The E-2 Treaty Investor Visa allows eligible foreign nationals to live and work in the United States through a qualifying investment. The E-2 visa holder’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age can also obtain an E-2 dependent visa. Spouses of E-2 treaty visa holders are allowed to work in the United States. The children are allowed to live and study until the age of 21.
Who Qualifies for an E-2 Visa
The foreign national must have the nationality of an E-2 treaty country. The list of E-2 eligible countries are found in this link from the U.S. Department of State: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-inFormation-resources/fees/treaty.html
To qualify for E-2 classification, the treaty investor must:
• Be a national of an E-2 visa country
• Have invested, or be actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
• Be seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise. This is established by showing at least 50% ownership of the enterprise or possession of operational control through a managerial position or other corporate device.
• Have placed or be placing the capital, including funds and/or other assets, at risk in the commercial to generate profit.
The E-2 Visa Process
Foreign nationals who are physically outside the United States can apply for an E-2 visa by submitting a Form DS 160 directly to the Department of State. The E-2 visa applicant will appear for a Consular Interview at a U.S. Consular Post abroad to get the E-2 visa issued on his/her passport.
If the foreign national is in the United States, a Form I-129 petition can be filed with USCIS. The E-2 investor’s family members can also change their status by submitting a Form I-539.
E-2 Visa Stay
Generally, the E-2 allows you to enter the United States and stay for 2 years. Before the 2 years expire, you may be eligible for automatic two-year extension by traveling abroad and entering the U.S. if the E-2 visa is still valid. You can also apply for unlimited renewals of the E-2 visa as long as the enterprise is operational.
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