children under 21). The spouse may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), giving them the right to work in the United States. (Family need not come from the same country as the E-2 holder.)

 

The E-2 visa is a very complex visa. Contact our Immigration Attorney, Monique Ndaya Mutombo to help you navigate the process.

 

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