E-2 Visa: Treaty Investors - Unlocking opportunities for Investors & Entrepreneurs
The E-2 Visa, part of the U.S. non-immigrant visa program, is specifically tailored for investors and entrepreneurs from treaty countries. It allows individuals to invest in a U.S. business and reside in the United States to manage and oversee their investment.
E-2 Visa Key Features
To qualify for the E-2 Visa, applicants must be individuals from countries which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. Investors from these countries can engage in substantial trade or invest in the U.S.
- Investment Requirement: Investors are required to make a substantial investment in a bona fide U.S. enterprise. The investment must be at risk in a commercial sense and dedicated to the development and success of the enterprise.
- Operational and Direct Management: E-2 Visa holders must oversee and actively manage the investment enterprise. They play a crucial role in the daily operations and decision-making processes of the business.
- Renewable Visa: The E-2 Visa is typically granted for a two-year period and can be renewed as long as the qualifying investment continues to meet the requirements. There is no limit to the number of extensions, providing long-term opportunities for investors.
- Dependents: E-2 Visa holders can bring their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 as dependents. Spouses can work in the U.S. without restrictions, enhancing family flexibility.
- No Cap on Visas: Unlike some other visa categories, there is no annual limit or cap on the number of E-2 Visas that can be issued, providing ample opportunities for eligible investors.
What kind of evidence do I need for my E-2 Visa Application?
While each consulate will have different rules regarding the specific documents they will want you to include, in general, each successful E-2 application will include some combination of the following:
To demonstrate that you are a qualified treaty nationality:
– A copy of your passport
– A copy of your existing visa, if applicable, and previous I-797 Notices of Action
– Marriage Certificate, if applicable
– Children’s Birth Certificates, if applicable
– A copy of your most up-to-date resume/curriculum vitae
– Copies of educational certificates, diplomas, and transcripts
[For Treaty Investors] To prove 50-percent ownership:
– Articles of Incorporation (if corporation) or Certificate of Organization (if LLC)
– Corporate Bylaws (if corporation) or Operating Agreement (if LLC)
To demonstrate the commitment of a substantial investment of capital:
– Bank statements for the treaty enterprise
– Wire transfers
– Documentation of the original source of funds (e.g., property sale, inheritance, loans, savings, etc.)
To establish the business as “real and operating”:
– Valid lease evidence for premises (not always required for E-2 businesses)
– Invoices, contracts, and receipts as proof of funds spent on the treaty enterprise
– Marketing materials
To demonstrate that the business is not “marginal”:
– Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement
– Spreadsheet detailing start-up costs for the business to become operational
– Five-Year Business Plan
- Eligibility Assessment: Determine eligibility based on citizenship from a treaty country and the nature of the proposed investment.
- Business Entity and Investment: Establish a U.S. business entity and make a substantial investment that aligns with the requirements of the E-2 Visa.
- E-2 Visa Application: Submit the E-2 Visa application (Form DS-160) online and pay the necessary fees. Schedule and attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Documentary Evidence: Provide supporting documents, including proof of investment, business plan, financial statements, and other required evidence.
- Visa Approval: If approved, the E-2 Visa will be granted, allowing the investor and eligible dependents to enter the U.S.
- Flexibility and Mobility: E-2 Visa holders can freely travel in and out of the U.S., making it a convenient option for investors and entrepreneurs.
- Potential for Permanent Residency: While the E-2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa, it can serve as a stepping stone toward obtaining permanent residency through other immigration pathways.
- Investment in the U.S. Economy: The E-2 Visa encourages foreign investment, contributing to economic growth and job creation in the United States.
- Family Inclusion: Investors can bring their immediate family to the U.S., ensuring a cohesive family unit while pursuing business opportunities.
Investors and entrepreneurs seeking to establish a presence in the United States can utilize the E-2 Visa to embark on their entrepreneurial journey. Let our specialized immigration team guide you through this process, ensuring a smooth transition into the U.S. market.