An E-2 visa allows a foreign national (of certain countries) to enter and work in the United States after making a “substantial” investment in a business/company that will operate in the U.S. The allowable countries must have an investor treaty with the United States. Notably, neither China nor India currently has an investor treaty with the United States. As such, citizens of those countries, amongst others, are not eligible for this type of visa.
E-2 visas are also available to non-investor employees of the business, as long as the employees are from the same country as the investor and the business is at least 50 % owned by citizen of the treaty country. Additionally, the employees must either have either an executive/supervisory role or possess specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the business.
No, the company must be an active for-profit venture.
The company may be a “startup” if the financial investment is sufficient to start and operate the business.
The E-2 visa must be renewed every 2 years, but there is no limit to how many times the visa can be renewed.
No, as long as one of the countries of which you are a citizen has an investor treaty, you are eligible to apply for this type of visa.
If your business is closed or terminated for any reason, this type of visa will not allow you to remain in the United States. Upon conclusion of the business, investors must return to their countries of origin, or change their status.
Yes, generally your application would be made at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your native country and/or your permanent residence.
Yes, an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79. If you are 13 years old or younger or 80 years old and older, you usually do not need to submit to an interview unless specifically requested.
Only spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 may receive derivative E-2 visas to accompany the investor and/or qualified employee of the business.
Yes, it is acceptable to use money that was gifted or loaned to you to start your U.S-based company. Of course, you will have to provide proof of the source of these funds to the immigration authorities. For example, if the funds derived from a gift, you may need to go back and demonstrate how the giver of the gift received the funds; or if the funds are loan based, you may need to demonstrate how you acquired the property that was used as collateral for the loan.
Only your spouse can apply for authorization for employment in the United States if he/she accompanies you on an E-2 visa. This can be accomplished by your spouse filing a I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.
Please feel free to contact us for a free initial consultation. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding E-2 that you may have.