What is an E-2

The E-2 visa is for foreign investors who would like to invest, operate and direct a U.S. business. It is a non-immigrant visa known as a “Treaty Investor Visa”. There must be a treaty between your country and the U.S. and you must be a national of this country to apply for the E-2. Some countries like Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Turkey and Pakistan are amongst those countries that have an E-2 treaty with the U.S. Other countries such as Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are not eligible because they don’t have an E-2 treaty with the U.S. 

 

Additionally, the E-2 is a non-immigrant visa, which means it does not lead to a green card; however, the E-2 visa can be extended indefinitely, as there are no limits on duration. While some investors may see this as a limitation, there are many foreign investors who find this visa to be one of the easiest and fastest way to enter the USA legally. Especially, that there will still be permanent residency alternatives for those E-2 investors who wish to seek a green card and change their E-2 status.

 

Are You Eligible?

The first eligibility requirement is finding out whether you are a citizen of a country that have an E2 treaty with the USA. If your country of citizenship is not part of this E-2 treaty, then you will not be able to apply for the E-2 visa. Once treaty eligibility is established the investor must satisfy several more criteria. An analysis of these criteria is below:

 

E-2 NON-IMMIGRANT VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR INVESTORS:

 

  • For nationals of specific treaty countries (notably Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan, and many others like Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, but not Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, or China)

  • Individuals or employees that hold same nationality making substantial investment in U.S. commercial enterprise

  • Visa holder, if investor, must direct and develop enterprise in the United States. Can hire a manager and simply review financial performance and provide general direction for the company (i.e., board chairman or president)

  • No set investment amount in the law, but must make sense for type of business (generally $150,000 or more is accepted as minimum investment)

  • Validity varies by nationality, most commonly 5 years. Duration of stay increases 2 years upon each new entry to the U.S.

 

 

GENERAL ELEGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

 

  • Must be a national of treaty country (notably Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan, and many others like Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, but not Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, or China).

  • Must have invested or be actively involved in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a US enterprise

  • No set investment amount in the law, but must make sense for type of business (generally $150,000 or more is accepted as minimum investment)

  • Validity varies by nationality, most commonly 5 years. Duration of stay increases 2 years upon each new entry to the U.S.

  • Must be seeking to enter the US solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise established by proving at least 50% ownership of enterprise or possession of “operational control” through a managerial position or other corporate device.

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