E-2 Visa & E-1 Visa

Investor Visas

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E-2 Visa, Treaty Investor Visa and the E-1 Visas are for persons wishing to live in the U.S. and buy or invest in a U.S. company or to trade with a U.S. company. E-2 Visas (and E-1s) have a distinct advantage in that you may live and remain in the U.S. for as long as necessary (perhaps indefinitely) to manage your investment and/or business, so long as it is generally successful or has a prospect for success. In short, as a holder of an E visa you may live in the United States as long as you continue to mange your related business or your investment.

How much money must I invest? 

Let’s look at the alternative first. If you were looking to obtain permanent residence (a green card) directly through investment, you would generally need to invest one million dollars or more. This is substantially greater than the requirement for E-2 visas. While there is no set amount of investment, a good rule of thumb is about $125,000. But, depending on the type and complexity of the business, you may invest less and, perhaps, somewhat more—but considerably less than one million dollars. Each business and investor visa case is different and it is recommended that you consultant a US immigration lawyer to determine your eligibility.

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Can family members travel to and live in the U.S. too? 

Yes. If you, for example, obtain an investor visa, your spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, may travel to and live with you in the United States .

Can spouses of E-2 Visa holders work in the U.S.?

Yes
. If you obtain an investor visa or E-1 visa your spouse may obtain employment authorization to work in America.

What is a Treaty Nation?

To obtain an E-2 Visa / investor visa or E-1 you must be a national of a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation who wishes to go to the United States: to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, principally between the United States and the treaty country; or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the national has invested; or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital, may qualify for a nonimmigrant Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor visa. 

Depending on which E visa you are interested in pursuing there are separate lists of treaty countries from which you must be a national. For your convenience they are listed below.

List of E-1 Treaty Trader Countries 

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bolivia
Brunei
Canada
China (ROC)
Colombia
Costa Rica
Denmark

Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Honduras
Iran
Ireland
Israel
Italy

Japan
Korea
Latvia
Liberia
Luxembourg
Mexico
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Philippines

Spain
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Togo
Turkey
U.K.
Yugoslavia

 List of E-2 Visa / Investor Visa Countries 

Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belgium
Bosnia-Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Cameroon
Canada
China (ROC)
Colombia
Congo
Costa Rica
Czech Republic
Ecuador

Egypt
Estonia
Ethiopia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Grenada
Honduras
Iran
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Kazakhstan
Korea
Kyrgyzstan

Latvia
Liberia
Luxembourg
Mexico
Morocco
Moldavia
Mongolia
Netherlands
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Panama
Philippines
Poland
Romania
Senegal
Slovak Republic

Spain
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad-Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Ukraine
U.K.
Uzbekistan
Yugoslavia



If your country is not a “treaty country” then you are not eligible for this program. But don’t despair, you may be eligible for another visa such as the L-1. Take a look at this strategy by selecting this option on the menu bar. 

E-2 Visa Eligibility Check List

The following is a preliminary indication of your eligibility:

Requirements: E-2 Visa (Treaty Investor Visa)

  • The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country;
  • The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise;
  • The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment;
  • The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the United States ;
  • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed; and
  • The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.

E-1 Visa Eligibility Check List

The following is a preliminary indication of your eligibility:

  Requirements:

  • The applicant must be a national of a treaty country;
  • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U.S. must have the nationality of the treaty country;
  • The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade;
  • The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality;
  • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other; and

The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.

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