The E2 or E-2 visa is the “treaty trader” visa, which allows traders from a set list of 32 foreign countries, with which the U.S. has reciprocal agreements, to come to the United States to set up business.
The E-2 classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation, or with which the United States maintains a qualifying international agreement, or which has been deemed a qualifying country by legislation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
What is E-2 Visa Limit?
The E-2 Visa is technically a non-immigrant visa, not an immigrant visa (aka green card), so it does not give permanent residency rights. However, the E-2 visa is special in that it may be extended any number of times, and even for an indefinite period, provided that the business that the investor set up in the United States continues to be commercially viable.
What is E-2 Visa Process?
The E-2 visa requires substantial investment, which could be at least US$100,000 if you apply at your local U.S. Consulate through the Department of State. The minimum investment amount can be lower when applying for an E-2 visa through USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services), but we recommend you watch the video below to understand some important differences that may affect how and when you are permitted to travel, depending on the option you choose.
With the E-2 visa it is permitted to borrow the money that you use to invest in the U.S.-based businesses. However, the loan cannot be secured on the assets of the business, otherwise USCIS is likely to take the view that the lender of the money is the actual investor, not you. OnlineVisas is able to advise on strategies for borrowing your investment capital safely, as we have previously helped numerous clients who find themselves in this exact situation. Again, please see the video for more details.
A very important consideration for your E-2 visa application is to have a comprehensive business plan that complies with the “Matter of Ho” lawsuit, which set an important precedent and sets out a number of important criteria that are often omitted from potential investors’ business plans.
What is E-2 Visa: Video
OnlineVisas’ Lead Counsel and CEO, Jon Velie, explains everything you need to know to understand whether the E-2 Treaty Investor visa may be right for you.