E-2 US Investor Visa

Understanding E-2 Investor Visa

My experience as a Houston visa attorney has led me to interact with immigrants across the spectrum. While H1B is the chosen visa for skilled workers and K-1 is for foreigners marrying US citizens, businessmen have found E-2 investor visas as a way to realize their American dream. The visa does not grant any citizenship status but can be a renewed continuously. Here are some important things to know about the E-2 visa and its filing procedure.

What is E-2 investor visa?

 E-2 US investor visa is a type of visa for non-immigrants, who invest in or own a business in the United States. The person receiving the visa must be a person invested in the company or someone who runs the operations. E-2 Visa is also known as a “treaty investor visa,” as the applicant must be a citizen of a country that has a treaty commerce pact with the United States. Consult a Houston visa attorney to know if you are qualified to apply.

What are the benefits of E-2 US investor visa?

The visa is for a person who substantially invested into a business in the United States. Its primary purpose is to allow them to come and stay in the country to maintain business operations or working to develop the business.

Foreign nationals on the E-2 visa can do business in the United States. They can expand their trade activities, acquire or form new businesses, and do economic activities like any US citizen.

The foreign investor can come to the country and also bring their spouse and children under 18 years of age. Currently the visa can be renewed whenever needed.  Ask your Houston immigration lawyer about additional benefits of this US business visa.

What type of investment does it cover?

An applicant for E-2 US investor visa must invest his own money in any US business, either buy an existing business or start a new one. The investment should be made well before applying for this visa. Such an investment must be real but not speculative. Buying of land, house, or stocks does not qualify.

It must be a real, functional commercial venture with active and on-going benefits for the US economy. Non-profits, firms on papers, inactive investments, and enterprises not offering any service or commodity are not considered.

As all investments are not acceptable, you are likely to face scrutiny. Any suspicion of making visa-centric investment may result in denial of your application. Get in touch with an experienced Houston visa attorney to know procedural details and follow his advice while applying.

How much investment is needed for E-2 US investor visa?

It should be a substantial amount of money. The higher the investment, the greater is the chance of application approval. Your investment must offer a direct controlling stake in the business and is able to make a significant impact and generate employment in the United States. It must be more than half of the total investment in an existing business or adequate enough to run a new enterprise.

Any investment to be qualified for E-2 visa must be sufficient, committed, and irrevocable. The amount is subject to industry and activity of an enterprise. An expert immigration lawyer can guide you on it.

Does it offer any immigration benefits?

Although you can move into the United States with your family, you are not granted any citizenship benefits. E-2 US investor visa allows unlimited entries to the country but does not offer citizenship. Consult a visa attorney to discuss what other options you could use to gain citizenship in the United States.

Who is qualified for E-2 US investor visa?

  • The applicant must be the principal investor in a business. If you are an employee of the investor and entrusted with the responsibility of looking after his US business, you can also apply.
  • A national of “treaty countries” can only apply. The prior record of carrying out international trade is an added advantage.
  • Your funds must be transferred from your country and from an account owned and operated by you.
  • In case of loans for investment, these must be guaranteed by you, not by any other entity.
  • The applicant must have managerial and supervisory skills or any qualification necessary to manage a business.
  • One from the family of a principle E-1 visa holder is also eligible.

How long can one stay with E-2 US business visa application?

The visa is valid for 5 years. However, it can be renewed for 2 years at a time for multiple occasions as long as you continue to do business. Even spouses of these visa holders can stay and work in the United States.

Which are “treaty” countries for E-2 US business visa application?

Asia: Japan, Oman,Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Singapore, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Georgia, Iran, Taiwan, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Philippines, South Korea

Africa: Senegal, Cameroon, Egypt, Liberia, Togo, Ethiopia, Suriname, Morocco, Tunisia, Congo

Europe: France, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Albania, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Luxembourg, Spain, Macedonia, Moldova, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland

Americas: Canada, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Grenada, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay,

Australia: Australia

If you need reliable legal and expert support for E-2 US business visa application or to know more about it, contact Zavala Texas Law (832) 819-3723.


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