The United States issues a number of different kind of visas that allow persons born in foreign countries to enter and remain in the United States for a specified purpose. E-2 visas are used to allow persons who invest a substantial amount of capital in the U.S. to be admitted. Employees of such a person may also be admitted if he or she meets certain eligibility requirements.
Eligibility requirements for E-2 visa
The United States maintains what are called “treaties of commerce and navigation” with many countries. A resident of such a county may be eligible for an E-2 visa if he or she:
- Is a citizen of a county with whom the United States maintains a treaty of “commerce and navigation;
- Has invested or its actively engaged in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital in a bona fide enterprise in the United States; and
- Is seeking to enter the United States solely to develop and direct the investment enterprise.
The investment criteria
This list contains terms that require further definition. An “investment” is the act by the treaty investor of placing capital, including funds and /or other assets, at risk in the United States. The capital must be “at risk,” that is, the investor may need to forfeit all or a portion of the funds if the investment fails. A substantial amount of capital is
- the amount of money needed to either purchase an established enterprise or establishing a new one; or
- enough cash to ensure the treat investor’s commitment to the enterprise; or
- enough cash to demonstrate the likelihood that the investor will successfully develop and direct the enterprise.
An employee of a person holding an E-2 visa may obtain an E-2 visa to work in the subject enterprise.
Duration of an E-2 Visa
In most cases, both the holder of an E-2 visa and employees of the investor will be allowed remain in the United States for two years. Other limitations may apply to a specific visa.
Anyone seeking an E-2 visa or resisting attempts by the United States Customs and Immigration Services to revoke or impose burdensome restrictions on the visa may wish to consult an experienced immigration attorney for assistance.