The E2 visa refers to the E-2 nonimmigrant classification in the U.S. This visa allows nationals from treaty countries to be admitted into the U.S. by investing capital in a state-side business. In addition, some employees of these people or organizations may also qualify for the E-2 nonimmigrant classification.
Filing for the E-2 nonimmigrant classification
For foreign investors that reside in the U.S. under some lawful nonimmigrant status, a Form I-129 is used to request the E-2 nonimmigrant classification. For their employees that are also in the U.S. under the same status, the same form is used, but the employer is the one who files it for their employee.
There are several requirements for the E-2 classification. First, the foreign national looking for E-2 status must be from a treaty country that maintains navigation and commerce with the U.S. Second, they must have invested or be actively investing substantial amounts of capital in a U.S. enterprise. Finally, the foreign national looking for E-2 status must be seeking to develop and direct the investment enterprise, which is their sole reason for wanting status in the U.S.
Exclusive business purpose
For that final factor, showing that the purpose for seeking U.S. status is exclusively for a business purpose can be demonstrated through a 50% or more ownership interest in a U.S. enterprise. It can also be shown through operational control of the enterprise, which can be through a corporate or managerial position. This ownership stake can be demonstrated through various forms of capital, including cash and other assets, and it must be at risk for commercial purposes for the objective of generating a return (profit). The risk aspect means that the capital must be at risk of loss if the enterprise fails, and those funds cannot have been obtained from criminal activity, indirectly or directly.
For those nonresident aliens in Tampa, Florida, that are here because they are pursing U.S. business interests, the E-2 nonimmigrant visa may be an option. This will give them the time they need to fully develop and execute their business venture.