The E-2 Treaty Investor Nonimmigrant Visa Classification is available for nationals of countries that have a treaty of friendship, commerce, navigation, or bilateral investment or a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. The E-2 classification allows foreign investors to live in the U.S. to develop and direct the operations of their E-2 Investment Enterprise. E-2 nonimmigrant status can be obtained by presenting a valid E-2 Visa at any U.S. Port of Entry or by filing a petition with USCIS.
1. New Business or Existing Business:E-2 Treaty Investors can qualify by either purchasing an existing business or creating a new business in the United States, commonly referred to as an “investment enterprise.” Investments in real estate alone do NOT qualify!
2. No Minimum Investment Amount is Required: There is no requisite dollar amount required for an E-2 Treaty Investor to invest but is instead relative to the type of business that is purchased or created. A common myth is that a minimum of $100,000.00 U.S. is the required investment amount to qualify for an E-2. On the contrary, our Law Firm has achieved E-2 approvals for clients with lesser investment amounts.
3. Small Businesses Qualify: E-2 investments in small businesses qualify, including but not limited to: automotive repair shops, beauty salons, café’s, florists, lawn care, pool care, restaurants, and souvenir stores.
4. No Minimum Number of U.S. Workers Required: There is no requisite number of U.S. workers that must be hired by an E-2 Treaty Investor or the investment enterprise. However, please note that the investment enterprise must employ at least some qualifying workers in the U.S. as reasonably necessary for the business to operate, or the investment will be considered Marginal and will not qualify for E-2 Registration.
5. Employees from the Treaty Country: The investment enterprise may hire foreign nationals of the treaty country who qualify as Executives, Supervisors, or “Essential Employees.”
6. Spouses & Children: Spouses and Children (under age 21) of E-2 Treaty Investors are entitled to obtain E-2 visas and status dependent upon the Principal. Their nationality is immaterial. In addition, spouses are eligible to apply for an “Employment Authorization Document” (referred to as an EAD) to work in the United States after obtaining E-2 status.
7. Visa & Status Validity: The maximum validity of an E-2 Treaty Investor Visa is 5 years for each visa issuance but is dependent upon visa reciprocity between the United States and each individual treaty country. E-2 Treaty Investor status is granted in 2-year increments. E-2 visas can be renewed and status can be extended indefinitely as long as the treaty remains in force and the investment enterprise remains active and operating.
8. Green Card: An E-2 investment does NOT lead to lawful permanent residence (Green Card) in the United States unless the investment can be converted into the EB-5 Employment Creation Investor’s Program.
9. List of E-2 Treaty Countries: SEE BELOW for a list of current countries that have an active E-2 Treaty with the U.S.
If you are interested in applying for an E-2 Visa or Status, please schedule a Consultation with Serianni Law to discuss the legal requirements and filing procedures. Also, Contact Us for free initial information and pricing.
LIST OF E-2 TREATY COUNTRIES:
Countries that currently have E-2 Treaties with the United States include the following:
Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China (Taiwan), Columbia, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Kinshasa), Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, 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.