The E classification visa is a visa that entitles foreigners to enter the United States if they undertake a significant amount of international trade with the United States; or who have made a significant investment in the United States, and; who are a citizen of a foreign state with which the United States has a treaty.
E-2 visas are available for citizens of certain countries with which the U.S. enjoys bilateral investment treaties. Investors who seek to enter the U.S. to develop and direct the operation of a company and key employees of such a company who hold the same citizenship are eligible.
The U.S. entity must be majority owned by nationals of the treaty country who have invested a substantial amount of capital. No foreign related company is necessary, nor is prior employment abroad required.
E-2 Visa Requirements
There are six (6) requirements for obtaining an E-2 visa:
- The foreign worker must be a citizen of a country that has an investor treaty with the U.S.
- The company must be at least 50% owned by nationals of the treaty country (who are not U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents).
- The foreign worker must be either the owner or a key employee of the U.S. business.
- There must be “substantial investment” in the U.S. business. Generally, $100,000 is the minimum, but $250,000 and higher is better.
- The U.S. entity must be actively engaged in business. Passive investments in real estate and the stock market do not qualify.
- The foreign worker must intend to leave the U.S. when the U.S. assignment is completed.
E-2 Visa Benefits
The foreign worker can work in the U.S. for the U.S. company following a substantial investment made by the foreign worker and/or other citizens of the home country. E-2 visas are typically issued quickly, usually within two to four weeks.
Validity of the E-2 Visa
E-2 visas are often granted for a period of five years, but each admission may be granted only for a period of two years. There is no legal limitation on the number of extensions that may be granted, thus legal status may last for the life of the qualifying investment.
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa Countries
- Albania (BIT), Argentina, Armenia, Australia
- Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria
- Cameroon, Canada, ROC (Taiwan), Colombia
- Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic
- Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia
- Finland, France
- Georgia, Germany, Grenada
- Iran, Ireland, Italy
- Jamaica, Japan
- Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan
- Latvia, Liberia, Luxembourg
- Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco
- Netherlands, Norway
- Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland
- Senegal, Slovakia (BIT)
- Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland
- Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey
- Ukraine, United Kingdom
The EB-5 visa is available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. There are two ways to invest which you may use within the EB-5 category:
- Creating a new commercial enterprise or
- Investing in a troubled business.